the risk-free lifestyle is a myth

“It’s too risky.”

This is something that I often hear from clients and friends when I talk to them growing their businesses or investing their money.

I get it…believe me I do.

But think about it for a second, just what isn’t risky today?

Buying a house 5 years ago was considered as safe as it got…and now there are foreclosures everywhere and house prices have plummeted.

Even more amazing is America, Japan, Europe and many of the leading nations of the world struggling to deal with unemployment, deflation, inflation and other destructive forces.

Heck, just waking up and heading to work is risky.

It’s all risky.

That’s what we need to remember.

Investing is always risky, even if we don’t invest.

Even the so-called “safest” investments (Madoff, Enron, Lehman Brothers) can come crumbling down.

Just the other day a lady commented on my previous post asking how does she know if an idea is good enough to pursue?

The truth is we don’t. Until we try that is.

People make the mistake of thinking an idea is all it takes when in actual fact the idea is just one factor in its success.

The people involved, their commitment to the idea, their attitude towards it, the marketing done for it, and so much more all play a part. Robert Kiyosaki’s B-I triangle (just Google it) is something worth studying for anyone who wants to turn their idea into a business.

There have been fantastic ideas that have never gone anywhere…and other seemingly silly ideas (think pet rocks) that made people fortunes.

An idea is just one piece of the puzzle.

What I do believe is that you’ve got to give it a shot. Nike said it best with their “Just do it.”

While I do encourage people to chase their dreams 110% as I stated in my previous post, I do understand the dangers involved (having experienced failure more a few times) which is why I think people should chase their dreams one step at a time. This is the best 3-step formula I’ve come across:

  1. Work full-time at your job, part-time on your dream (even if it’s just one or two hours a week at first)
  2. Increase time spent on your dream
  3. Once you know you have a winner, quit your job and work full-time on your dream

And even then, it’s still risky…but it’s a manageable risk.

Some people prefer the cold-turkey method: quit their job and hope that everything works out for them.

With no safety net, they’ll have no choice but to succeed. I get the strategy, but to me it’s a little too scary for most people.

The truth of the matter is most people (I have found) just don’t have the willingness to do whatever it takes to achieve their dream. They want it, but they just don’t want it bad enough.

Sleepless nights, working 7 days a week and all sorts of other “good” stuff await many of those people who choose to go cold-turkey. And for many, it’s just too much.

I’ve done it before, and I can honestly say that I have no intention of doing that again.

I learned the lesson – plan ahead.

If you’re going to quit, be sure that you have been 3 to 12 months money set aside to cover you (including any investments needed to pursue your dream). That way you have a buffer zone.

I think the benefits of playing it safe till you know you’ve got a winner is a whole lot easier on our system, even if it means you have to wait a little bit longer.

Risk is a misnomer.

There is no such thing as a sure thing, especially in the business world.

Our health, our attitude, family, friends, rules, taxes, even the weather all play a part and we can only control a very small part of it – ourselves. The rest we just have to roll the dice and play the odds.

The goal is not to make things risk-free, but rather to stack the odds in our favor.

That’s where education comes in. That’s where mentors help. That’s why sites such as this are so valuable.

People like to think that success depends on talent or hard work alone but I believe Jim Rohn said it best when he said, “Income seldom exceeds personal development.”

If you want to become a millionaire, first we must develop the right mindset.

Here’s another quote to think about, Harry Truman said “Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers.”

Education is where it all begins.

But ask any millionaire and they will tell you that even the best fail.

Steve Jobs, Warren Buffet, Thomas Edison, Lebron James…they all understand that each decision they make comes with a certain risk.

Many people today go through life playing it safe, hoping they can avoid risk.

In just the past 7 years alone, I’ve had 3 bike accidents of which none of them I caused and yet I was the one who bore the brunt of the damage. Go figure?!

In business and in life there’s only so much we can do, the rest we just have to hope that things work out.

So the next time you hear someone say they have an investment that’s can’t fail, walk away.

Successful people know that any venture comes with an inherent risk. And the bigger the risk, the bigger the reward.

So don’t avoid risk, embrace it.

Adrian Shepherd

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