Be brave enough to take some risks in life, it could end up bad but it could also end up great. I love encouraging myself with such thoughts and I regularly read quotes and books that encourage me to take risks in life. Today I want to share a speech with you. This speech was delivered by Professor Reid Whitlock at a graduation ceremony I attended at the School of Finance and Banking in Kigali, Rwanda. He encouraged his students to take calculated risks. Not reckless, uninformed risks. Not stupid risks but those risks that hold the strong prospect of great reward.
“It is easy to follow your friends, choose well-known organizations, stay in the capital city, but when you do these things, you are competing against all those friends and classmates working right next to you in the same organizations. Imagine that you are working in a small start-up that only pays you a salary if it actually becomes successful. If it fails, true, you make nothing, but if it succeeds, you will find yourself being one of the founding partners of the next Apple, the next Microsoft, the next Facebook. Don’t laugh and think “that’s ridiculous — that could never be ME”. How do you think those firms got their starts? With unknown visionaries in their twenties, working out of their parents’ houses, risking giving up the known, the comfortable, the steady salary, for their passions — for their beliefs in the inevitability of their success.
So, take some risks. Do it backed by the belief — the conviction — that what you stand to gain far exceeds what you stand to lose. So look at the risks and rewards — really research and consider them. You will begin to understand that when you succeed by taking the unconventional, riskier route, you will rise much faster, and have much more responsibility, and financial benefit than your friends who feared — who chose the known, the stable, the comfortable, the low-risk low-reward option. You will soon be the envy of those very friends — you will not be the lonely, isolated failure that you imagine.
Do everything you can to make sure you are right, then take the risk. Risk being yelled at, criticized, and ridiculed. When you risk, you will find your voice, your passion, your focus, your ticket to success.”