People who play it safe risk the most.

You probably don’t look at someone living a safe, predictable life and think, “Wow, that person is really living their best life.”

Playing it too safe, making sure you do everything you can not to make a huge mistake, is actually putting you, your ambitions, and your business at the greatest risk.

This is not a message for anyone who is happy with where they are. This is for those who are reaching for more—who want to do something really, really big in 2023, despite the naysayers, despite the market, despite everything else.

So, if you’re like, “Hey, I’m just content where I’m at,” feel free to close this tab and resume whatever it is you were doing.

The rest of this post is for those minds that understand that to get ahead in a big way, there’s going to have to be some risk involved.

Getting by vs. getting ahead

If we’re just trying to stay safe, we’re going to take calculated moves.

You can correlate this to someone who’s got a flat business—or maybe someone who’s working a salaried job and doesn’t see any point in trying to add to their steady paycheck. They have an admirable position in life, and they’re working very hard. There’s nothing wrong with that.

But I would argue that that person is probably just doing what they have to do every day to meet that standard they’ve set for themselves, to get the minimum (or even the maximum) out of their salaried position.

Making the most of your free time

Everybody has what we call free time on top of our work time. So, let’s say the average person maybe has 72 hours a week outside of sleeping and working.

Some call it “leisure time,” and some see it as just the time they get to themselves, which is all good.

But the risk-takers look at that extra time and say, “What are the things I can do to take risks, to go the extra mile, and to build something big?

The risk-takers, in the end, are the ones playing it the safest. Because when they’re trying to excel in that extra time that they have—when they’re working on a new angle or a new way of cutting through with all that extra time—they’re actually getting themselves more at-bats, more swings, more opportunities, more chances to win.

And while they may fail a heck of a lot more often, we know that it takes just one big win to break through and do something unique—something special.

Taking risks vs. stagnation

Risk-takers in life are the men and women who enjoy the spoils of life and the things that they’ve thought about achieving for a long time.

But if we stay stagnant in just doing the things that we have to do, we’re only going to get what we need to get. Those big things we’re dreaming of, that we want so desperately in our life, that we can’t stop thinking about…those things are not going to come without some risk.

2023 offers us the biggest opportunity to take some risks. And by that, I’m not saying you should just go out there and take whatever risks come to mind. Not all risks are worth taking.

Start by cutting the fat—in your budget and in your daily routine—so you can reinvest in income-producing activities.

How are you really spending your time?

A great way to get started with this is Tom Toole’s time log exercise. In one week, you’ll have a clear idea of how you’re spending every 15- or 30-minute block of the time (when you’re not sleeping).

Then, it’s just a matter of cutting out time-wasters and putting those time blocks to better use. 

Free up your time, your resources, and your energy from things that bring zero benefits to you or anyone else. Then put that to better use by taking more risks than anyone else.  Because the more at-bats, and the more risks you take, the more chances you have of hitting it big.