Ep. 96 – Move On to Move Forward: Taking the Right Risks

This episode is being released on March 1. 

That’s a significant day for me as it’s the anniversary of when I officially became an entrepreneur. 

One of my favorite quotes is “Leap and a net will appear.”

Easy to say, harder to leap. 

And sometimes it takes watching someone else leap before it even occurs to you to consider your own. 

I was talking to a friend this weekend who is considering launching her own business after spending decades in the sometimes cushy, sometimes crushing corporate world. 

“Weren’t you terrified?” she asked me.

Of course I was, I said. I mean I was a single mom of two teenagers navigating the new dynamics of a global pandemic. But I was far more terrified of staying in what had become a velvet rut. I knew what indecision and inaction felt like. I knew far too well how tight life can feel when you stay in a place that you have long outgrown. 

The Bottom Line on Top of this episode is that sometimes we need to move on in order to move forward. 

The challenge, however, is often the battle within the brain to assess the trade-off, or risk, of making a change at all. And that, by the way, is what the brain is designed to do – keep us safe. It’s one of the most primitive parts of our evolution and that ignites our very quick survival instinct.  

We humans also have another part of our brain that helps analyze risk, and that’s called the neocortex. This little goodie is a gift with purchase in our brains as it seems to only be found in mammals. This is the part of our brain that uses intelligence and reasoning to explore the more nuanced tradeoffs of trying new things.  

But we’re still humans here, so our evaluations are often based on shortcuts, biases, and even the cautionary tales from others. We will heart emoji the leaping of someone else, but it will often require our current level of discomfort to get big enough to consider even putting our toes on the edge to glimpse a different view. 

Episode 41 put this into an investment framing by exploring the concept of a Sunk Cost, which means an investment that has already occurred and cannot be recouped. 

When it comes to considering taking a leap, it’s easy for us to reference our own mental ledger of the previousinvestments we’ve made in time, loyalty, decisions and even people. Based on the who, what, and how long, we tend to assign current value to previous expenditures we made in different areas. 

It’s important to value what we have; just be aware of what you have that continues to ask for more or where you keep giving more sometimes without even being asked. Where might you be feeling the weight of previous investments of that time, energy, talent? 

You can honor and appreciate the places you’ve been and the people you’ve been with and still move forward. There is no extra credit for staying longer in a place you have outgrown.  

When you are considering making your leap – even if that leap is to stop doing something versus start doing something new – maybe try the word “complete” to allow there to be both a recognition and a finality to the investment you are about to make or stop making. 

Whatever idea you are trying on is worth at least an initial investment of imagination and curiosity. And you get to try before you buy, all inside your brain. Exploring what you might want and discovering what you no longer do are priceless pieces of perspective. 

Whether or not you choose to take that leap, at least take the time to enjoy the view. 

Your brain is hungry. Give it some intellectual snacks in the
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I'm Kristin

I left my corporate work and dove further into how to navigate this noisy, digital, exhausted world. The result is a methodology centered on communications, productivity, and culture that blends theory with practice and helps people better enjoy the life they worked so hard to get.