Taking Risks

I am currently “enrolled” in a 7 week summer school program (self-designed and -guided!) on entrepreneurship and financial freedom/wealth building. On week 3 now. The article “Intelligent Risk Taking” by Steve Pavlina is on the syllabus for today’s session.

In reading it, I reflected that for some people, what I am doing by making and taking this course could actually be considered risky: It is a risk of wasting valuable leisure time (12+ hours/week after work), of potentially having nothing but knowledge to show after it, of starting a big project and then not following through.

Of course those are not very daunting risks laid out that way, but for many people these “risks” would be enough to stop them from ever exploring what it would take to transition from employee to entrepreneur. I am not planning to trade my hours for pay at a job the rest of my life; this course is my way of moving forward to the life I want to live as a successful entrepreneur instead.

Like Steve emphasizes in the article, my mind is set on long term, 10+ years down the road and the huge upside that planting seeds now can have. Through these weeks of study, I am essentially building the appropriate psychological framework required to eventually create my own business. It is not the end game; it is level 1 in the game and foundational. I am gathering the pieces necessary to form the picture of what I want to see in my reality. Worth the risk. (And it has the added bonus of being so much fun!!!!!! :D)

As a further meditation on risk, jumping out of a plane like I did last Saturday is considered incredibly risky by many, with the potential of death if there were an equipment malfunction during the dive. To me, though, it was an intelligent risk. The down side, although dramatic (worst case scenario: something goes wrong and I die), is statistically highly unlikely, and on the upside, I did something to permanently paradigm shift my mind into knowing that I can take the proverbial leap and land safely.

After jumping out of a plane, there are a lot of other things in life that seem like no big deal in comparison. Making that trust fall was part of a bigger movement I am making in my life, and served as an outward expression of the inner commitment I have made to taking on what many people are afraid to do: build my own life to order, live bravely and with a sense of adventure, go out on a limb, do what most consider crazy by leaping out of the “comfort” of the deferred life plan of work, save, retire at 65… or simply work, stay broke, and pray people will take care of you later!

Employment and financial struggle are not the only life-work experiences available. I’ve been in it for most of my 30 years, but the next 30 are going to be quite different.

“Find an intelligent risk you can take today. Most likely it won’t pan out. But what if it does? Celebrate either way because no matter what the outcome, you’ll gain courage just by making the attempt.”

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