Working as a contractor means you get periods of free time in-between contracts. Freeing up my time like this by working for myself was one of the huge deciding factors of why I did it. And I did it, because I want to work hard and spend some ‘real time’ to grow some personal projects.
Starting to write, means I’ve started to read more. I recently came across this article, written by @steve_benna. Steve writes a compelling overview, extracting elements from a book written by Amy Morin. It’s point 6 in Steve’s article that really got my attention.
I’m currently in a position, where I feel if I want one of my personal projects to grow into something which makes money. I first might have to invest money. Spend money, to make money. So to speak (and secretly always I’ve wanted to use that phrase!).
The last couple of weeks or more, I’ve been banding ideas around my head of how to go about growing / or turning something already good into something a bit bigger and start to see a return for the investment of my time. So, I’m at a point now where I can’t see how to go forward without getting the cash out.
Talking to a trusted friend really helped
Chatting to someone earlier this week; it was questioned on whether I may have gotten a little carried away with potentially the scale of it. Challenging ideas is always a good thing, I positively encourage it. Having given it some thought about the goals & purpose of the idea, whether to keep it grand or scale it back. I still find myself in a situation either way, where it’s looking highly likely I will need to spend money first.
Getting back to this article I came across, I felt quite personal about point 6: To better analyze a risk, ask yourself the following questions.
These questions are:
- What are the potential costs?
- What are the potential benefits?
- How will this help me achieve my goal?
- What are the alternatives?
- How good would it be if the best-case scenario came true?
- What is the worst thing that could happen, and how could I reduce the risk it will occur?
- How bad would it be if the worst-case scenario did come true?
- How much will this decision matter in five years?
I think together these questions and my friends response have really helped me to focus. I think they’ve helped me to challenge my proposal outside of my personal thoughts.
How much will this decision matter in five years?
The last question really surprised me. I don’t think I can answer that to myself without conflict. If it goes really well and works and continues to grow — then yes of course it will matter in 5 years time, as it will be the foundation of everything after it. Though if it doesn’t work out, potentially failing miserably — then in 5 years time I’m not sure it would matter, I hope I’ll still have my health and happiness even if this one doesn’t work out.
My conclusion of risk
So, I’m currently writing up a bit of a business plan for it and making enquiries to find out some initial costs of investment. The upfront cost is my only risk I believe, the level of risk being measured against how much I’ll need to spend. Whatever the value — I’ll either make money or have just spent money. Everything else should remain the same, I don’t believe and can’t see there’s any risk there.
I’d be really interested to hear what others might say about taking and assessing risk — perhaps another way of thinking that helps. Maybe a shared experience of a risk which didn’t quite work out. Perhaps even some hind-sight experiences.