We had the good fortune of connecting with Andy Sovick and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Andy, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
Measured risk taking is the keystone to my personal and business life. As a passionate backcountry skier, climber, boater, and hunter, I find myself constantly calculating risk. In my entrepreneurial life, I’ve found that I perform better, and move through my day with more passion when the stakes are high. The way I see it: Likelihood X Consequence = Risk. When I’m assessing a situation, whether it is skiing in avalanche terrain, or investing in a new work project, I ask: what is the likelihood that the worst case scenario will occur? Then I ask: what are the consequences and results of that worst case scenario? Sometimes the answer is simple and long lasting, other times the answer is more murky and constantly changing. I believe that if we practice and exercise this mindset of risk calculation, it can help our decision making in all facets of life; from car driving, to navigating a pandemic, to raising our children.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I learned carpentry and craftsmanship at an early age. The pinnacle of my carpentry career (so far) was building traditional timber frames, timber roof structures and decorative elements. I absolutely loved marriage of function and aesthetics. Today, that partnership of beauty and function is a cornerstone of my publishing company’s brand. My team and I work tirelessly to create high level decision-making tools that solve problems. But we don’t publish or sell them until they are gorgeous pieces of art. Has it been easy? In some ways, yes. I have been able to create a successful company, doing something I love. Stagnating in a 9-5 job I dislike would, by contrast, be very hard. But creating a company from scratch is far from easy or simple. Like any proper adventure, there are severe low points that have nearly broken me along the way. But those low points only make the summits and landmarks that much sweeter.
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.
Gunnison County is all about the outdoors. I’d take my friend on a rafting/fishing trip down the Gunnison River, camp for a night or two at Hartman Rocks, and go to a concert at the I-Bar Ranch.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I’ll dedicate my shoutout to my wife who listens to my crazy ideas, offers raw criticism, and ultimately supports and makes better the ideas that rise to the top. In my business, I am certainly standing on the shoulders of giants. I take so much from the history and conversation that has brought the snow and avalanche industry to where it is. Authors and thinkers: Bruce Tremper, Lou Dawson, and Dolores LaChapelle had a profound influence on me. And quite sincerely, I would be nothing without the support, advice and encouragement from so many friends and family. I strive to help them and “pay it forward” on a daily basis. As my son reminds me often: “We’re at our best when we are helping others.”
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