It is all About Risk.
All entrepreneurs, by definition, must engage with risk.
What is your risk tolerance?
Let me ask you a few questions.
Are you doing what you love for a living? If you aren’t already, would you like to?
What would you be willing to do to have the happiness that can come from doing what you love for a living?
Almost all businesses require money to begin. Thus begins our relationship with risk.
How much would you be willing to pay to potentially achieve your dream? How important are dreams to you?
Would you spend $1,000? How about $10,000?
Can you place a value on your career happiness?
We all know we have to spend money to make money.
How about $50,000? If you could make that investment, which would engage you in a process that may lead you to career fulfillment, would it not be worth $50,000? Is it worth more?
Many of us are forced into “survival jobs”, to do work that is not creatively fulfilling and is work we would do in the first place, if we had another viable income.
If you were in such a place, what would it be worth to you to be able to leave that world behind and make a living from your creativity?
Would you be willing to risk your lifestyle?
What about small, simple changes?
If you like to eat out, would you be willing to sacrifice that part of your life? Would you be willing to eat in for almost all of your meals? Get into a new habit?
Would you be willing to not engage in any impulse purchases?
Would you be willing to simplify almost all aspects of your life, to decrease your risk in pursuing your dream? Simple adjustments can have profound effects.
Almost all people feel a drive and need to work, to create, and do something productive. A lot of people feel very empowered and…dare I say…*happy* when they are doing the work they love. Then work is less work and more a joy.
If you had to sacrifice your lifestyle and what you spend money on for three years or longer, in order to achieve potential long term financial and career success, would you be willing to do that? Are you dreams worth 3 years for a potential long term gain?
Here is the real crux…What if you invest all of that time, money and energy and do not succeed as you desire? What if you don’t fulfill your dream? That is a risk, too.
But what if you achieve it? What if you win? What if you get what you want?
Risking and sacrificing are, in some ways, like quitting smoking. For those who have smoked, you will know what I am talking about.
Those addicted to smoking, when they quit, will likely experience the following:
• Your mind will play tricks on you, convincing you of why you REALLY NEED to smoke, why it is actually good for you.
• You will profusely sweat and loose significant sleep
• Your mind will fixate on cigarettes for nearly every thought of your day. One thought after another…hour after hour.
• But, what one often finds too, is a feeling of empowerment.
These experiences are trying, exhausting and difficult to navigate.
For many ex smokers, 2 weeks was the magical point of gaining strength. If one can make it to the 2-week mark, without succumbing to withdrawal and all the temptation and mind games, they have a good chance of quitting successfully.
Engaged effort over a span of time, can give us a great sense momentum, of accomplishment and of purpose. Over time, we begin to see the fruit of our labors…or at least that the tree is in bloom and may fruit.
At this state, we gain perspective. We realize we would not have made it to even this point, had we not made the investments that were necessary. We are then that much closer to achieving our goal. The beginning risks, at this point, start to seem smaller and smaller, less and less significant.
Effort decreases entrepreneurial risk.
You can’t win the game, unless you play.
For greater happiness and creative fulfillment, what are you willing to risk?
Beginning a new endeavor, one, inevitably, has to sacrifice, has to risk.
But, with time and continued effort, the enormity of the task, seems a little smaller and each day brings us closer to our potential victory.
Jim Hart is the founder of Austin Conservatory of Professional Arts. ACPA is accpeting applications now.