Make The Risk and Take The Plunge — Is It Worth It?
Photo by Lyle Mustard
Have you heard the story of the woman who travelled around the world to find herself? She crossed cities, countries, and oceans, but everywhere she went the answer seemed to be somewhere else.
Spiritual fulfillment was a lot more exhausting - and smelly - than it had seemed on Instagram.
How about the man who quit his job and drained his retirement fund to start a business? After ten years, a bankruptcy, a recovery from bankruptcy, and a divorce, he finally admitted that the adventure was not so romantic when you’re the main character.
The trip around the world and the dream business… those two are the same story.
The Call to Adventure
We all know the moral: that which we seek is never found outside of ourselves.
Does that mean her trip was pointless? Should he have stayed at his day job?
Of course not!
When we answer a call to adventure, the journey is only a means to help us get out of our own way and, hopefully, discover that what we were looking for was inside of us all along.
*sentimental music swells*
That being said, it is a bitter pill to go looking for your dream, get to where you thought it would be, and not feel what you thought you’d feel.
Or, even worse, to feel the same as when you started.
I’m sure you have already choked down your fair share of bitter pills.
So, why set out for adventure in the first place?
Why would anybody go looking for even more bitter pills than life already hands you by default?
We go looking because bitter pills are a result of risk turned sour, but the other side of that risk is reward.
And the bigger the risk, the more you could stand to gain.
Our pursuit of this call to adventure doesn’t boil down to one black-and-white moment — it is more than just a pass or a fail.
The risk that comes with the effort will have you faceplant often enough, but the only way to avoid these risks is to avoid living your life.
As far as the pills go, if you don’t know this already: there is no way to avoid bitter pills.
You either feel the anxiety of risk and the occasional sting of defeat, or you soak in the long and slow burn of not having tried in the first place.
You are here reading this because you have that spark of ambition and you hear the calling somewhere off in the distance.
Or, maybe you heard it already and you are in the middle of the busiest time of your life wondering if it will all be worth it.
Because the reality always looks different than the vision that started you on the journey.
There is no denying that something like going out of business is a bitter pill. It can seem like it must not have been worth it.
Even a successful business can take the wind out of you. The to-do list doubles every day, there’s never enough money, and you must have set some kind of record for unread emails.
But it’s a beautiful thing, and I’ll tell you 3 reasons why:
The skillset level-up you get from the effort — taking a big risk means you will learn big lessons that you never would have faced otherwise.
Getting the answer — there is no way to know if your idea would have worked until you tried, and a question that remains unanswered is more painful and damaging than the wound left by a failed business.
The new professional title — attempts are what qualify you as an entrepreneur, not successes or failures. Once you make the leap and try the thing, that becomes a part of you no matter how it unfolds down the road.
They say: “Don’t be defined by your failures but by your successes.” Somebody said it, anyway. I think it was me, just now.
I also say try not to worry too much about it.
In the end, the worry will cause you far more trouble than the things that you worry about.
Memories are meant to be our quick reference for the choices we make as we roll forward. They are not meant to be stared at.
And plans are meant to be carried out, not perfected.
If you find yourself stuck on these things, ruminating whether you should or shouldn’t, then you’re standing still as the world moves by without you.
Whatever you’re going to do, try to enjoy it. Even the bitter moments. The bitter is what balances the sweet. And it all makes for good stories to share with your friends.
Who knows — if you take a shot and bear the risk, then one day you might even find yourself competing for Woman Entrepreneur of the Year!
Written by Lyle Mustard