It’s often said you can’t be successful without taking a few risks. In your career, for instance, you won’t know if you could have benefited from something if you never take the chance.
No matter what the outcome, there is always a lesson to be learned from taking risks. That’s why we asked 10 members of Young Entrepreneur Council about the biggest risks they took in their careers and what their takeaways were. Here’s what they had to say.
1. Quitting A Good Job
I quit a good job to start my own business years ago now, but I have never looked back. The result was good, in my case, as I’ve been fortunate enough to have some success. I understand this isn’t always the case, so it’s been a big confidence boost to achieve my goals and be self-reliant. It’s also awesome to be able to build a team and look after clients who appreciate what we do. The takeaway for me has been that it’s always worth giving something a go, and while it’s risky to make the move, and things did not always “go to plan,” if you see something through, then you get a good result. It might not be the result you thought, but it’s worth the experience alone. Fortunately, in my case, I am now self-employed and manage my own team. That’s just not possible when working for someone else. – Baruch Labunski, Rank Secure
2. Starting A Business During the Recession
The greatest risk I took during my career was starting my business after I was laid off from my corporate job during the Great Recession in 2008. So many of my friends had lost their jobs in finance and consulting and looked frantically for the next available opportunity. All of my friends also thought I was insane to start a business instead of looking for another job. I just knew intuitively it wasn’t the right move for me. I’m glad I did start my business because it paid off after a few months of working 80-plus hours a week. – Kristin Kimberly Marquet, Marquet Media, LLC
3. Buying An Existing Company
I was on a consistent path upward from the day I started my business. At one point, I got curious about what it would take to buy out an existing company. After months of research, I made my first offer on an established business. The owner agreed to meet with me and, over the next few weeks, we came to an agreement. I felt this was a huge risk because I could potentially dump an excessive amount of money into this endeavor only to see my decision backfire. Luckily, everything went according to plan. – Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner
4. Launching My Product
It may sound silly, but taking that final leap into the decision-making process of confirming I was going to launch my product felt like the biggest risk I ever took. It was my first self-employed endeavor and I had no clue how it would turn out. I saw people in need of something and knew I could be the one to provide it, but self-doubt does wonders for your confidence and I pushed it off for a while. Finally, I decided to launch it and never look back, and the payoff has been well worth it. – Jared Atchison, WPForms
5. Joining Forces With A Successful Company
I recently stopped being a one-man business and joined a successful existing company, bringing my products with me. Instead of abandoning my own projects in favor of working for another company, this actually gave me a better opportunity to improve my products and grow what I’ve created. Plus, now I have a number of co-workers I can reach out to for advice and insights. Sometimes you imagine starting your own business in a specific way, but you need to be open to all of the ways that you can run a business. – John Turner, SeedProd LLC
6. Reaching Out For Support
It can be hard to ask for help, but reaching out for support with my business is one of the best and biggest risks I’ve taken. I wanted to grow my company myself, but when the business was struggling to grow and I was getting burned out, I reached out for support from mentors in my industry. I actually applied for a growth accelerator fund to receive investing and the opportunity to work closely with a successful entrepreneur who could offer valuable resources and advice to help me grow my business. And I was chosen. Because we were chosen for this growth accelerator fund, we were able to quickly gain traction. Reaching out for help and support can be hard, but it’s worth it. – Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms
7. Changing Industries
The biggest risk I made was also the one with the biggest payoff for my career. Although I had a respectable accounting job, I wanted to pursue entrepreneurship and go into business for myself. So I left my accounting firm, hired a handful of people and started building websites. Because I took that big leap and stepped way out of my comfort zone, I’ve become the owner of a wildly successful online business and have helped thousands of students follow their own dreams. My takeaway from this experience is that it’s not easy to abandon a comfortable lifestyle, but it’s the only way to find the most success. – Bryce Welker, The Big 4 Accounting Firms
8. Leaving Comfortability
The biggest risk I ever took in business was making the decision to start it. Leaving the comfort of a stable job within an established firm took strength and a level of risk that I knew had the potential to backfire. This decision has shown me that if something is risky, but you are willing to pursue it with an all-in mentality, anything is possible. That’s not to say that I wasn’t extremely fearful of a less-than-successful outcome at almost every step of the way. However, any time I had doubts, I would take a few deep breaths and tell myself that no one is better at sales in my industry than I am. The only thing that will carry you through the negativity and the doubt is being confident in yourself and your abilities. The best part is that accomplishing my goals has made me stronger. – Jared Weitz, United Capital Source Inc.
9. Moving To Another Country In Pursuit Of Entrepreneurship
The biggest risk I ever took in my career came with a life decision: I left everything—my country, my friends, my family and my certainty—to move to America and restart as a social media entrepreneur. As a result, I became my own boss and I built my own empire. I believe the surroundings were definitely good for me, but it was that drive that made it. When you make a bold decision, whatever it might be, if your life depends on your career or vice versa you will succeed. There are moments in life where we have to play hard; it is tough and emotionally draining, but that is the entrepreneur life and only you can make it work. Make your own bold decision, go outside of your comfort zone and that will drive your business to the next level. What doesn’t break you makes you stronger. – Simonetta Lein, Ausonia Partners
10. Launching A Venture Capital Firm
The biggest career risk I took was when I left Deloitte as a partner to start my own venture capital firm. Although it may not make sense to everyone to leave a great job at an incredible company, I used the skills that I learned there to follow my passion and start my own company, and I now serve as a board member for several other companies, nationally and internationally. Becoming self-employed has taught me so much, and while it is admittedly not the easiest task, I am able to pursue so many opportunities that I otherwise would not have been able to. Aside from career opportunities, I now speak at universities, established events and run an internship program for college students. These activities take time, but I believe that I am making a difference by sharing my knowledge. – David Chen, Sharebert
Source: Forbes – Leadership