The Risk In Risque
Whenever someone mentions risk, I think of the front cover of “The Big Leap”, by Gay Hendricks, the fish jumping from the small bowl into the larger bowl. There is no way you are ever going to progress in any aspect of life if you don’t ever take a risk. Not taking a risk means you stay in your comfort zone and life is just going to be ‘more of the same’.
I can think of two major risks I’ve taken in life which have been integral to putting me where I am now.
Firstly, deciding to move to the US in 2012. Back in London, UK, I was making an OK wage,
…with an OK career,
…living an OK lifestyle.
But that was it…… JUST ‘OK’.
Not ‘amazing’, not ‘exceptional’, not ‘better than I ever could have imagined’… but.. ‘OK’. I looked around at my life and thought if I don’t make some big changes then the next five, ten, fifteen years is just going to be more of the same. Being ‘OK’ and ‘comfortable’ is a dangerous place to be, there’s no incentive to hustle, nothing to push you to the next level. You find yourself resting on your laurels and hitting a plateau.
It took me 11 months, but I packed up that life, spent huge amounts of time and money on petitioning for work visas, paying lawyer fees, and uprooted my life to a whole other country where I knew no-one and had zero contacts or reputation.
But it was that risk that lit a fire under me, to hustle, to build a career, to make connections, to succeed. There’s nothing more motivating than raising the stakes.
The second memorable and pivotal risk I took was when my roommate moved out of my LA apartment in 2016. Initially there was the fear of how I was going to find someone ASAP to move in and help pay rent, but then…. I took a moment. Rather than have a knee-jerk reaction going into ‘repair mode’ to keep things ‘the same’, I could choose to look at this event as an opportunity and not a problem to fix. Yes, I could find another roommate to keep costs down, (the standard normal) but think of the cost of having to live with a whole new person, who may not live as well with me as the previous roommate did! Yes, I’d save a few hundred dollars a month but I’d be potentially sacrificing a really stable homelife, which, as a person who doesn’t have a workplace to escape to 9-5, is infinitely valuable.
My home is my office, my rehearsal studio, my costuming workshop, my writer’s room. I need it to be as pleasing and productive an environment as possible.
Then, the opportunity of the situation hit me.
Phrases like “dressing for the job you want” came to mind. Yes, my home WAS all those things, but living with a roommate meant in actuality MY BEDROOM was all those things. What if I, as CEO, expanded my company?
I had launched my burlesque classes in 2014 and was now teaching more regularly and paying to rent a dance studio to run sessions. This took a huge chunk of profit. Having no-show students would mean having to cancel and still owe the rental, plus a wasted trip for me to and from the studio. On top of that, I would sometimes lose out on last minute private bookings because the studio was unavailable.
Just as I’d risked everything in 2012 to jump to the larger goldfish bowl of Los Angeles, now I wanted jump into having more space in order to expand my company. I spent the last $1000 I had in savings putting down a new wood floor, painting the room, and taking on the extra rent on the apartment, because the risk of that monetary investment was worth the gain.
I felt like a crazy person, spending money on renovating an apartment that I didn’t even own?? But I wasn’t investing in the property – I was putting my money where my mouth was and investing in myself.
I now had a dedicated space for my craft, both performing AND teaching, A dedicated space to create and store all my props and costume, to rehearse, to shoot self-tapes, to teach private classes whenever I wanted, I had gained multi-layers of freedom. It turns out the risk paid off many times over, just as I had finished ‘moving in’ to my new workspace I was contacted by Airbnb as they were about to launch their new “Experiences” programme, but they needed people who not only had enough space to hold participants but also the flexibility to hold an experience at any time. BOOM I had just gained all of that by risking my last dollar and the income I made from teaching and running events through Airbnb just in the first few months was more than enough to cover the renovations and rent increase.
To me, risk is not just making the leap to the larger fish bowl. Risk is all in, no going back, fully committed to creating a new world for yourself. It’s breaking the egg to make the omelette, destroying your current situation of comfort giving you no choice but to embrace, and succeed as, the newly regenerated you.
If you’re ready to make the next big leap, click here to book a consult with me and we can figure out those steps together.