|*This article was written for the Huffington Post (click here) but this is the full version|
Risk. What is even a risk? In the current world we live in it is no surprise that the word ‘risk’
is associated with something negative. With the population growing faster in a millennial
generation, too many have thrusted themselves into a life where they just expect too
much; a high paid salary in their twenties, have a ‘Directorship’ or ‘Management’ title,
even growing an additional endeavour is expected to become successful overnight. Some
say that this is down failed parental strategies, but I say that is down to egotism as a
result from failed parental strategies.
A great example can be seen when a parent tells their child ‘that they can have anything
they want in life’. Whilst this is true to some degree, it has nevertheless given the
millennials a high expectation without truly understanding the failures and risks you must
take in order to reach that end goal of ‘having anything you want in life’. It is no surprise
that many people in current time suffer from depression as a result from high
expectation and a smashed self-image- I mean we can even pop filters over photos on
Instagram to manipulate something that isn’t even real. So, looking from my own
experiences, was swerving my career away from this false sense of high expectation
into the digital world a risk? Well let’s start from the very beginning.
When it comes to careers, money and life in general many people play it safe, ‘don’t take
risks’ they say. But this very attitude is like saying ‘I cannot afford it, so that’s it’.
Instantly we are shutting down our brains to the possibilities and crushing the excitement
and dreams that come from ‘I cannot afford it, so how can I afford it.’ They say that the
rich invent their own money and a ‘can do’ attitude is all that you need to swerve your
career into something more promising for you. So here’s what I did, I came up with my
own interpretation of ‘RISK’ and then implemented this definition back into my own life.
Don’t take risks? I say understand what risk is and learn how to manage it with patience.
‘R’ stands for reaching beyond your comfort zone. It is so easy to get comfortable in
your day to day life and I often hear many people complain about many things; I hate my
job, I can’t do that, I have no money this month. But the real dilemma occurs when it
comes to making decisions and actioning them based on deciding how to improve your
life. I once possessed the millennial mind of the ‘high expectant’- ‘when I graduate from
my law degree I want to have a high paid job and to be treated like a superior’. I was 18
years old and the real truth was that I would know nothing at all. I was setting myself up
for a big fall and a smashed self-image was inevitable.
At university I was surrounded by ‘high expectants’ and it was only until I started Eltoria
in an entrepreneurship module in my third year did I realise that life just didn’t work like
that. I built Eltoria from scratch and at the start my digital journey my blog had hardly any
readers, my YouTube channel had no subscribers, I had no brand deals and my content
arguably wasn’t very good. I wasn’t earning a penny from it and it is here where I saw
many high expectants fail, because they just quit. Two years down the line my blog
started to monetise, my content got a lot better and brand deals started to come in. By
my third year I had the biggest decision to make, do I quit my job and pursue Eltoria? Or
do I play it safe and keep my job?
Here was the problem; if I quit my job I had lost my guaranteed income, but if I kept my
job, I could miss many opportunities when it came to building up my business. Instead of pondering on the ‘what ifs’ I decided to play smart. Instead of quitting I asked my boss
for a three month career break (otherwise known as a sabbatical). Despite having saved
up some money I felt extremely uncomfortable postponing my monthly wage for three
months. I didn’t know what my guaranteed income would be and I had to keep in mind
bills and other expenses. Looking back it was one of the best decisions that I had ever
made. I saw tremendous growth in Eltoria which meant more brand deals, sponsored
content and increased monetisation. After the three months was up I decided to quit my
full time job and work on Eltoria full time, today I do not regret that decision.
|Above: check out my 2016 Achievements Post (click here)|
‘I’ stands for improving and investing in your current state. If you only work for money,
you are giving money to your employer and the tax man. However if money works for
you, you can possess the power and you are fully in control of it. During the time I had a
full time job I would use my salary to make small investments back into Eltoria, I started
small; new blog designs, advertisements, products for content creation. I made smaller
investments and built them up over a period of three years and without them, I wouldn’t
have been able to quit my job and work on Eltoria full time. It is important to understand
that you are not gambling your money away if you know what you are doing with it. If
you do make a slight bum investment always remember that failure inspires winners and
failure defeats losers, take it as a learning curve.
‘S’ stands for social networking. My understanding is that you want to know a little about
a lot and the best way to do this is through social interaction (and this doesn’t just mean
through Email, Facebook, Twitter etc). In todays market it’s not about what you know, it’s
who you know. I often attend many events and participate in campaigns for free, why?
Because it is the opportunity to get networking. It is surprising how taking someone out
to coffee can lead into other exciting opportunities- I’d have to say that my most
memorable coffee date was ending up working with Tinie Tempah on the McDonalds
#HelloGoodTimesCampaign. Too many people end up not doing something because
they are not getting paid for it, but sometimes the unpaid things can lead into bigger
wealth later (again remember, it’s who you know).
‘K’ stands for knowledge. A lot of us fail to remember that our minds are our most
powerful asset and when trained well, we can start to see opportunities. I can count on
both hands the amount of people who thought I was crazy when I quit my well paid job
for the digital world. Many people heckled that ‘they just did not get it’, but they were
missing the very thing that I possessed, a well-trained mind. For years I read books,
looked at case studies and even watched the audience behaviour of Bloggers and
YouTubers who were much bigger than me. The best way to start is to teach yourself
financial literacy and all about the industry you want to break. Soon you will possess the
confidence and see taking risks as a positive thing rather than a negative.
So to conclude, swerving my career into the digital world was not risk. It instead taught
me the most invaluable lesson on them all- how not to live my life as a high expectant. I
often find that many onlookers are also high expectant- they judge you, they cannot wait
to see you fail and they don’t see the potential of something when it starts off small. So
this year I urge you to stop complaining about your life, stop looking at others, and
instead start to train your mind so that you can build up something promising. My top tip
for 2017 is this- to make 2017 work for you and not for life.
|Above: check out my own interpretation of success click here|
What are your goals for 2017?
Eltoria- South West Beauty, Fashion and Lifestyle Blogger and South West YouTuber
Be sure to check out my recent YouTube videos (click here)