After skydiving for charity, Connie Wimer offers women advice about risk-taking
On Sept. 10, Connie Wimer, founder and chairman of Business Publications Corp., the parent company of the Business Record, went skydiving to support Above + Beyond Cancer.
Over the past month, 18 Central Iowa leaders in business, health, philanthropy, government and more tandem parachuted. More than $123,000 has been raised to support programs for cancer survivors, families and caretakers.
Wimer will turn 91 in October. Fearless asked Wimer several questions about risk-taking, ageism and more.
It is critical that women learn how to take risks, Wimer emphasized.
“Every time you take a risk of any kind, you grow stronger and more confident – therefore more comfortable taking the next risk,” she said.
How can women get started taking risks if they’ve never taken risks previously? How do you personally distinguish between a calculated risk and a foolish one?
With risks, we all take small ones all the time but don’t think about it – trying a new food or a new shop or a new haircut. A foolish risk is one that has possible negative consequences and you don’t have any information about it. The ones I mentioned have few negative consequences. I know that there have been very few accidents with skydiving, so I did not feel at all frightened or threatened. Women need to stretch their routines, their jobs, their relationships – maybe make a new investment – and start taking some calculated risks. As I stated, the more you take, the stronger and more confident you become.
Women face age-related discrimination at all ages. You were born in the 1930s. How do you overcome age discrimination?
I don’t know if I ignore it or haven’t faced much age discrimination. I am aware of very little. I actually tell people my age for two reasons – to be a role model, particularly for young and middle-aged women, that life can be fun and happy at any age. The second reason is selfish – most people are quite surprised to learn how old I am and how comfortable I am with my age, and that feels good.
When you were asked to skydive for a charity, you immediately said yes – you didn’t have to give the question a lot of thought. Where does that confidence and assertion come from? How can women “get there,” too?
That confidence comes from taking lots of risks throughout my life and having most of them turn out but also learning from those that did not. Statistically, I think skydiving is relatively safe – maybe safer than driving on the interstate?
You can find more advice about risk-taking and 10 tips for success from Wimer here.