I’m traveling to speak at a conference today. It’s made me nostalgic for last year – when I went to the same conference. I hadn’t been invited to speak. My church wasn’t sending me. But I knew I needed to get there.
I didn’t really have the extra money. Who does? So I decided to take some risks. This is the story of those risks and how they ultimately led to me forming Sunday| Magazine.
Risk 1: I contacted the conference to see if they’d let me attend for free. This would be a $250 discount. I’d helped the conference folks out with a free webinar – so there was already a connection. But they could have said no. I risked a little embarrassment and asked. They said yes.
That left the travel and hotel costs. Fortunately, a new friend offered to let me stay with him.
Risk 2: I’d met this guy once for coffee. He was a Twitter friend. My wife was apprehensive, but she finally agreed I could take the risk. The worst that could happen was my getting murdered in my sleep. It didn’t happen, and I actually made a great friend out of the experience.
So that left travel costs. I figured I could invest the $150 in driving to the conference.
When I got there, I saw folks from a company that had a approached me a couple months back to start a magazine with them. We’d done the discussions, but the project wouldn’t work out. They weren’t able to justify funding the thing. But that didn’t mean I wasn’t getting excited about the project.
Risk 3: I decided I’d ask if I could take the idea and run with it on my own. Perhaps it wasn’t a big risk, but it’s scary knowing someone might tell you no. I asked and they were excited I’d be doing the project. We were a go.
Final Risk: I walked around and introduced myself to a bunch of folks. I made friends. I risked a lot of rejection and embarrassment. But I met folks who would be instrumental in helping me get connections for writers and artists. It was a risk that really paid off.
So that’s the story of the risks I took last year. I only pray I’m willing to take similar risks this year. Who knows what can happen?
Now you. What risks will you take? What projects will you get to launch because you were willing to risk a little bit of capital, embarrassment, and rejection (and potential death)?