If you read articles about successful businesses like I do, then you’ll notice that “take risks” is a common advice piece that is continually mentioned across many of these articles. They say that in order to differentiate yourself and be successful, you have to do things that other people won’t do. I read this over and over, from the comfort of my non-risk taking bubble and always wonder if there’s an out; if I can be successful without having to take risks. I feel that risk-taking is in complete conflict with my Type-A, planning nature. How can I plan for what’s to come if I am taking a risk and doing something I’ve never done before?

Let’s Get Personal: Taking Risks, When You Are 100% Risk Averse

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To say I am risk averse is probably a gross understatement. I like to be in control of my life and situations and although I can be relaxed and “go-with-the-flow” at times, I much prefer having expectations and plans set in advance. I just feel better, more at peace, when there is a plan in place! So how the heck am I supposed to take risks with my business and jump into the unknown, where no plan exists?

Well for starters, I think the whole point of articles telling you that truly successful businesses take risks is to show that it’s not supposed to be easy. If it was easy, everyone would do it and all businesses would be successful. I need to force myself to come to terms with the fact that risks will make me uncomfortable and will be challenging and I might even fail at the risks I take, but the fact is that they need to be taken in order to grow my business.

So I’ve decided to take my first real risk for 2014. The risk was something I had long dreamed and thought about doing, but was always too scared to actually take the leap into. Yes, we’re talking about the newly launched DIY Wedding Workshops.

How might these be a risk you ask? Well for starters, workshops aren’t exactly easy or cheap to start up. Though I’ve been planning them for months (of course I have), finding vendor hosts, finding sponsors, finding a space to have them, the biggest risk is – will they be a success? Will they pay off? Will I make back what I’ve spent on them so far? Not only have I spent money on rental space, items for the workshops, and a ton of promotional goodies, but ideally, I’d like to make some money from them as well so that all that time spent planning and organizing wasn’t for naught!

This was the fear I had before I jumped in (and let’s face it, still have every single day) – that while the workshops seem like a good idea, nobody would show up. Ticket sales wouldn’t happen and I’d be left with a crumbling idea, a big waste of not only my time, but the vendors/sponsors’ time, and a big ole hole in my bank account, where the money I’ve spent so far, used to be.

But this is a risk and risks are meant to be scary. Risks can’t be controlled (no matter how hard I try and no matter how much planning for the workshops I’ve done) and risks aren’t meant to be easy. These are the things I have to keep telling myself. I have to believe that taking this risk will be good for my business. I truly believe in these DIY wedding workshops and I do believe there is a market for this sort of event in Washington, DC, but I’d be lying if I said I was 100% at ease with the decision I made to start them.

But I guess we’ll all just have to wait and see if the risk actually pays off.

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  1. If I wasn’t so far along in the wedding process I would definitely sign up and will make sure to pass along with friends who have the deer in headlight wedding planning look :). They are a GREAT idea and the risk will pay off ten-fold. Congrats on taking the leap, this post was inspiring!

  2. This is awesome and I SOOOOO empathize! I think these workshops are going to be banging and what an incredible idea! Can’t wait to see more from them and you!!! Love this post!

  3. Bree, I think you are so dang rad for writing this post. I’m definitely in the same boat as you, I put off doing my first workshop for months because of the same fears. Risks are hard, they’re scary, and it’s so tempting to take a risk that doesn’t work out the way you’d envisioned and make it an example- “see what happened that one time I took a chance? It didn’t work out, so I should probably never do that again.” Lies, lies, lies. Risks are GOOD! You’ll grow more from your business by chancing something new than you ever would if you just plod along with the status quo. And you, dear friend, are anything BUT status quo.

    1. ABBY! You are making me CRY. Thank you so so much for this response. You are SO right and I just need to kep telling myself this over and over. It’s my first workshop, I will (and have) learn a TON and I must keep going, no matter how scary. Thanks for the boost.

  4. Wow, Bree. We are feeling this post so much! Especially a week before our big -risky- event. But we’re so glad that our recent risk taking has led us to other like minded ladies like you. It makes it all worth it to work with great partners. And doughnuts. They help a LOT!

  5. I will be there with bells on and can’t wait to do a full recap of the event to help get the word out about the next ones as they happen.

    From one risk-averse woman to another… you’re killing it!

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