We had the good fortune of connecting with Matt Beckmann and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Matt, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
That’s a fascinating question that I think deserves examination from various perspectives.
Part of my career was spent as General Counsel for one of the nation’s largest energy steel distributors. In that context, my job was to identify and work to minimize or eliminate the various risks to the business.
Having a clear understanding of the company’s risk profile was essential in the development of effective business strategies and long-term planning.
However, the goal should not be the total elimination of risk. First, that is nearly impossible. Second, and more importantly,
any successful endeavor requires some level of risk. No risk likely means little or no reward, and personal growth occurs only when we step outside of our comfort zone.
Looking at history, many of the most revered and innovative characters were risk takers who challenged the status quo, and broke with convention. The decision to act or not depends on the individual’s level of risk tolerance, a review of the costs and benefits, and other factors.
Therefore, you must develop some comfort level with risk, and develop a robust and thorough system of evaluating, and dealing with, the potential risks involved in your strategic plans.
I’ve personally benefitted from people who are willing to take calculated risks. At 27 years old, I was offered the role of Campaign Manager for a statewide election in Missouri with ZERO prior experience.
My boss took a huge risk in appointing me to the role, and I took a risk as well, betting on myself that I could deliver. Both my boss and I made informed, calculated decisions that contained numerous risks.
That risk paid off for us both as we were victorious.
There will be doubters and nay-sayers along the way when you challenge the status quo and the conventional way of thinking, but the ones who are crazy enough to believe they can change the world usually do.
So, the next time an opportunity presents itself, I encourage you to take that calculated risk, bet on yourself, and step into the unknown.
What should our readers know about your business?
I am currently in the process of launching my second business – Ascent Yoga, coming to Houston in summer 2022.
This will be a companion business to Ascent Consultants, which provides executive coaching and business advisory services.
Together, the Ascent companies are focused on maximizing individual and organizational performance and well-being.
Through coaching, yoga, and mindfulness, we help equip leaders with the tools they need to create and sustain environments that produce high performance and well-being, and support their companies and employees.
Our job at Ascent is making the job of leadership easier, and simpler.
This evolutionary process wasn’t simple or easy. I could have stayed in a comfortable corporate job, but that would have required me to sacrifice my passion. So, I decided (again) to bet on myself; I took the risk and got to work.
That is the key. Set your goal, make your plan, and then get to work. The feedback generated by action is more valuable than endless planning.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Buffalo Bayou Museum of Fine Art Houston
Live music on the lawn at White Oak music hall
Taco trucks & steak houses
Astros / Dynamo game
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My shoutout is dedicated to my Mom and Dad.
They never let me settle, always push me to do my best, and taught me to take ownership of my actions.
That foundation has served me very well in my career.