Taking Risks in Life and in Business
When I worked actively in real estate over a twenty year span during the eighties and nineties I developed a reputation for being a risk taker. Always one to have a positive outlook on life, it was not unusual for me to purchase the ugliest and most run down house in the neighborhood, or the smallest, non-conforming property in a questionable neighborhood. I believed that I could overcome the shortcomings of the property or the location by making up for them in other ways.
These strategies proved quite lucrative to me over the years. It also made me a popular speaker within my group of real estate friends who wanted to do something similar but considered themselves to be much more risk-averse. They were reluctant to take on projects that were not “sure things” for fear of losing some, if not all of their initial investment. That gave me access to even more of these deals, as my friends were more than happy to pass on the information to me and then watch to see what happened. Even back then, I had the confidence to move forward with opportunities others, much more experienced than myself would pass up.
This is not to say that I didn’t lose some money at times, but overall I was always on top and loving every minute of the process.
When I decided to resign from the classroom in 2005 and come online as an entrepreneur, the risks were similar. I would be leaving behind my guaranteed salary as a teacher and venturing into the unknown on the Internet. Yet somehow I was not fearful, as this situation seemed to me to be very similar to what I had done in real estate for more than two decades.
As you read this you are more than likely making judgments and coming to your own conclusions regarding your ability and willingness to take risks in life and business. That is perfectly natural and something you must experience internally before you take action. And there are many things to consider before doing so as well.
Often I will say that when I made the conscious decision to leave my job and also give away my real estate clients I was more confident because I no longer had children living at home. I also knew that I was someone who had always been willing to do whatever it took to make sure a situation would work out favorable for me. These two factors made my decision much easier, and I would make it in exactly the same way in the future.
You must decide for yourself how much risk you can afford to take in your life and business. If you’re considering the life of an entrepreneur, be willing to ask yourself some hard questions and answer them honestly regarding taking risks.
- Who are you financially responsible for at this time?
- Do you have a history of sticking with something over time?
- Have you done any research into the area you would like to be a part of?
- Are your immediate family members supportive of you?
- What steps must you take right away to get this into motion?
There is an excellent article from Julie Zeilinger on “7 Reasons Why Risk-Taking Leads to Success” I would also recommending reading. Being willing and able to include taking risks in your life experience is a choice only you can make. Doing so from a place of personal reflection will make it all worthwhile and with a much better outcome. Once you begin betting on yourself, that’s when things will really start happening for you in a big way.