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The Importance of Risk Taking

Think of what our world would be like if we didn’t have Microsoft, there was no U.S. flag on the moon, or if we didn’t have the ability to fly around the world. Furthermore, imagine the 90’s without Seinfeld, no importance of a yellow submarine, and bridal fashion not being as impactful as it is today. If it wasn’t for adventurous risk takers, our world would be completely different. Bill Gates dropped out of college in order to help create Microsoft. Neil Armstrong signed up to be the first person on the moon. The Wright brothers invented and successfully flew the first airplane. Moreover, Jerry Seinfeld was booed off the stage at his first comedy club show. When the Beatles were first starting out, a recording company told them no because they didn’t like their sound. Finally, Vera Wang has changed the bridal fashion industry as a result of her not winning an Olympic medal as a figure skater. What do all of these people have in common? They are risk takers! Risks make us feel alive; we are built to take risks.

Taking risks has always played a crucial role in both my professional and person life. After graduating college in three years, I packed up my car and drove west for 28 hours straight. I had never been to Arizona, nor did I know anyone in the area. However, I knew this would require me to step outside of my comfort zone and challenge my abilities to truly be on my own in a foreign place. Some people thought I was brave, some thought I was crazy for giving up Tennessee weather for the desert. However, Iwas just doing something that came natural to me – taking a risk. It has been almost two years since I’ve taken the jump, and I have learned so much about myself that I know I wouldn’t have learned if I stayed within my comfort zone. When you move to a town where you don’t know anyone, it allows you to realize how independent you are, and opens your eyes to a whole new world you never knew existed. Of course, being away from my friends and family can be tough at times, but my Tennessee crew is always visiting me, I take frequent trips back home, and at the end of the day, I’m still just as close to the ones I love as I was on the day I took this adventure. Danny Wallace once said, “Maybe sometimes it’s riskier not to take a risk. Sometimes all you’re guaranteeing is that things will stay the same.” I find that this quote is an exact reflection and mindset on my move out west and the importance of taking risks.

Another feature of being a risk taker is that it shows you have confidence. Whether you are interviewing for a job, or walking into a bar – confidence is always key. Stepping outside of your comfort zone is an easy way to set you apart from your peers and often leads to promotions, opportunities and new relationships. Lastly, taking risks helps overcome the fear of failure. I could’ve easily taking a job with the company I interned with, or with agencies and companies that knew me in my college town. There were certain points leading up to my departure out west when the thought of failing crossed my mind. But I kept my focus and thought to myself: what’s the worst thing that  could happen? If it didn’t work out in Arizona, I knew I could easily pick another place on the map to try out. The point is, if we all lived in fear of failing, we would never live at all. And if we shut down after failing at something, then we will never make our mark on this world. 

If taking a huge risk, like moving across the country, is too much for you to bare, than start small! Taking a risk for one person, might not be risky at all for the next person. At the same time, what might be risky for someone, might seem too extreme for someone else. It’s all about finding balance and what works for you. However, if you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.

When’s the last time you took a risk?

Ashley Codispoti
Business Development Coordinator, Holder Construction Company

Ashley has worked at Holder Construction Company and has been a SMPS Arizona Member for the past two years. In her free time she loves to go backpacking. She has found that being between trees, on top of a mountain or sleeping in a hammock is when she can truly find herself! 

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