The Only Risk in Life
An important lesson business owners need to learn to be successful. The only risk in life is...
Risk - “expose (someone or something valued) to danger, harm, or loss.”
When I was in college I used to deliver pizzas as a part-time job.
I would spend about 20+ hours a week in my car delivering pizzas around the neighborhood. It was an easy job to drive around the neighborhood listening to podcasts. One podcast I listened to was hosted by David Choe, a wealthy American graffiti artist. Usually, each episode consisted of him sitting around with his peers and just talking about various topics, stories or wherever the conversation led to.
One day I listened to an episode and it was different. It changed my life forever. When the episode started, it was just Choe sitting by himself in a ranch by himself. He announced that this episode was dedicated to teaching his listeners the blueprint for his success.
“Take risks... Be bold...be courageous...do not be careful. Life will pass you by so quickly. If you wait until you get older, you will be more scared and “scareder”. You will be a scared person who will not do anything with your life… the only way you learn is by messing up.
Welcome failure. Failure is a gift. Learn from these failures...take risks. Take chances...I backpacked the congo during a civil war with nothing but sardines, and a Mickey Mouse shirt...”
I let Choe’s words sink into the depths of my mind as I deeply contemplated those words. This section resonated with me on such a profound level. It was what my young, impressionable, malleable mind needed to hear at the time.
After listening to this episode, I promised myself from this day forward I was going to take more risks, be bold, and learn from my failures. To jump into things without knowing the result and just have faith things are going to work out.
The following semester of college, I took the semester off of school and backpacked Thailand. I was only 20 years old, it was my first time ever traveling abroad and I was terrified... but I am so grateful I did. I learned about a different culture and a different lifestyle of living. There were entrepreneurs that traveled the world, working from their laptops, living life on their own terms and accord.
In the following years during the tail-end of my college career, I would try to start various online businesses. I tried everything from drop-shipping to selling products on Amazon, to being a freelance copywriter.
I learned various useful business skills. For example, I had to figure out how to use a self-employment tax calculator to see how much taxes I owed, I had to learn about write-offs, SEO, dropshipping, graphic design, etc.
I failed business upon business, losing tons of money but gaining valuable experience in the process.
After I finished college, I worked at an agency for a year. All of my skills in my previous failures have led me to be a better digital marketer. Then one day, on a whim, I decided I was going to move out of my parent’s home and live in Thailand. I did not have a lot of money saved up, and I was just going to head there and figure it out. Luckily before I left home, I was blessed to acquire some freelance clients.
Those risks I took has led me to where I am today. I work as a freelancer and I travel the world servicing clients from my laptop.
As I sit in a cafe in Malaysia, I reminisce about where it all started. It was that one podcast episode I listened to several years prior. “Take risks”. After taking all these risks, failing, and learning… I learned that risk is just a made-up construct developed in our minds. Many of us are conditioned to play it “safe”. To avoid risk because it may lead to unknown danger or failure.
The majority of people in this world that do not take risk will always be left wondering what if they were to have jumped and pursued what their heart truly desired. Instead of staring down at their life’s journey in an old withered state with a visceral regret.
But I am going to let you in on a little secret.
One day all of this is going to end.
We all share the same fate. One day all the belongings, people around us, are going to fade away and we will be left with nothing. We are all going to die one day. Period. In the big scheme of things, none of this really matters.
That is why the greatest risk in life is to not take any risks.
Brandon Leuangpaseuth is a freelance copywriter from San Diego, CA.