Risk Rewarded

We are often concerned about the risks that we have to take. Yesterday I signed up for a new internet product. It was interesting to me and professionally beneficial. The first time that I tried to sign up, my credit card was rejected by the vendor, not the credit card company. The second company I tried the PayPal receipt had the invoice paid to the Founder’s name, not the company name. The experience made me feel like someone had just sold me speakers from the back of a van in some parking lot. I didn’t know if I could trust the vendor, if they would deliver what I needed, or if they would just overcharge my credit card and take the money and disappear. With all of those risks in mind, I foraged on. And the benefit was enormous.

After I signed up for the service (it was a VPS if anyone is geeky enough to care), I go a product that fits my entry-level needs for $5/month. In the first 2 hours of working with it, I was able to experiment and learn in ways that I never have with production servers. The risk was that I would buy something that didn’t work or try to take advantage of me. I chose to accept that risk because the losses were small. I can always cancel my account and have the credit card company stop the payments. And the benefits were enormous: learning and a whole new horizon of ideas and opportunities.

Don’t let little risks and possible inconveniences stand in your way of taking a small step forward. If you take enough small steps forward, you will eventually find yourself a thousand miles from where you started. Not all risks that you take are rewarded, but if you don’t take the risk, you also have no chance of benefiting from it.