If I had to think back to the best moments of my life, they all came after I took a big risk.
I quit my super stable job in finance and moved halfway across the country to start grad school. This was one of the happiest times of my life and really allowed me to learn and grow without the comfort of a steady paycheck or familiar people or surroundings.
I answered a random DM on Facebook (something I never do) and ended up with an amazing relationship and finance, soon to be husband.
I chose to start a business, and not continue to pursue accounting, which was extremely risky. But now I can’t imagine doing anything else. This is what I was made to do and I love every minute of it!
I’m sure you have many examples in your own life of times where you chose the unconventional, non status quo option and you’re happier for it. But the moment before you take that massive leap is the scariest. And if you’re like me, you have a tendency to overthink if you wait around too long.
I absolutely love this quote by John Maxwell:
“The greatest mistake we make is living in constant fear that we will make one.”
Ooof. That hits ya hard, doesn’t it?
I think there is some belief, not sure who started it probably Disney movies, that once you hit a certain level, that everything is just golden. That your fear, worry, doubts, imposter syndrome, and uncertainty just magically disappear.
I’m here to tell you, it doesn’t matter if you make $1,000 a month or $10,000, those feelings don’t ever go away. In fact, for many successful people, they actually increase because now they have a lot more to lose.
But that doesn’t mean you should give up. It doesn’t mean you should listen to those feelings. It doesn’t mean you can’t accomplish BIG and MEANINGFUL things for the world.
I was listening to a training with one of my all time favorite creative sales entrepreneurs, Blair Enns. He wrote the book The Win without Pitching Manifesto (highly recommend for every creative out there) and he brought up the concept that:
In business, all profit comes from risk.
While he calls it risk, let’s look a little deeper at what “risk” really could look like for your business:
Choosing a new technology or service platform that is new to you
Stepping out and creating videos for your business
Starting a new membership or offering for your customers
Being bold with your branding and message
Hosting a challenge or starting a group
Showing up everyday no matter what
Saying no to clients or projects that don’t align with your brand
I really could go on forever here, but I hopefully you can see where I’m going with this. Doing the bare minimum, just makes you a commodity. It turns your relationship between you and the client into a transaction. How does your logo service differ from the next person’s logo service?
The truth is, it probably doesn’t. And this is why it’s hard to command higher prices for the exact same service.
But, remember the profit comes in when you start taking risks. When you elevate what you do, your offer, your brand, your message, and your service, you can command whatever price you want.
But just like everything in life, there is a season and a time. If you’re just starting out, you are focused on learning the craft and finding clients. It’s once you’ve mastered this, that you can look at how to elevate and innovate.
Blair Enns describes it best. He says there are two levels of success in business:
The First Level: You get there through learning the tools of hard work and saying yes to everything.
The Second Level: Requires you to let go of the “tools” of hard work and saying yes. Those exact same tools that got you to the first level, become the barrier to the second level. The longer you remain at the first level, and refuse to give up the tools of depending only on hard work and saying yes to everything, the more you are likely to get stuck and unable to move to the second level. To get to the second level, its all about risk!
The second level is all about risk and innovation.
You turn from saying yes to almost everything, to no to almost everything – Warren Buffet.
What got you here, won’t get you there.
Watch out for getting stuck in a pattern that is keeping you from success. I see it all the time as a consultant. People are stuck in the first level and scared to take the risk necessary to get them to unlimited profit on the second level. Businesses stuck for YEARS. Scared to hire. Scared to get on social media. Scared to update their website. Scared to talk to their customers. Scared to find better offers. Scared to charge more.
Please hear my heart. I understand how scary running a business is and I understand how the longer you do it the more you have to lose. I get it. But think of how much you are missing out on by refusing to take that risk. You deserve it and your clients deserve it. Just do one thing today that you’ve been scared to do. And one more tomorrow. And pretty soon you’ll start to see that all your profit is truly a result of you taking that risk.
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