Risks are a funny thing – In the moment, most people will tell you NOT to take them.

Why? Well, that pretty girl over there might reject you. You might go broke. What if you get sick? What if your plan fails? And on and on…

Your parents and friends will question you. People will doubt you and some will even think you’re a little crazy. The haters will come out of the woodwork.

But here’s the other thing about risks… Usually, you need to take some big ones if you want to achieve great things and live a lifestyle you love. But it’s damn hard when the safe route looks so, well, safe and secure.

My friend King from KingBless knows all about taking risks and capitalizing on opportunities.

He’s played D1 college football (with Russel Wilson!), served as a Naval Officer, achieved corporate success, written multiple books, and ventured off to start his own business. He took risks all along the way, and people questioned him at every step. But that never stopped him. 

I hung out with King in Playa Del Carmen a while back, and he is one of the most charismatic dudes I’ve ever met. Not only does he tear it up with the ladies, but he knows how to do business and make connections like a boss.

So when he approached me in hopes of writing a guest post on this subject, I was excited.

Bonus: Download my Free Conversation Cheat Sheet and get 5 proven hacks to master conversation and connect with women.

Take it away, King…

Look in the mirror and tell yourself who you are. Say to yourself “I am a boss,” or “I am an employee.”

Immediately after you say both statements out loud, you will know what you were meant to do. If it’s being an employee, fine, help find and build a winning team to do it with. However, if you want to be a boss, there will never be a perfect time to begin – so start now.

Too often we waste not only the precious resource of time, but more importantly our youth and vigor in the workplace. Whether you’re a mid-level manager or a senior exec sitting in your office at a high paying corporate job, you’re still clocking in.

And you have two choices in this life: You’re either going to work for yourself, or for someone else.

Take the Safe Route, or Bet on Yourself? 

Are you ready to take the leap?

If you choose to take the money and work for someone else, you will more than likely only work hard enough until you start receiving a payment that suits your comfort level. Then, you’ll likely plateau and become complacent.

If you decide to take the risk, you will keep wanting more. You will keep working harder, smarter, and longer, well after your raises and promotions, continuously demanding more – and the day your organization cannot meet those demands, it will be time to take that risk again. It will be time to go back out into the wild and go after exactly what you want—not settling for less.

Even if you’re well trained and equipped, after you take that risk to step out into the unknown, the learning curve will be steeper than you would have ever imagined and like all risks, it’s better to take them early on.

Yes, it’s a scary feeling.

I ask myself that more often these days because I have (and I know others who have) positioned themselves accordingly to take the cushy job or career. The six-figure minimum, an industry of their choosing, nice office, great perks, etc. Some have elected to take these positions and I will never fault them – comfort is a peaceful state of mind.

However, comfort cannot calm the beast of those, who like me, see these offers as confirmation that they are capable of producing more. If I am being offered a six-figure job, how much is the company making off my productivity? Can I produce that same amount of income off my productivity without a superior?

Many people know the answer to this is yes, but they are afraid of taking the associated risk. I just can’t comprehend why. With the exception of a few rare organizations, anyone can fire you at any time if you don’t have equity in what you are doing.

It All Depends on How You Define “Risk”…

It’s time to redefine your understanding of risk…

I believe that position – working for someone else and taking the “safe route” – is actually more of a risk than going out on your own. You’re basically leaving your life in the hands of another, who often times you haven’t even met. Think about your position in your organization now – have you ever met the CEO or senior leaders? If you have, how often are you able to interact with them? Can you do it at your convenience?

Taking a risk doesn’t just mean you are starting your own business – it could mean that you are switching careers, moving to a new state or country – starting anything anew. If you have been honing your most precious resource – you – then you shouldn’t have to worry.

If you are worried, maybe it is time to have that conversation in the mirror – that you may be lazy, undisciplined, and uneducated. If you are any of those, it’s ok. Accept it first, and then change it.

Once you are released into the wild, you will find there is no greater feeling than eating what you kill.

You can take the money now, and in 5-10 years you may be doing the same thing, for the same amount and under stricter circumstances. If you take the risk now, in 5-10 years you may be in a position to actually hand out the check and decide how the world around you functions.

One of the hottest topics in the news today is immigration and countries policies in relation to immigrating or traveling to places. Whether people are moving for a better life, or to escape something, it’s important to note the risk associated with such a big move. To literally make your way across seas, to foreign lands, with a foreign culture and language, all in the hopes of a better life is a tremendous risk to undertake. The people who take these risks usually aren’t any smarter or in any better of a situation than you yourself financially, but they still take a leap of faith and go.

Photograph by Daniet Etter/New York Times/Redux /eyevine. Laith Majid cries tears of joy and relief that he and his children have made it to Europe.

If these type of people exist – the Arnold Schwarzenegger’s of the world who take these risks not knowing what awaits on the other side, but still excel – there is no real reason why you cannot do the same and find success.

Whatever path you choose, know the strings that come attached. With the corporate money comes regulations, structure, and a perceived notion you will tow the same line as the purse strings. With risks comes autonomy. You are simply able to create your own world and while it is a serious undertaking, that if you lack on will erode your security, it gives you the ability to experience life with no ceilings.

Know who you are and choose wisely because others have already made their decision and each passing day, regardless of your comfort level, you are either getting ahead or behind.

What are some of the risks you have taken to get to where you are? What are some of the risks you have contemplated taking that you have been hesitant to follow through on? Please comment and share so we can help others overcome that hurdle.

Further reading: 6 Risks That Paid Off in My Twenties 

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Interested in taking more control over your life and taking the right risks?

Check out King’s book, Tabula Rasa: What You Must Know About Success, Leadership, & Management. You can also follow him on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and Instagram: @kingblessdotcom for more tips to excel in life, and at his website, www.kingbless.com.