When is a risk worth taking?
“You’re so brave to take that risk — I could never do that.”
I would say that this comment tops my list of comments I hear when I tell people I left my job to start a company. But it doesn’t feel like a risk.
Is it risky…building a new education platform that increases accessibility to data science?
Is it risky…leaving a stable job to develop a product that you’re passionate about?
Is it risky…believing that you and your team can reach people who’ve never thought they could code or discover new insights through data?
Well, yes. Yes, it is risky to leave a stable environment at a good job to start something new, but I don’t see it that way. If we ‘fail’, if perhaps the market doesn’t exist (which is not what we’re currently seeing) or we don’t produce fast enough to get traction, then I will have learned. I will have learned how to code, how to inspire individuals, how to persevere and problem-solve, how to think about business.
To me, this is not a risk. This is an investment in myself.
A lot of our students come back to us and say “I didn’t think I could code” or “Analyzing data actually isn’t that hard.” For me, these is the highest compliments because once our students have seen success, they gain the courage and confidence to put themselves out there.
Let’s have more people invest in their futures — I’m not saying you have to quit your job tomorrow (I only officially started working full-time on Data Society in August), but do some research. Think about the problems you see around you and how you can fix them. Find ways to make things better. And when you’re ready to jump in, take that leap. I’ll be welcoming you on the other side with open arms.
Merav Yuravlivker is the co-founder of Data Society, an online data science training program, designed by educators for professionals who don’t have a background in math or programming (but want to do cool stuff with data anyways). Data Society is in the midst of a Kickstarter campaign to increase data literacy for everyone — you should check it out!