We had the good fortune of connecting with Ed Latimore and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ed, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
I believe that my ability to embrace risk, more than anything else, has helped me build the life I have. The more guaranteed the outcome, the less valuable it is. This is not just a subjective feeling, but an objective fact. Whether the obstacle be time needed, skill required, or competition from others, overcoming big obstacles tends to come with bigger rewards. If you understand this, then you understand why it’s so important to take risks in an effort to get ahead in life. Of course, most people are relatively risk averse. It’s hard enough for people to imagine the future under normal circumstances, but to get them to see what’s possible if they step out of the comfort zone and risk humiliation is basically impossible for many people. I’m convinced that more than intelligence, the willingness to take risks is a major predictor of someone’s success. So what exactly is risk and why is it so important to success? Risk is nothing more than exposure to the possibility of harm. The harm you expose yourself to doesn’t need to be a great amount of harm, but there has to be a possibility that you will feel worse than you did before. Take note that I said “feel” worse rather than actually “be” worse.” Now many times, the risk is real, dangerous, and something to avoided; but most of the things that we feel are risky are only given that valuation because of the discomfort it causes. That temporary loss of the familiar is more bark than bite. Not only that, but even if you don’t succeed, there tends to be an improvement that would have otherwise not happened. So, you have to take risks to get better. You can’t just hope things will get better. Boxing set me up for so much in my life, but just getting in the ring is a huge risk. All of the time I invest in myself could not result in progress. Or worse, I could have seriously injured myself and legitimately come out of the sport in a worse position than had I entered. I continued along with the sport, regardless of the risks. Even though the odds of me becoming a champion in boxing are extremely low, I knew the benefits of training and networking within the sport were enough to take those risks. Even outside of something as potentially destructive as boxing, there are still risks I had to take. There was going on a date with my now fiance, enlisting in the military, enrolling in school, working on my website, and even getting sober. We don’t typically think of those last few things as risks, but remember what risk actually is: exposure to a situation that has the potential to make us feel worse off than we currently are. If my education, writing, or schooling doesn’t produce anything valuable, I’ll have wasted valuable time and money. Fortunately, this wasn’t the case. However, if it had been the case, then it’s still not really a loss. I’ve learned to see that just because I don’t get what I set out for doesn’t automatically make it a loss. On the flip side, getting what you want is not always a win. The latter condition is especially true when it comes to staying in your comfort zone to avoid pain. You may avoid temporary discomfort, but in the process you condemn yourself to long term suffering. This is ultimately what taking risk is all about and what it’s meant to me. Taking these risks is the only way I could have gotten anywhere close to where I am in my life.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I got to where I am by simply offering what I’ve overcome and experienced. I’ve been fortunate enough to live a life that has been well documented and full of some interesting challenges. What I try to do is take those challenges and teach the lessons that I’ve learned from them so that other people may benefit from my experience. In this way, I’m just in the business of serving my fellow humans. If everyone took my approach, then the world would be a much better place.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Well I’m from Pittsburgh and I think the beauty of this area is the numerous parks that are within the city limits. We’d visit Schenley Park, Highland Park, Frick Park, South Park, North Park, and Settlers Ridge. I think these are the major parks in the area, but I could be missing some. I’m fond of driving to these areas and taking walks to clear my mind. As for places to eat, I’m not a big fan of the food that this area is known for (a caloric monstrosity known as a “Primanti Brothers Sandwich), but there are tons of good things to eat and after all of that walking, we are bound to have a massive appetite.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I’m incredibly indebted to my boxing coach, Tom Yankello and his wife Tina Yankello. Aside from just developing my skills in the boxing ring, Tom’s guidance helped me to develop myself into a more disciplined version of myself. Then, when I lost my first professional fight and needed to find work, Tina helped get me connected with a local high school so that I could tutor high schoolers in math and science. If it wasn’t for the intangible skills that I developed boxing and tutoring, I know that I would not be where I am today.