Want results, take risks

April 21, 2010 · 13 comments

Am I the only person that doesn’t understand why some people choose to live a life of fear? Few good things come without risk. I think the world would be a better place if anyone learned to step out of their comfort zone and take some risks every now and again.

Here are a few instances from my life, in which I took a risk, and reaped the benefits…

Career.

Did you know I graduated with a degree in Psychology, but a concentration in pre-medicine? That’s right. I wanted to be a doctor. Specifically, a psychiatrist. I did really well in my pre-med courses and, come graduation time, was prepared to take the MCAT. But then, a funny thing happened. I got an email from one of my Psychology professors for a job as a Special Agent. My professor thought that I would be a great candidate for the position and recommended I apply. So apply I did (not thinking I’d actually get the job). That summer I worked as a Psychiatric Technician so I could gain relevant experience to what I thought would be a long and prosperous career in medicine. Fast forward three months. It was the morning of my MCAT and I was playing “Eye of the Tiger” to pump myself up for the big test. Suddenly my phone rings. I answer it, and low and behold I received a job offer for the Special Agent position I applied for. I accepted the job offer that morning. I took a huge risk in accepting a job I knew little about, but 2.5 years later I am confident I made the right decision. Although it was always my dream to be called Dr. Ninja, I think Special Agent Ninja has a pretty nice ring to it… don’t you?

Girl

Girl Ninja and myself quite possibly have the most unique/weird/frustrating/awkward/awesome love story ever. I’ll save the story for another time, but I can tell you this; Taking a leap of faith and giving my heart to Girl Ninja was the best decision I’ve ever made. There were a few occasions in which we almost didn’t make it, but through a lot of hard work, and an evolving love for one another, I am absolutely confident every frustrating moment was worth it. There is no one else in the world I would rather be frustrated at than Girl Ninja (aren’t I so sweet :)).

Money

You had to know this one was coming right? What kind of PF blogger would I be if I didn’t tie in money somehow? By investing standards, I guess I am considered a risky investor. 100% of my retirement accounts sit in the stock market. And, as we all are aware, the market can be nightmarish rollercoaster in which it seems the only direction is down. Although I hate seeing my account balances drop 50% in a relatively short time span, I am more than happy to weather the storm. I am confident the risks I take in the market will pay off ten fold come time to retire. In fact, I would argue that I take on very little risk. The real risk takers are the people that put no money in to retirement out of fear or stupidity. They squander away their cash now, but will be in for a rude awakening when they go to retire and have little or no funds available to them. We all know the social security situation is not looking good. Is it really smart to rely on a suffering program? I’ll bet on the stock market over social security any day.

Yes, life is about taking risks, but that doesn’t give you an excuse to go be a stupid-head. If you want to start a basket weaving business and leverage a $100K in debt to start said business, you aren’t taking a risk… you’re just being dumb. Life is about taking a leap of faith, but only if you have done your research and are confident that leap is likely to have a positive outcome.

What areas in your life have you taken on some risk? Have you ever held back from “taking the leap” and now regret it? Would you consider yourself a ‘risky’ or ‘risk adverse’ individual? Have you ever taken a big risk and had it bite you in the butt?

p.s. I’m currently on business in Miami for the next 2.5 weeks. If anyone is familiar with the area and has any restaurants or recommendations on things to do, PLEASE LET ME KNOW.

1 MissAlpha

As a matter of fact, I wrote about it right here:http://missalphawrites.blogspot.com/2010/04/net-a

Sooo… are you going to guest post your Girl Ninja love story on MAW? ;)

2 Ted

I am working on taking a risk in about 2-3 years to go back to school and get my doctorate in sociology with hopes to become a professor. It would mean not working for 3+ years. I can not wait for the day I quit my job and head off to school.

3 Young Mogul

I took a huge risk in relocating without a job beforehand. And I 'm about to do it again. I'm a little more nervous this time, though. But, anytime my life does not work for me, it is time for a change. I am looking forward to the challenge. Life isn't to be played safe. It is about calculated, well-thought out, weighed the pros and cons, risks. I simply don't understand fear. Given the way I was raised, I should be the most fearful person alive. But fear will never rule my life.

4 PassionateAbout$Too

This has been one of my favorite posts yet Boy Ninja! Great job and great points! You are mature beyond your years. I've yet to regret any leaps taken because I've got to think that they lead me to be who I am. Big one was going to my last choice Grad school because it has laid the foundation for so much in my life and so many amazing people in it as well! Keep taking those risks Boy Ninja and I'd like to hear that love story that was so unique/weird/frustrating/awkward/awesome.

5 Dividend Monk

Like you, I suppose I also am a risky investor. But also like you, I don' t feel that I have that much risk, considering my long-term time frame.

6 Jesse

I try to take risks that are worth it, and I make sure they will be before getting into them.

I have an investment rental home that was quite a risk but I haven't regretted it yet (going on two years with solid rent payments and very little maint cost). I also take risks in my career at times but again, analyze first.

I would never be where I am now without taking the risks I took.

7 Lola

I insisted years ago that we buy the very nice house we live in to this day without putting in a contingency that we sell the other first. I had done a lot of research to help gauge the local housing market, and I used our new IBM XT (512 kB of RAM – an amazing machine!) to calculate a bunch of mortgage scenarios. It was pretty clear that we would come out ahead by buying the new house at a new lower interest rate (as long as we could sell or rent the other house within six months, heh heh, but I knew that would happen). Also, I was very pregnant at the time, and nothing trumps risk aversion like hormonal fury.

8 Ashley

I was accepted to grad school for next year, but I decided that I don't want to go. I'd much rather be working. I don't have a job for next year lined up, but I feel confident that something will pan out. I've got my foot in like twenty different doors. I'm not really risk adverse but I'm not especially risky either. . . I just have a good work ethic, and I'm confident in my abilities to deliver.

9 StackingCash

After losing so much in the stock market and watching people quit my workplace and then come back with less seniority, I've become seriously risk averse. It saved me from the last stock market crash, housing bubble burst, and a new job that would have laid me off. Even though I've avoided major catastrophes, I hunger for some risk because I'm a greedy china man. Gambling is in the blood and yet I don't even gamble! What's wrong with me?!

10 Melissa

What area in Miami will you be staying?

11 Sandy L

I'm pretty risk averse in general. I guess my two biggest were:

Moving to the UK for a year to do a co-op job.
Having several roommates I didn't know so well before they moved in.
Having 90% of my retirement in company stock.

2 out of 3 worked out well. I've since learned to diversify.

12 Allen

Hey, if you haven't been to it already, there's a cool outdoor mall with tons of restaurants called Bayside. Their website ishttp://www.baysidemarketplace.com/. I remember them having live music in the evenings when I was there.

Previous post:

Next post: