On the TV game show “ Who wants to be a Millionaire?” all you have to do to win a cool million is to answer 15 questions correctly: you have the added advantage of asking the audience, phoning a friend or going 50:50. All you have to be is clever enough to answer all the questions. But….
But if you get one question wrong you stand to lose less than what you’ve already won. So if you get the $1,000,000 question wrong you’ll only be going home with a cheque for $32,000!
Life is all about taking risks – calculated risks – and if you can’t you’ll always be stuck in your comfort mode or what I call a ‘ no-pass-no-fail-same-kind-of guy- mode’.
When your parents sent you to school it was a calculated risk because they didn’t know whether you’ll pass with flying colours, at the end of your studies, or you’ll fail everything woefully: all the money they invested in you was a calculated risk. When you start a job, get married or even start your own business it’s a calculated risk: it may turn out O.K or it may not. But the thing is you took that calculated risk; if you didn’t you’ll remain stagnant all your life.
So the question is how do we take a calculated risk in life and it’ll turn out O.K? The answer is we don’t – it’s a leap of faith! If I ask ‘who wants to be a millionaire?’ the hands will shoot up. But if I ask ‘who wants to be a millionaire?’ by taking a risk and not using dubious means the hands will come down. You need to take risks in life or you’ll be stuck in a rut, there is no magical way of attaining a seven figure fortune without some element of risk.
Lagos is the IT start-up capital of Africa and you have hundreds – perhaps even thousands – of talented young men and women working hard on their ideas, risking everything, coding and programming 24/7. Some such as Okra, Kobo360 and Flutterwave have gone on to be mega-successes while others have failed woefully: but they would have never known if they didn’t take a risk.
I’ve probably’ bet the farm’ and lost it 8 out of 10 times and was it with it? Yes! It was worth it because if I didn’t take the risk I wouldn’t have known and I wouldn’t have got to where I am today and would probably still be stuck in my comfort zone.
So how do you take a calculated risk?
Taking a calculated risk means you have a fall-back option so you don’t end up ‘betting the farm’( – where you gamble everything to win) and lose everything, so if you don’t get the $1,000,000 question right on ‘Who wants to be a Millionaire?’ you still get to go home with a cheque for $32,000 so you’re not just left with the shirt on your back!
To take that calculated risk you need to consider three things:
You need a fixed time frame. How much time are you prepared to sacrifice to get from inception to completion? You sacrifice 5 or 6 of your life to go through secondary school and a further 3 or 5 to get through university. If you’re in any of these institutions any longer than that you have a problem and you need to take a reality check. Should you stay longer to finish your studies or should you call it quits? Time and tide waits for no man and your time in this world is limited. Therefore when the time you’ve allocated to finish a project expires you need to start thinking of Plan B: time to call it quits and move on and do something else.
If you’re starting-up you’re going to be on a tight budget, money is going to be limited – so don’t waste it! A lot of people make the mistake of what I call ‘tooling-up before profitability’ which is to say a lot of scarce money is wasted on frivolity – big offices, sharp business suits and lots of other unnecessary stuff to just look the part. Keep it simple and only acquire what you need.
And don’t forget you’re on a tight budget and when the money runs out and you can’t get any further funding what do you do? Time for another reality check and you have to decide whether it’s time to cut your losses and quit or find other means of funding and proceed.
If you’re going to stand out from the crowd, in any field, it’s going to require a lot of hard work. Not everybody can do this as it can take you away from a normal way of life as a lot of your time will be taken up working on your project. Nobody is a robot or a machine and you need to know your limits, to know how far you can push yourself before you need a break or call it quits.
You might believe you’re a workaholic but your body can only take so much before it starts rebelling against you and before you know it you’re sick with mental health problems, stress and other over-working ailments. Know your limits! One of the best ways to work hard without feeling it is to manage your time effectively. With effective time management you’ll find yourself doing more things, over your day, by allocating specific periods of time to finish certain tasks.
It’ll be like when we were at school and we had time tables showing what lectures we had throughout the day: we didn’t study maths and English all day long but only for specific periods. So break your tasks down to manageable bits so you’re not stuck doing the same boring thing : I’m a writer and spend 3-5 hours a day writing; research takes a further 2-3 hours and answering emails, keeping up with my correspondence and other general stuff another 2-3 hours. I’m working hard with all my tasks allocated to a fixed time period and I don’t feel it! Work on your time management skills to get the best out of yourself without risking a nervous breakdown.
And for those who want to go on to become 7-Figure achievers you need to adopt a millionaires mindset which includes adopting all the aforementioned points along with developing a thick skin for when the critics and ‘haters’ start ; you have to be persistent and most important of all you have to develop an immunity to the fear of failure and making mistakes.
One of the biggest things that prevents most people from succeeding in life is the fear of failure and making mistakes.
To deal with this phobia you need to remind yourself that nobody was born perfect : we all make mistakes and you are going to carry on making mistakes whether you like it or not; the secret is to learn how to minimize them. If you don’t want to go to school, start a business, run for public office or get married because you’re scared of failing, why bother getting out of bed in the morning?
If you don’t try you’ll never know. If you don’t buy a lottery ticket you’ll never win the jackpot – and yet again you may not. This is where taking a calculated risk comes in: gamble wisely on whatever you’re working on to be a success and if you succeed you’re a winner and if you don’t succeed at least you can console yourself with the fact that you at least tried.
It’s better to try and fail than not to have tried at all. If you try and run a marathon and had to drop out because you couldn’t finish it you’re a lot better off than the lazy person sitting on their arse, at home who didn’t even try. Get out of your comfort zone and take a leap of faith. Put all I’ve said together and you’re well on your way to being a millionaire and success in life.
Goodluck with all your endeavours.
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