Why we should be more honest about taking risks

It’s a natural tendency amongst us lone rangers to big up the successes of our peers.  We need the confidence that all things are possible and that each of us could be a success story.  There’s certainly a lot that we can learn from the heros of the freelance economy. The over-emphasis on the successes of others is called ‘survivor bias’.

But we also know the everyday stories of those who are struggling financially and seriously considering going back into the mainstream to take a ‘proper job’. (If you are considering this, read this first!)

Our society teaches us that there is a balance to be struck.  That for every success there are failures. That for taking the risks and failing, the successes are rewarded.   There’s even a mythical culture around the glorification of failure, summed up in the often used ‘Fail fast. Fail Often’ quote, which I’ve always thought rather belittles the experience of failure as anyone who has seriously experienced it will tell you.

I prefer Seth Godin’s point from ‘The Dip: The extraordinary benefits of knowing when to quit (and when to stick)

The old saying is wrong – winners do quit, and quitters do win

Taking a leap out of your cosy (if frustrating) corporate life to become a freelancer, a business owner or becoming location independent isn’t for everybody. The fact is that we need a balance of the risk takers and those who are simply looking for a more sustainable, happy, fulfilled life. I’m certainly not saying that we shouldn’t take risks.

What I’m saying is that you should take balanced risks, and part of that is making sure that you have a good, supportive infrastructure behind you when you do.  Whether that’s a bit of money in the bank, great friends and family who will keep your spirits up or even KindredHQ.

And you need to know what the risk is.  So talk to someone who failed before you take the leap.  And then jump in.


Who is Alex Butler

Hello, I'm Alex Butler and I founded the KindredHQ community and blog back in 2011 after I re-started a freelance career. I LOVE freelancing and I wouldn't swop the freedom, control and joy of working for myself for anything. But I realised how much I missed the company and energy of other people - of having a team around me. So, I got a few people together one day with our laptops, a jar of coffee and some jelly babies and we sat and worked together one afternoon. We've been doing that every week in London, UK since then! I am still 100% freelance and I like to share the everyday highs and lows of being a freelancer here on the blog.

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