How will you identify your success in risk-taking

Article + podcast combo.Scroll to read Listen below Listen on iTunesLets talk about risk taking. But before we move on, lets get one thing out of the way: if youre reading this (

How will you identify your success in risk-taking
risk_taker

Article + podcast combo.Scroll to read  Listen below  Listen on iTunes


Lets talk about risk taking. But before we move on, lets get one thing out of the way: if youre reading this (or listening to the podcast)its likely you want to become more of a risk taker in life. Im sure, of course, you dont want to start taking risks for no good reason; but because theres a gap between where you are NOW and where you WANT to be.

Right about now, you might be thinking, No shit, sherlock, thats what Im here for. But some of us still arent quit sure if becoming a risk taker is as fruitful as all the cheesy self-help gurus tell us in their pump-up-speeches So lets be upfront about it: Becoming a risk taker isnt for everyone. If youre unsure about whether upping your risk-taking game is the right move for you, then you may want to move on to something else. Because persuading you to become a risk-taker is not the purpose of this article/episode. Instead, this piece is for you if youve already made up your mindyou currently believe you need to become more of a risk takerif you want to achieve a higher level of success in life.

The purpose of this piece, then, is to show youor maybe remind youwhat it takes to become a successful risk taker, touching on all aspects of life, but mainly focusing within the context of building a successful career/business doing meaningful work. But regardless of who you are, where youre at, or what you do, youll be able to translate these ideas on risk taking and apply them in your own life. So, lets dive in, shall we?


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EP109: 7 SECRETS TO SUCCEEDING AS A RISK TAKER  LISTEN ON ITUNES


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Risk taker tip 1: Be ridiculously irrational.

When I quit my cozy corporate gig to start doing what I love for a livingwhich is to inspire greatness in people everywhereI took a major, major risk. For example, when I started FlashBooks I barely had enough in the bank to support my lifestyle for more than 3 months!

Back then, I barely had enough space in my apartment to work from home. So what did I do? I invested a chunk of my resources on a quality MacBook Pro. Then I converted my kitchen into an office-spaceslashstudio to record audiobook summaries and podcast episodes in.

On top of all that, quitting my job to chase my calling also meant I had to:

  • get a new car (since the one I hadcompany carwasnt really mine in the first place)
  • begin generating enough revenue to support myself before I started seeing too many holes in my (already tiny) 3-month safety net to keep going. And last but certainly not least, I knew Id have to
  • bust my ass harder than I ever had beforeno matter whatall while making smart decisions about what to focus on (money-making opportunities) and what to ignore.

This is stressful stuff were talking about here. No living, breathing human being of average intelligence would do something like this if they were thinking rationally. In fact, studies show that the smarter you are, the more risk-adverse you are. Why? Because rational thinking helps you determine how worthwhile and meaningful a new undertaking (aka: risk) will or will not be. So, if you were thinking rationally about risk taking, you might say:

Im already making $XYZ per year. Sure, I dont love my job, but Ive got some heavy bills to pay
What if I dont succeed? What if I fail? What if I screw up and make a fool of myself? What will people think?
Maybe starting that business isnt a good idea after all.

And on and on and on Now all the rational, perfectly justified reasons not to become a risk taker start flowing into your periphery and begin clouding your judgement; crushing your dreams for a better future, like Donald Trumps presidential campaign. Before you know it, youve convinced yourself that its a bad idea to take that risk. That its better to stay safeto stay rational.

But being ridiculously irrational is a different story.

Being ridiculously irrational is not about thinking positive and refusing to acknowledge the realities of a given situation. Being ridiculously irrational is about being irrationally optimistic about the future. Its about developing a vision and using that vision to help you muster up thecourage/energy/intensitywhatever it takes, to persist until you succeed.

But why go on when you keep falling down? Because

Risk taker tip 2: A successful risk taker is a short term pessimist and a long-term optimist.

I remember when it was really getting down to the wire for me. When I was trying to figure out a way to sustain my dreams and do meaningful work. I remember how I kept on trying idea after idea, getting super-excited about each of them, only to watch them fail, one right after the other. It seemed like nothing would work.

But for some reason, I knew it would work out. I knew it in my core. Not only did I know Id be okay, I knew Id be insanely successful. It would just take a little more time. How much more time? I didnt know. And you wont either. But what you do need to know is this:

Most of the stuff you trymost of the risks you takewill not work. And thats okay. Because what doesnt work today, will lead you towards what works insanely well tomorrow. Click-to-Tweet

For me, it wasnt about what didnt work yesterday, or whats not working today. It was about what would work tomorrow. Its always been that way for me, and I cant point to one specific turning point that made me shift my mindset towards this direction. But I know it works. Become a short term pessimist and a long term optimist. Itll pay off. Trust me.

Risk taker tip 3: dont listen to dream killers.

I remember every one around me kept telling me to stop trying and just get a regular job like everyone else. I remember telling them to fuck off.

Id made a promise to myself that I would never allow myself to become enslaved by any person or company in exchange for a paycheck ever again. Id much rather serve people in a meaningful way, doing something that matters to me.

You can do the same thing. Dont let dream killers prevent you from achieving your goals. You have greatness within you. And YOU are responsible for sharing that greatness with the world. Dont let dream killers crush your inspiration. Distance yourself from them. And if your dream killers are people you happen to love and care for, make the intention of coming back to help them out once youre strong enough to do so. Right now though, you need to be focused on surrounding yourself with inspiring and encouraging people and things. Things like the following little nugget of wisdom written by the famous playwright, Neil Simon:

Dont listen to those who say you taking too big a chance. Michelangelo would have painted the Sistine floor, and it would surely be rubbed out by today. Most important, dont listen when the little voice of fear inside you rears its ugly head and says they all smarter than you out there. Theyre more talented, theyre taller, blonder, prettier, luckier, and they have connections. I firmly believe that if you follow a path that interests you, not to the exclusion of love, sensitivity, and cooperation with others, but with the strength of conviction that you can move others by your own effortsand do not make success or failure the criteria by which you livethe chances are youll be a person worthy of your own respects.

