When I look at my existence and see the accomplishments I have amassed, I always ask myself “Why did I take risks to get to where I am today?” It’s a difficult question to answer because at some point in life, you would have had to take several sacrifices to get to where you are today.
There is no point living life to its fullest if you have not taken any risks no matter how big or small they are to get to your end point. Think of it as a child being wrapped up in cotton wool without taking any bumps or scrapes along the way and not having to take a risk that could potentially alter your future in the short and long-term when it comes to career and personal life choices.
What does “No guts, no glory” mean to me from a risk-taking perspective? It means having the confidence to take a calculated risk whether that is a career or lifestyle change such as moving from a small town to a big city such as Birmingham or embracing a healthy lifestyle. You have to embrace the mental and physical aspects whilst ensuring that risk has paid off financially and keeps your relationships healthy.
I can remember the risks I have taken over the years to get to where I am as a university graduate from Birmingham City University, looking to secure my first job. If there has been a risk I have taken and never looked back on recently which is joining the Tableau community at the start of this year. This was a huge risk I had taken as it was a vital stepping stone to improving my data visualisation and analytical skills.
Most of the Tableau community on social media are from a wide range of backgrounds such as business intelligence, MI and Higher Education. At the time, I was close to graduating from university so this was the next step to becoming a well-rounded Data Journalist and Data Analyst.
The first few months were adjusting myself to the community, but when I found my stride, that’s when I knew I had found my future career in data analytics. Without the help of the community and Ben Jones, who leads Tableau Public, that risk to use Tableau, as well as other statistical software such as R & SQL would have not paid off immensely longer-term.
Also, another risk that has paid off hugely has been embracing an extensive fitness and dietary system. Six years ago, I decided enough was enough and decided to get myself into shape. Through the countless runs, swims and gym sessions, as well as completely revamping my diet, I have now become a lean, mean, aspiring half-marathon and racing driver machine!
More recently, I have been doing some 10k runs through using the fitness tracker app Strava. As it was a lovely Monday morning in Birmingham, I decided to take a risk and embrace the hot conditions and run 10k for the second time. Not only did I beat my first attempt so convincingly, I used my experience of my past 5k runs to manage my pace and achieve consistent Personal Bests for the different running routes I embark on.
In terms of advice for taking risks, by all means take calculated risks as a stepping stone to achieving bigger things. If you continue to dedicate your time living risk-free and unhappy with yourself, you will end up in the same direction as you currently are with no backup career plan to save you. Take risks and the glory will come naturally.