Risky Business – A Member Poll

Apr 25, 2017

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”

– Anais Nin

We took a poll to learn just how willing or unwilling our members were to take risks in their personal and professional life. With such a diverse group, we got some great insight on what one would consider risky versus just ‘another day in the office.’ Whether it be filing for divorce, going back to school, taking a year off to spend with your family, or redesigning a program at work, WiC members aren’t afraid to take risks in order to grow.

What kind of risks have you taking for your profession, and what lesson did you learn from that experience?

“After 10 months, I quit a job that simply wasn’t a good fit.  I only gave 1 day notice, and didn’t have another job lined up.  No regrets!  9 months later, I landed a job I love and recently celebrated my 4 year anniversary.”

-Holly Downs, Sr. Channel Marketing Manager, Polycom

“Switching careers from software engineering at Lucent to product management in AT&T and drinking from a hose to learn the ropes. I’m glad I took the risk of a new career path.”

-Joti Balani, Head of Product, Cross River Fiber

“I took a risk and moved to a sales role. I should have done it sooner! So far I have excelled in the role, learned a lot, and made more money. The takeaway from my experience – take more risks!”

-Katie Krzywicki, Account Director, Global Enterprise and Services, Telstra


Has anyone taken a risk with you professionally, what happened, have you thanked them?

“My coach gives me complete control of my projects and schedules, risky for him, but I over deliver and make him look great. I thank him by telling him I love what I am doing. I should thank him.”

-Penny Honea, Director, Global Sales Enablement, ScanSource

“After ignoring a large customer for years due to health issues, I met with them and told them my story and asked for a second chance. They gave it to me and are still with me today.”

-Chris Wilson, CEO, Datatel Direct


Have you ever taken a professional risk and failed, what happened?

“I took on a potentially risky project with a large partner. My manager did not have my back and did not support me when things got tough. I took the fall, and I learned it’s a good idea to have executive management buy-in so that they share the responsibility. At the same time, I would do it all again.”

-Dede Haas, Channel Sales Strategist & Practitioner, DLH Services

“Nothing’s guaranteed, no matter the research, but you gotta try sometimes. ”

-Susan Eakle, Sr. Partner Development Manager, Telarus

“I committed funding to a new program by one of our Distributors.  It was related to HIPPA which was relatively new at the time. The lesson here is that I allowed the Distributor’s enthusiasm about the program get the best of me.  I should have listened to my gut.  I’m also no longer an ‘early adopter’ of Marketing programs.”

-Holly Downs, Sr. Channel Marketing Manager, Polycom