Why Now Is the Best Time to Take a Risk
One of my closest friends from college recently had her first child. She’s an incredibly driven and hard-working chemical engineer who flies to foreign countries to oversee important projects. However, after spending eight amazing months off with her baby, returning to work wasn’t exactly thrilling. She recently told me that she would love to quit her job and open up a barre studio. Never one to shy away from pursuing a dream, even if it’s a risk, I encouraged her to do it. “I’ve never taken a risk in my whole life,” she said, “so why would I take one now when I have a baby daughter?” Because there’s no time like the present! Sometimes taking a risk is exactly what you need to reach your full potential. Contemplating a solo trip to Thailand? Ready to launch your own consulting business? Want to produce and star in your own cooking show? If you’re thinking about taking a risk, now is the best time to do it. Here’s why.
You’re only getting older, and with age comes more responsibilities—husbands and wives, children, mortgages, sick parents, etc. The more responsibilities one has, the easier it is to make excuses not to take that risk. However, if you’ve been thinking (and talking) about traveling the world for the past four years, you’re not going to stop wanting to do it, so you might as well just do it. If you don’t, you’ll end up regretting not pursuing your dream. Plus, every hour you spend wondering if you should quit your job, rent out your apartment, and spend a year traveling the world is an hour that you could be spending on the beach in Bali.
With only 24 hours in the day, there is never enough time for anyone to get everything they need to finish done. The same can be said for the perfect time to take a risk. If you’re dying to remodel and sell your house but think, I’ll do it in a few months when I’m less busy and the holiday season is over, how can you ensure that you will be less busy in a few months? What if you are actually busier in a few months? Then you’ll push out the remodel for another few months, and before you know it, you’ve been living in the house that you wanted to remodel and sell for five years! The time will never be just right to get pregnant or open a restaurant. If you’re ready and want to take the risk, do it!
If you’ve wanted to start an interior design blog but can’t imagine quitting your cushy tech ad sales job, don’t risk it all at once. Start the blog in your free time and stage photo shoots on the weekends. If it becomes lucrative and begins to require a full-time commitment, then you can quit your job. You don’t have to risk losing everything at once. Make a plan, be smart about it, and then dive into the risky deep end.
Your current position not rewarding? If you’re working in a job that makes you feel miserable but leaving it is a risk, you’ve got to take a leap of faith. Working as a public relations assistant during the day but spending your nights making scrumptious baked goods for your friends and co-workers? Quit your PR job and open up a bakery. Staying at a dead-end occupation with no chance of advancement at the company is not going to get you anywhere. Begin your job search now or figure out what you have to do to turn your skill set into a personal business.
We’re at an age where technology is on our side. There are hundreds of tools that aid business owners with management, accounting, website creation, email, software design, and more. Use modern technology to your advantage. Eager to try wedding planning but don’t have the cash to build a team to support you? Outsource some of your duties, like delivery of invitation samples, to TaskRabbit.
It’s cliché, but you won’t ever succeed if you don’t try. You may fail along the way, but it’s better to fail trying than to never try at all. Let me refer to an Ellen DeGeneres quote on the subject: “When you take risks, you learn that there will be times when you succeed and there will be times when you fail, and both are equally important.” It took Thomas Edison 10,000 attempts before he created the lightbulb. Dyson tried to make a bagless vacuum cleaner 5126 times before getting it right. Even if your idea for an app doesn’t come to fruition, you’ll have the experience and knowledge to know how to build a better and more successful app in the future.
Does taking a risk make you a better person? It depends on the risk. Does taking a risk make you a stronger person? Yes, it will absolutely make you stronger. According to Riskology, a website geared toward helping introverts become stronger leaders, “There’s real science and psychology behind taking smart risks, and it can explain just how living adventurously makes you smarter, stronger, and even more attractive.” So go ahead and take that adventure!
Everyone gets a fresh start in January. It’s a new year and the perfect time to create a new reality for yourself. Start writing that book already!
Instead of thinking What’s the worst that could happen?, think What’s the best that could happen? People are naturally inclined to overestimate the probability of something going wrong. “When assessing risk, potential losses tend to loom larger than potential gains. That is, we tend to focus more on what might go wrong—what we might lose or sacrifice—than what might go right,” explains Margie Warrell in a Forbes article titled “Take a Risk: The Odds Are Better Than You Think.” If you start thinking about all the great things that could happen when you open up your barre studio—you could become a fitness guru like Tracy Anderson and have a huge successful exercise empire!—you’ll be more inclined to take that risk.
Want to open your own yoga, barre, or Pilates studio? Shop chic items that will make you look the part of studio owner below.
Have you taken a risk that paid off? Tell us about it below.