NOT taking risks IS risky…
People are often afraid to take risks and go after what they really want. They keep waiting for the right time or the right opportunity. However, perfect timing doesn’t exist.
You’ll never feel 100% ready to write a book, create a side business or ask that man or woman out. And if you wait for the perfect time, you’ll likely wait for the rest of your life.
You may believe that playing it safe is the way to go. However, I would like to offer you another perspective. I would argue that everything in life is risky including not taking risks. Yes, not taking any risk also comes at a high cost.
This cost can be:
- The unhappiness resulting from staying at a job you hate for years or decades
- The lack of self-esteem coming from selling yourself short and not going after what you want
- The regrets of not having lived your life to the fullest wondering who you could have become
That’s why I like to say that not taking risks is risky.
Most people, by not taking enough calculated risks are dramatically reducing their chances of living the life they want. For instance:
- They refuse to invest their money because it’s too risky. What if I lose all my money? What if I get scammed? Again, we’re talking about calculated risks here. There are many ways to mitigate your risks and make sure you don’t lose your money but grow it long-term.
- They refrain from investing in courses, books or seminars because it’s too expensive. What if I buy a course and it doesn’t work for me? What if it’s a scam? There are many things you can do to avoid being scammed. That’s also unrealistic to expect that all the courses, books or seminars you invest in will bring you the results you want. Some will, others won’t.
- They don’t try anything new because they might fail. Successful people tend to fail far more than the average person. They understand failure is part of the process we call “success” and keep trying and improving until they find something that works. Often, their original idea doesn’t work, but they end up finding another one that works (and that might be even better). There is no success without failures.
Now, I’m not saying you should quit your job tomorrow or do anything silly that would put your life in jeopardy.
But I would encourage you to take calculated risks and to think in term of probabilities NOT certainties.
You see, many people want guarantees before starting anything. They say things like:
- Can you guarantee me that I won’t lose money with this investment?
- Can you guarantee me that this product will work for me?
- Can you guarantee me that this coaching program will bring me the results I’m after?
The truth is that there is no guarantee in life. But it is your responsibility to try things out until you achieve the results you want. It is your responsibility to maximize your chances of success by taking calculated risks.
Now, I want to share with you 4 things to help you take calculated risks:
1. Calculate probabilities.
Taking calculated risks means that you understand the risks and are willing to take them. While your chances of success might be slim, you may be fine with that. Just make sure you always know what you’re getting yourself into. You cannot take calculated risks unless you understand the risks involved.
2. Assess your risk profile.
How much risk are you willing to take?
For instance, if you’re in your early twenties, losing money from a high risk/high reward investments might be okay, but if you’re about to retire it isn’t. If you’re single, leaving your 9-to-5 job is less risky than if you have a family to take care of.
3. Evaluate pros and cons.
What are the consequences if you don’t take risk? What’s the emotional cost? What are the risks if you do?
For instance, while people thought I was crazy to quit my well-paid job, I didn’t see it that way. For me, staying was risky. The cost to pay was unhappiness and I wasn’t willing to pay that price any longer.
The pros were regaining my sanity and having more freedom. The cons were not having a paid check at the end of the month and having difficulties finding a similar well-paid job in the future (if I were to fail with my business).
4. Mitigate risks.
What can you do to limit the risks?
For instance, rather than leaving your day job tomorrow to create your own business, you can start a side hustle and test your business ideas first.
Personally, the way I mitigate risks was by saving money and starting my business as a side hustle. I had already put a few books out there and had received enough feedback to know I could make it.
Also, I was single and had a strong passion for my venture (and none for my job) so it didn’t feel like a big risk.
Now, was my success guaranteed?
But in my mind, I was over 90% confident I would. Thus, it was a calculated risk NOT a crazy move.
What about you? What calculated risks could you take in your life right now? If you were to die today, what will you regret not having tried?
Remember, not taking any risk is risky. You might not pay the price now, but you will often pay it later.
Life is about managing risk, not avoiding taking any.