In our continued pursuit to innovate the content we produce on this blog, we decided to try something new. To be more specific, a theme based bi-monthly series!
Prologue: Here is what it’s all about and what we’re hoping to achieve!
Every couple months we pick a theme based on the posts and community discussions happening at our GrindZero tribe. We then laser focus extensively on this particular topic to gather ideas, experiences, and opinions from active participants and then brainstorm and discuss so that we can throw our own personal insights into the hat. A deep-dive into a topic that we as creatives confront on a daily basis if you will. All executed in a coherent fashion and layered into a unique blog post for your reading pleasure.
We think this new series will add an important stream of regularly posted original content for our blog. While also merging our community generated content with our daily content to create an in-depth and centralized post that covers the themes and topics we as a blogging community are discussing in as close to real time as possible. Lastly, we can then promote this post on all of our social media channels which will naturally help creatives such as yourself find and engage with our daily content.
Ironically, the theme we chose for the first post in this series is all about the importance of risk taking. How fitting, dedicating considerable time and effort into trying out this new format is a great example of how this series can turn into a resounding success, or crash and burn into a pile of smoldering ashes. Okay, I guess time will tell, but until then let’s get cracking. Queue the post!
The importance of taking risks.
Sportsman Frederick Wilcox came up with the perfect analogy…
“Progress always involves risks. You can’t steal second base and keep your foot on first.”
If that’s not spot on, then I don’t know what is… unless you’re Stretch Armstrong, but since we don’t live in an action figure universe I don’t think that really counts in this case!
When we look at it from a cause and effect perspective, the concept of risk is quite predictable. We take a risk >> there is a possibility of failure >> we learn from that failure >> we forge ahead. Rinse and repeat, but sometimes we get to replace “failure” with “success”, and the end result changes considerably. Funny how that works.
If we don’t take risks, we can’t really fail. But without failure, we can’t learn, and thus, can’t progress to that proverbial next level.
Today’s most successful creative minds took incredible risks to get to where they are. Some of these risks paid off big time, while others fizzled away and ended up being just a time sink. But those who had the motivation and most importantly a thick skin for disappointment kept at it, grinding away, trying new things, and eventually found their sweet spot. Success can take a lot longer than most of us expect, and yet there are a lucky few who reach it with only a few tries.
We mustn’t be afraid to take risks.
Being afraid to take risks ultimately boils down to how we are wired at a neurological level. A risk, by definition, is something that can put us ahead if successful, but can potentially have a bad or undesired outcome if not, and how far we get ahead is dependent on the size of the risk. We instinctively don’t want bad outcomes in our lives, so we will do almost anything to avoid them. It’s in our blood.
Luckily it doesn’t hurt us in any way to fail when trying most new things, especially in this day and age. “There’s no shame in trying”, as people commonly phrase it. There is not a single person on this planet that is NOT failing at something.
Most of the time failing will not set us back — but it also doesn’t necessarily move us forward. We must be sure to keep low expectations and understand that it may not work out because a part of taking a risk is the risk of being disappointed and ultimately turned off to the idea of taking even more risks.
We must take responsible risks we can afford to fail at.
Spending a few hours of our spare time on a new growth hack or strategy that may or may not work out is one thing. Selling our house, car, kidney to afford a lavish facebook ad campaign promoting an awesome, one of a kind new idea is another. Taking risks we can afford to fail at is the difference between our ability to progressively learn from our mistakes and take steps to improve and reach eventual success or spectacularly failing so hard that we end up years in recovery.
We must always consider every risk, while making calculated and yet responsible decisions so we can poke fun at and laugh at ourselves afterwards if they do indeed fail — house, car and kidney intact.
Most opportunities we encounter in our lives come in the form of risks, so get out there, start taking those risks, and shamelessly fail at most of them. It’s all part of the process, because success is never a single step, it’s always a staircase rubbed relentlessly with butter just so the risk gods can watch us struggle!
Our own reflections on risk taking:
Here are five of our favorite original quotes/reflections about risk taking that we posted during the past couple of weeks.
Grant Snider, a renowned comic artist, looks at the common unwillingness to take risks in order to avoid disappointment in a thought-provoking piece titled ‘Theories Of Disappointment’ shown just below. He highlights how conquering the day by taking risks can lead to remarkable things, while also remembering that there are worse things than disappointment.
Finally, here’s a calculated risk you can take.
If you’ve been in this industry for more than a couple years you’re probably aware that this blogging game — and it’s rules — constantly keeps changing and evolving. Calculated risks need to be taken so that we can find and locate unexplored shortcuts to truly get ahead of the pack. You need to pile up those wins, and that simply takes time.
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