Taking New Risks

Last night I did something I don’t normally do… well at least not anymore. At 18 I wouldn’t have given it a second thought. At 28 I probably would have done it. At 38 I couldn’t afford to do it.

At 48, I have settled in a bit too much and become a bit too comfortable with myself and my surroundings.  I hate that. It is the exact opposite what I thought I would be. But, that changed last night.

Last night I popped in by Netflix movie and watched The Raven. In Blu-Ray even!

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It was a bit bloody at times (the swinging blade and the cop getting his throat slashed), but I felt like I had walked on the risky side of things.

Now, you might be laughing (if you’re 29 or younger), cringing (if you’re 50 or older), or maybe even wondering how I could pull off such a feat.

After all, “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.” ~ Helen Keller

Two Major Events

In November I will be celebrating my 10th anniversary in business for myself. I’ve been successfully running my business full-time from home since November, 2003.

In December I will be celebrating my 25th wedding anniversary with my gorgeous wife. Married December 10, 1988.

Here’s the thing… I feel like these two events are mentally going in opposite directions. In my marriage, I feel like we’re just getting started. I have renewed energy for my marriage. I want to be with her, travel with her, go on dates, go out to eat, and just be together. I feel like our marriage has incredible momentum!

Here’s a great quote regarding risk and love:

“Do you want me to tell you something really subversive? Love is everything it’s cracked up to be. That’s why people are so cynical about it. It really is worth fighting for, being brave for, risking everything for. And the trouble is, if you don’t risk anything, you risk even more.”  ~ Erica Jong

On the other hand, my butt is dragging in my home business. I enjoy and love working from home. I have become completely unemployable. But, my focus, my zeal, my energy, my creativity, it all seems to be supported by 5-Hour Energy and Diet Coke.

My Analysis

I believe it comes down to risk. Or, at least the lack thereof.

This may not be everyone’s diagnosis. See your local entrepreneurial physician for your own diagnosis. But for me, I have been diagnosed as someone who has been playing it safe for too long that I have forgotten what it was like to live on the risky side of things.

Risk generates energy… and lots of it.

Who is taking the greater risk and who has more energy:

  • The sky diver or the one on the ground snapping a photo as they plummet to earth
  • The NASCAR driver or the fan in the stands
  • The Olympic athlete racing downhill at 70mph, or the dude on the bunny slope
  • 8 seconds on a bull named Bodacious or the guy who drives a minivan (Hey! that’s me!)

When you are taking risks, and I do not know all of the science behind this, but energy begins coursing through your veins and the creative juices begin to flow, joy replaces melancholy, and action replaces complacency.

Please understand, I am not talking about dumb risks. What I am talking about is stepping outside of one’s comfort zone and doing something great… possibly with the risk of failure.

The Last Decade

Ten years ago I stepped out from my position at Dallas Baptist University and started my business. I took some risks. My in-laws thought I was crazy for leaving a university position. I had pretty much been a risk taker my whole life, so my wife wasn’t too worried. Besides, my teaching position at DBU provided enough to live until about the 19th of every month. Something had to be done.

I stepped out of my comfort zone, but over time, I developed a new comfort zone. It didn’t happen overnight. It’s kind of like the “frog in the kettle” analogy, except backwards. Instead of the water getting hotter, it has gotten colder… and so have I.

So, I stepped out last night and watched The Raven. Excellent movie, and I’m not much of a Edgar Allen Poe fan.

Next step…

Well, that part is going to have to wait until November. I have some things to unveil.

“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” ~ T.S. Eliot

Until then,

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