taking bigger risks

Recently, I wrote about the funk I found myself in.

I’ve pulled out of that nosedive for the most part thanks to a couple of close friends who are perceptive and insistent on working through problems. I recommend you find some of the same!

One of the real revelations from that exercise was that I haven’t really dealt with struggle or adversity in several months (and honestly, I’d argue that my life has been pretty mild in terms of giving me a lot of struggle).

I experienced some stress and pressure when I was recruiting for this class of new members for Unreal Collective. If that didn’t work, my assumptions would prove incorrect and I’d need to (quickly) find another means of primary income.

But since that time, I’ve really had an incredibly gratifying and enjoyable experience executing on my plans and working with incredible people. That funk came along when I started to encounter cognitive dissonance and internal struggle again.

Here’s what I realized: I am great to perceiving risk and then de-risking situations. The entrepreneur within me takes over, I determine that I should try and find an optimal outcome that minimizes downside while aiming for maximum upside.

The implication of that is that I’m growing slower than I could be.

I’m not putting myself in situations where I am truly terrified and uncertain. I’m not surrendering any amount of control that I can avoid. Control over my income, control over my time, or control over my own emotions. Everything is very measured and safe feeling.

And honestly that’s where my funk came from. I met a girl (inconveniently right after returning from LA and telling myself that I was going to go into hibernation + work mode for the foreseeable future) and I was faced with a decision on how to proceed. Do I give up some level of control? Do I put my time, my emotions, and my productivity at risk by surrendering some level of control to another person?

I haven’t been in a relationship¬†since 2014.

The question is the same for my work and the projects I’m undertaking. I am an emphatic advocate of customer/market validation before pursuing and investing in a project. And, as a result, my projects continue to play out according to assumptions and I make slow, steady progress.

But I’m missing an opportunity to take bigger swings. I don’t have to invest a ton of money to make a bigger swing, but I may have to invest a lot of time and reputation to try something a little crazier. Those risk then carries an emotional implication if things don’t work out.

So that’s where my head is right now. I need to take bigger risks, be more vulnerable, and surrender more control. Safe may move the needle, but not to where I want to go.


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