A person worthy of your own respects.

Love that.

Risk taker tip 4: Your success will be in direct proportion to the risk theyre willing to take.

When you walk up to the insanely attractive girl/guy at the mall and say helloyoure taking a major, major risk. But what if s/hes the one?

When you decide to walk into the gym and start working outregardless of how fat or flimsy you look compared to everyone elseyoure taking a major, major risk. But what about all the energy, vitality, and physical changes youll get to enjoy with your new gym habit?

When you decide to quit your job and take that risky-but-promising leap of faithyoure taking a major, major risk. But what about the lifestyle that comes with doing work you actually find fulfilling?

The amount of success you experience will expandor shrinkin direct proportion to the amount of risk youre willing to take.

Ive literally 10Xd my I come since I quit my job and started my own business. And thats just the financial benefit Ive experienced as a result of making a risky career move When I stop to consider all the other benefitsthe emotional, social, and spiritual impact that doing work I love has had on my lifeI totally understand that the risk was well worth it. Looking back now, it was almost a no-brainer.

Oh, and by the way: Im not saying any of this to impress you, but to impress upon you that our success expands to the degree of risk were willing to take

80% of the time, the more youre willing to put on the line, the more youre potentially going to receive in return. And that goes both waysnegative and positive. One more time, just for good measure: The amount of success you experience will expandor shrinkin proportion to amount of risk youre willing to take.

Risk taker tip 5: Become successful by developing a growth mindset

Successful risk takers understand the obvious notion that big time risk-taking has its upsides and downsides. And the downsideslike making mistakes or failing at thingscan really suck sometimes. But heres what separates the people that prosper from the people that perish:

MINDSET

Folks that succeed over and over again, have whats called a Growth Mindset. People that seem to keep getting stuck in lifeusually because theyre holding themselves backhave whats called a Fixed Mindset.

Whats a Fixed Mindset? As Carol Dweck puts it in her (super awesome and mind-expanding) book, Mindset:

Believing that your qualities are carved in stonethe fixed mindsetcreates an urgency to prove yourself over and over.
When you enter a mindset, you enter a new world. In one worldthe world of fixed traitssuccess is about proving youre smart or talented. Validating yourself. In the otherthe world of changing qualitiesits about stretching yourself to learn something new. Developing yourself.

Lets talk a little more about the latter

Whats a Growth Mindset? Heres how Dweck explains it:

This growth mindset is based on the belief that your basic qualities are things you can cultivate through your efforts. Although people may differ in every which wayin their initial talents and aptitudes, interests, or temperamentseveryone can change and grow through application and experience.

Want to boost your chances of success in business? In achieving your goals? In pretty much every area of your life? Develop a growth mindset.

Risk taker tip 6: Learn from making mistakes, rather than letting mistakes make you.

Making mistakes doesnt feel good. But that doesnt mean you should let your mistakes make you.

Do not ever label yourself a failure. Just because you fail at something, doesnt mean youre a failure. Always remember: failure is an eventits not a person. Learn from your mistakes, and make informed decisions as a result of having experienced them.

Risk taker tip 7: Learn to deal with your fear of failure.

The idea of trying really, really hard at something, and still failingof leaving yourself without excusesis one of the worst fear-driven ways of thinking around.

Nothing will paralyze you faster than the fear of putting forth your best effortand still knowing that you might not succeed

So what do most of us do instead? We only try a little bit. This way, in case we experience failure, we can say, I wasnt trying that hard anyway.

This is a bullshit excuse.

Why would you even take the time to do something if youre not going to do it to the best of your ability?

Effort can be insanely terrifying because it robs you of all your excuses. Without effort, you can always say, I couldve been this [fill in the blank] or I couldve been that [again, fill in the blank]. But once you tryreally and truly tryyou can say that anymore.

Weve all heard the nostalgic man suffering from a mid-life crisis, talking about his high school football days, and how he coulda been pro if only he hadnt [insert excuse here]  You remember uncle Rico from Napoleon Dynamite right?Dont be that guy.

An honest failure is better than never trying at all. Go all-out. Fail. Learn. Rinse and then repeat. Do this enough times and youll succeed. Promise.

A final word: Begin before youre prepared.

Dont be a bitch. Be like a bull, and charge ahead instead. Begin before youre prepared.

Good things happen when we begin before were prepared. One of those things is this: we begin erecting our own building of courage We build up a foundation for that building by taking courageous action. Every act of courage is like a brick. And every brick we lay builds a stronger foundation for our very own building of courage. The more we lay, the more courageous we get. Courage begets courage.

W. H. Murray said:

Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in ones favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. I have learned a deep respect for one of Goethes couplets: Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now.

Be bold like a bull. Charge ahead with courage. If you do it consciously, things will seriously start taking shape in your personal life and your professional life.


Notes

SELECTED LINKS + RESOURCES:

Topics Covered:

  • Risk Taking
  • Becoming a Successful Risk Taker
  • Meaningful work
  • Fear of Failure
  • Who to take advice from (and who NOT to take advice from)
  • Success
  • GoalsBooks Mentioned:
  • Mindset by Carol Dweck

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