What is risk and when should you take one?
A listener writes – “I now have the safety of a steady paycheck but it’s not enough to support my family comfortably. Instead of treading water, I’m now in a lifeboat. But I want to get to a cruise ship.” How do you make the decision to leave the good to find the great?
Episode #876 March 17, 2023
Hi this is Dan Miller – and yes you’re listening to the 48 Days Radio show – where each week we take 48 minutes to dive into real life questions about finding your passion, deciding what kind of life you want to live – and then finding or creating work that allows you to show up every day, excited to be able to do something that is meaningful, fulfilling – and profitable. This is where normal, indecision and ambiguity come to die. Welcome to the 48 Days Radio Show.
Thank you for being a listener of this podcast. I love hearing from you and being allowed to think through the questions we all have about finding or creating work that matters, for people who care.
Dan, I would like to hear more of your thoughts on failure. Specifically, what does a successful failure look like? How much should we risk in pursuit of our dreams?
I really do believe there are successful failures in business.
We talked about this big question in Keller, TX, at our Innovate Experience Event. Is it possible to get to a better opportunity without some risk of failing?
I don’t believe there is such a thing as having an opportunity without risk.
Now risk doesn’t concern me. It often excites me.
Risk has a lot of different scales. I believe you should go for the kind of risk that allows you to fail without destroying your life.
Let’s look at a couple of examples:
Which is riskier, having a job or having a little venture of your own? If you have a job, you have one customer. If that one customer decides they don’t want to do business with you anymore, you have nothing. But if you have your own little venture and multiple customers, you have a lot of insurance if one or even a few decide they don’t want to do business with you anymore.
Is it riskier to follow your dream or to keep things the same as they are right now? Just recognize the trade-off.
You can also put your marriage, health, and well-being at risk of failure.
I recommend you take responsibility for where you are, whether good or bad. Realize that you’re never really failing, you’re just learning. If you’re never failing, you’re probably not doing anything extraordinary. It’s easy to avoid failing if you want to keep things the way they are.
I talk about the importance of working in Your Zone of Genius. If you’re always working in your Zone of Competence, you’re going to succeed 90% of the time. If you move up into your Zone of Genius, you’re likely to decrease your success rate to 50 or 50% of the time, but that allows you the opportunity for extraordinary, astounding success.
I use a Venn Diagram that allows 7 distinct areas for income generation. Then if one of those areas fails, it doesn’t take down my entire business.
I want to leave my great job but my wife doesn’t support me in doing something on my own.
You have the traditional golden handcuffs here. I am confident you can get another job.
The irony here is that your heart probably isn’t in finding another job.
I recommend you keep your current job. Don’t rock the boat if it’s a good salary and benefits. Then start something on your own using our 15-hours-a-week model. Start bringing in some extra money. Get to where you’re bringing in 50% of your current salary and watch your wife change her mind about supporting you doing something on your own.
I always seem to think that others can achieve their dreams but I can’t.
This is where you look inward and know your own skills and abilities, personality traits and values, dreams and passions. 85% of the process is to look inward first. Then you look at a business that suits you and what you know about yourself.
While I now have the safety of a steady paycheck, it’s not enough to support my family comfortably.
Again, there is that necessary tension between safety and opportunity. Why would you risk the safety and steadiness of a paycheck to go after something better?
If you understand yourself and where your Zone of Genius is you can step out into something with extraordinary success.
All of my success has never had a guarantee.
My experience is that aiming for average does lessen disappointment.
There are a whole lot of people who didn’t do well in college that are astounding successes. The average GPA of millionaires is 2.7.
Remember that you’re describing success in just this one area, academia.
Check out The Millionaire Next Door for many stories of millionaires who found their niche and it didn’t have anything to do with their success in college.
See risk as your friend. See risk as the door, and on the other side of the door is opportunity. Grab that door handle. What’s the worst thing that can happen?
Don’t risk everything that you’ve got. But risk in those areas that aren’t going to harm you greatly anyway.
Quotation:“Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt.” William ShakespeareClick To Tweet
We had a great time at our Innovate Experience Event in Keller, TX. We have another one coming up in April in Franklin, TN, and an expanded event in August in Sarasota, FL, which is where we are going to be having a Shark Tank like contest we’re calling Will It Fly.
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