Getting gutsy is about taking a risk. One of my favorite Boy Meets World episodes talks about the pros and cons of risks. Shawn Hunter describes it best when he correlates “risk, risk, risk” to “reward, reward, reward.” Without the risk, it’s just luck. Without the reward, it’s just foolishness.
In 2014 I opened an online greeting card shop. I had been talking about that moment since high school and I finally made it happen. I made it happen by talking to an accountant, researching online sales, and creating products to sell. I used $200 to buy product to open the shop and hoped I would be able to make my money back. It was a small risk and I was hoping for a small reward.
I sold 15% of the product I purchased – not bad, not great. However, now I have some data points. Now I know what people like to buy and the questions they have about the products. Now I have a better understanding of how long it takes to make each greeting card; I have a better understanding of how much energy it takes to ship each product out the door. That was my reward, knowledge.
Not only did I learn about logistics, I also learned about my own motivations. I learned that the reason I like to make greeting cards is to help people stay in touch. I have also learned that while I would love for people to use my greeting cards to stay in touch, I don’t really care if that’s the case. This was a big realization for somebody who has wanted to own her own greeting card shop for over a decade.
Because I better understood my motivations, it was easier to plan my next risk. My next risk is to write an e-book about staying in touch. It’s a risk because it’s going to take hours of planning, writing, and editing. It’s going to take financial backing to market the product, and I’m going to open my book of stories and share personal details with the world. This is my risk for 2015, doing something I haven’t done before and sharing it with the world – and then explaining to the world that it’s worth paying for.
Shawn Hunter was actually talking about betting on racehorses when talking about risks and rewards, but I am applying this motto to my newest business venture in 2015, writing an e-book. And hopefully I can pick up a little bit of that Feeny wisdom along the way.
Getting gutsy is all about stepping outside your comfort zone to reach your goals and live a life that makes you truly happy. This post is my entry for Jessica Lawlor’s Get Gutsy Essay Contest. To get involved and share your own gutsy story, check out this post for contest details and download a free copy of the inspiring Get Gutsy ebook.