Season 5 – epiBLOG 7:
Take risks. For some of you, those two words sound exhilarating. For others, I might’ve already terrified you to the point of not wanting to continue reading this blog post. (Just work through that feeling, and keep reading).
Entrepreneurial artists are risk-takers. We risk getting ridiculed by those who don’t have the courage to go after their dreams. We risk losing money. We risk temporary setbacks that appear to look like failure to those watching us carefully.
We dream. We plan. We set goals. We take risks.
Today’s topic is on how to mentally remain focused in the middle of taking career risks as an entrepreneurial artist.
Risk is defined as the “exposure to the chance of injury or loss…,” according to Dictionary.com.
Raise your hand if you want to get hurt. Or if you want to lose something. Anybody? On the surface, it sounds crazy to take risks, right?
But let’s dive beneath what’s obvious.
Depending on what you do for a living, injury may not be an issue for you, but it could be. However, the chance of “loss” is what scares many of us away from pursuing our dream or pursuing it with the sort of effort and vigor that takes that dream to a materialized experience.
As an entrepreneurial artist you may be afraid to lose your own money, lose funding on a project, or to lose your investors for your business. These are legitimate concerns. You want to take calculated risks and surround yourself with experienced and trustworthy people that can help you to move forward.
Investing in yourself is necessary as a business owner and as an artist. Sometimes this involves hiring people to help you with business coaching, business strategy, or consulting. This also may involve hiring someone to create your logo or website.
I’ve taken what has felt like big risks in my career. I went $17,000 in debt to create a movie trailer for my feature film in order to use it as an example to show investors what the final movie would look like.
At the time, I didn’t know if I was going to find investors who cared enough about my story. I was just passionate about the script that I had written and was determined to produce the film. After winning our first two Telly Awards from the trailer(s) alone, we received the full funding for the film and I was able to pay off that $17,000 credit card debt.
I took the risk, and it did pay off.
However, I do NOT recommend going into debt… unless you are mentally prepared for the results to be whatever the results turn out to be. In other words, there was a huge chance that I wasn’t going to find investors and that I would’ve had to take a few years to pay off that debt by myself. If that would’ve happened, I would’ve had to be okay with that result while I continued to strategize other plans to move forward as a writer/film maker.
Most of the time, plans don’t materialize exactly as we visualize them. There are challenges that arise that we don’t anticipate. Out of fear, we get mental images of failure and defeat. So how do we work through these moments in order to take the calculated risks to make great things happen within our careers?
ACTIONS TO TAKE TO REMAIN SANE WHEN TAKING RISKS:
- Surround yourself with people who are already established, ambitious, and successful. They will have encouraging words and will be perfect to learn from.
- Read business books by established and successfully-proven business owners/artists. Once again, this gives you an opportunity to learn from another person’s experience.
- Research opportunities (the risks) prior to moving forward with taking them. Don’t use your “research” time as an excuse to not move forward, but use it to discover your options so that you can make decisions from a position of empowerment instead of fear.
- Go with your instinct. Your dreams “know” what they want in order to materialize. Just remember, even when you go with your instinct, that doesn’t mean that it’s going to be an easy process or that you won’t encounter temporary setbacks. Your instincts, however, will carry you to exactly where you need to be.
Today’s LESSON is to move forward with your dreams no matter the cost (as long as you do so with integrity).
FUN ASSIGNMENT: Have you been presented with a great opportunity to move your entrepreneurial artistic career forward, but you’ve been too afraid to take action? If so, do your research, seek counsel from those who are where you want to be, weigh your options, and move forward with the choice that works the best for you.