I know it is crazy, because friends told me that it is. Yet, I still went ahead and did it. I decided my life theme would be about Taking Risks.
Let’s face it, the reality is, that if we don’t take risks, then we can be certain of the outcome. Unlike most people, I can’t sit on this raft and coast through life, seeing where it takes me. I’ve spent far too many years letting that happen. Ultimately, It took me to places that later, I knew it would. So predictable. Then I started Taking Risks, small ones at first, then bigger ones. I watched my life crumble on more occasions than I’d like, because of these risks. Taking Risks is definitely not for the faint of heart.
When I entered project management in IT and gained my PRINCE2 certifications, I studied risks in depth. I understood that in projects, there were good risks and bad risks. An important aspect of projects that you quickly learn, is risk assessment. So I decided to apply those lessons learned to my life.
After a motorcycle accident in 2013 which left me incapable of going to work for about 12 months, my life changed in a direction that I’ll be forever grateful. Whether I liked it or not, I’d exited project management by force. I spent many months, in bed, with a laptop and my thoughts. I began to write. As a result, I got contracts from government departments and universities writing really, really boring shit. Polices and Procedures. Fun.
One morning, I got so bored and so fed up, I made a decision to return to London, my previous home of inspiration, a city that’s always looked after me and given me plenty of room to grow. I told my friends and family, goodbye, I’m going to Europe, then maybe New York for a while. I’m going to write books. You could have heard a pin drop during some of these discussions.
“Are you out of your fucking mind?” asked one friend with utter eloquence.
“You’re taking big risks! If you do this, you’re likely going to end up like all these other writers out there, without any money and shit books!”
Talk about a profound moment. Not that I think anyone meant me any harm, but I realised that I’d lived my life based on risk assessment and coasting along, on that raft, predicting the outcome. “If I sit here and work the next 20 years, I’ll have 3 houses, fast cars, the envy of my friends and end up just like you. However, with one key difference. I will lament never having given writing books the chance it deserves. “What if?” Was my response.
So that’s what I’m doing and I am doing it, with some element of risk assessment. I could spend this year I’ve dedicated to writing books such as Monique only to find myself at the end of that year, with no money and shit books. Just as one such friend had predicted.
So fucking what. At the end of that year, I would have published a few books and they might turn out to be worth it. If I don’t do this, so what? I can always return to writing exciting Policies for government departments and end up 19 years later, with 2.5 houses, a slightly less speedy car and almost all my friends being envious. I would have lost just 1 year by Taking Risks that I calculated, might just be worth taking.
I started off this venture, with the idealistic and naive optimism that my books would sell millions and I’d be writing from some exotic location in the world, the envy of all my friends, with 3 mansions, all the world’s fastest cars and the envy of billions.
But now I just want to sell millions of books, just so I can shove one of them down my friend’s throat. Kidding.
Whatever the motivation, Taking Risks is what life is about. Otherwise, you’ll end up spending your entire life wondering what if.