On a long drive with my brother recently we had a conversation about my goals with starting a blog and YouTube channel. His primary concern was that I was giving up too much of my time to work on something that had yet to truly earn any money. My argument was the potential that both the blog and YouTube had for future earnings. It’s an investment now for a year or two that will hopefully pay off in the long run. Yes, it’s a risk to put time and energy into this, but it will either gain traction or it won’t. I can continue to learn strategies to improve SEO and reach out to followers to find out what they are interested in learning about. So to me, it’s an opportunity to grow an audience that has similar goals and ambitions to myself.
Ultimately, it comes down to risk assessment. What am I willing to risk in order for the potential of something greater? Perhaps it’s the time invested in something that won’t pay off. However, I view my blog and YouTube channel as an avenue of encouragement and inspiration. I don’t have a lot of comments yet, but I do get messages from people I know who read my posts or watch my videos and tell me the positive impact it had on them. So for now, that is worthwhile because at the end of the day I’m helping someone. And truthfully, I’m helping myself too. I’ve found the process of writing out my ideas to be very therapeutic and has even sparked more creativity for other projects and endeavors.
I remember in college I ran a research study looking at risk-taking patterns and behaviors among college students. It was a checklist of statements and participants had to rank the likelihood that they would participate in that activity. It was based on risk perception and actual risk behavior. Because I completed it in a school that had many age ranges, I was able to find that the older students were more generally risk-averse than the younger ones. Now, this research was not published, but other studies suggest that “older adults may be more risk-averse than younger people in the case of potential losses” (Albert & Duffy, 2012, p. 1). They defined the younger age group with a mean age of 31.9 and the older adult group with a mean age of 71.2.
The findings seem to hold true particularly as it relates to financial risk and potential loss. So how do I view this time versus money issue right now?
Truly, I believe that in order to achieve greater things and find your purpose, sometimes you need to take a risk. You need to try to learn a new skill, move or visit a new location, bet on something you believe so deeply in, and keep working on it. Many entrepreneurs have faced times when they needed to make a decision to close up shop or throw every last resource into the ring.
Sure, I could take the time it took me to write this post and complete a transcription job that would be guaranteed money. Or, I could view this as an opportunity to express myself, research new ideas, and share that learning with others. I choose the second option and maybe that’s a risk to lose out on guaranteed income, but it’s a risk I’m willing to take because I believe in myself.
My advice here is to be practical but live with a dream. I have this opportunity now because I just recently graduated and I’m used to writing all the time or working on school work. Now, I’m channeling that energy and commitment toward a new purpose. I even plan to build up an academic coaching business on the side. I’m already helping people and it might be time to take that leap and risk of putting myself out there to strangers and turning this into another avenue of income. But again, I need to spend some time on marketing, design, and research. Although I’m slightly fearful that it could flop, I’m not going to let limiting beliefs hold me back from pursuing dreams and opportunities that will allow me to live the life I want and provide for my family.