Podcast: Assess the risk

Don’t be paralyzed. Know what you’re getting into or what you might be missing.


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15 comments to Podcast: Assess the risk

  • I was just thinking about how I left comfortable and cozy Boulder in May for a big risk to come to Europe. Your story resonates with me, because I just couldn’t stay, even though it is a wonderful place and I had a great life there. To me the biggest risk of coming here was financial. But less than a month into my trip, my business started really taking off in the ways I had wanted it to. Now I think the biggest risk was staying in a place that didn’t feed me or help me grow in ways I wanted to. I tend to be a big risk taker, because almost every time the risk pays off in big and unexpected ways. “Life is a daring adventure or it’s nothing at all.” Helen Keller

  • A couple of years ago I too made a list of pluses and minuses to changing my work vs artist status. Despite all the really good reasons to stay, I left my position and struck out on my artist’s path. I’m not a risk taker, and had it not been for my husband’s support, I’d probably still be in that nasty office. I’m learning about risk, and it’s not such a scary thing after all. There’s very little we do in this world that can’t be tweaked or fixed if we make a mistake. It’s worth the risk!

  • Alyson B. Stanfield

    Cynthia: We miss you selfishly, but delight in your bold move. It’s been fun to watch. I just can’t imagine what else is in store for you! Patricia: I can’t be for certain, but it sounds like the risk was the right move to make.

  • How this post speaks to me and what I have done and always tell my students. My keywords are BE FEARLESS and go for what you want and you put in the right words….”Assess the Risk”. Perfection Alyson. I always looked at what could be my “safety net” in case of the worse case scenario. My move from Miami, Fl to Asheville,NC has opened my world up personally and professionally.We were prisoners of air conditioning and nothing to do that we liked. Just going to the Apple Festival and taking a one hour drive through the mountains the other day and stopping to free taste everyones fresh pressed apple cider reinforced our lives here. Here, we have a life. I gave up a successful four employee 2600 sq foot portrait studio in 2000 to work with private clients and pursue my artistic dream. Little did I know where it would lead me. Congrats to you. Didn’t know we had so much in common!

  • Aloha Alyson, Great incentives as usual. I am always lifted up by your insights. Kathy

  • Oh Alyson, the risk was worth it!! Sorry if I didn’t make that clear. Hooray for taking risks!

  • Hi Alyson, I have a very short lecture to students and other artists at workshops, on risk-taking in your art: A doctor takes a risk and somebody dies A lawyer takes a risk and somebody goes to jail for a long time An artist takes a risk and nobody buys the piece. Which they probably wouldn’t have anyway. And, I can’t think of any other field where taking a risk and doing something new or different pays off more!

  • I once got a “fortune” in a Chinese cookie that says: “He who makes no mistakes makes nothing.” I saved that little paper to always remind me. Although I’m a person who is somewhat adverse to doing new things… I honestly believe that without risks, there is no progress. As you said… one needs to look at risks and assess their merit. Sometimes you will make a mistake, but without taking a risk you will never experience the joy of success!

  • Thanks Alyson…I just made lists for two big decisions and realize how silly I have been focusing on the few disadvantages in contrast to the advantages, which are many more and really great!

  • Alyson B. Stanfield

    Marilyn: Oh, I can tell you’re a risk taker. And I can’t wait to meet you in Asheville for the October workshop. Marian: Love the fortune cookie quote. Aren’t they just so wise?! And is it just a coincident that your last name is Fortunati? Anne: If anyone is a risk taker, you are! I can’t wait to find out your next moves.

  • Thank you Alyson for your last statement that it is better to take a risk than regret not taking it. It reaffirms what my husband and I will be doing in 3 months. After living in Costa Rica PT for 9 years we are selling everything in the US and making the move permanent. We are 10 years from retirement and plan to start a food business (husband has 30 yrs. + experience) not knowing where or how until we return to our adopted town. It is where our hearts are happy and we trust that everything will unfold and flow to meet us.

  • Allison J Smith

    I always write the list, and then use the “What if?”, it works great! Alyson, about 2 months ago I was discussing the problem of having a full-time job but not getting enough art and art maketing done. You suggested I save up money and take a vacation/leave from my corp office work. Thank-you, it was very good advice: I am now working on my art and art marketing full-time! It’s really great, once you make a decision, and begin to work toward it (jumping those hurdles), at some point things just start happening in your favor! Your path opens up in front of you! The past 2 months have been the best ever! Thanks again Alyson!

  • Allison J Smith

    PS. My favorite quote applies here: “Life shrinks or expands in proportion to ones courage” -Anais Nin

  • Alyson B. Stanfield

    Jan: What a move! I know it will work out for you. Allison: Wow! Did I really say that? Okay, I bet I did. I do encourage the “saving up” part. I had way too little money saved when I started my biz.

  • Shelly

    Alyson: Yes! I like your podcast. I am a risk-taker but lately am floundering in a land of indecision and it’s funny because the things I am deciding about really have no downside….but I’m still paralyzed! I think just DECIDING has become an obstacle. Although I’ve also heard that confusion sometimes means there is more to be revealed. But as you say, looking down the road, a year from now, that helps. Do I really want to be driving the same old car? Do I want to be doing work that bores me? What about something flashier, newer, more fun? Okay, baby steps, but I think I’d rather start down that road…