I was never big on taking risks.
As a child, I tried to follow all of my parent’s rules, and rarely got in trouble for disobeying. As a teenager, I hid in the back of the group when my friends and I were out causing trouble. I was always worried about getting caught, having my parents find out, and losing my rep as the “good guy”. I turned down hundreds of opportunities to have fun because I was too scared to take risks.
As you can guess, I was never really the life of the party. I did my best to fake a carefree attitude, but I was ultimately unable to let go of my stresses and fully enjoy the moment.
Nowadays, I’m not afraid to remove tags from mattresses, play loud music on weekends, and trespass on private property if something looks interesting. Nothing too crazy, but it’s a step in the right direction.
Unfortunately, some of my old habits still linger in my professional life. I spent the last six years as a barista, and it was about as low-risk as you can get. Flexible schedules, forgiving managers, easy work, and steady pay. Super safe. And, to be honest, I really enjoyed having the security.
But you know what I enjoyed even more? Putting in my notice without having another job lined up. After years of telling myself that I would follow my passions as soon as the time was right, I finally decided that the right moment would never come. So I took a risk.
And it paid off. As soon as I opened myself up to the idea of working somewhere else, all sorts of opportunities started to reveal themselves. When I told my friends that I was quitting, they were excited for me, and many of them had ideas or connections that I could use to find a new job. It turns out that I had missed hundreds of “right moments” because I was only looking for them in a tiny area of my life.
So that’s my advice. Stop waiting for the right moment. Things will never line up quite how you want them to, and that’s okay. Taking a risk is scary, but staying in a place that doesn’t inspire you should be even scarier. So get out there. Take some risks, make some mistakes, and then come back and share your stories with me. I look forward to hearing them.