Sometimes in life you have to take chances. Normally I don’t leave much to chance even though I do take risks. For example, I moved to New Zealand from Canada without a place to live, without a job, and basically without the foggiest idea about what I was getting myself into. Oh, and I came with two small children. Amid a beautiful backdrop, I endured the break up of my marriage, an earthquake, more episodes of lice than I care to remember, a broken heart, a run-over cat, and enough house shifts to fill an address book. On the bright side, I grew personally and professionally, saw some amazing sights, travelled beyond our borders and developed a network of amazing friends, yogis and professional contacts. Bonus: I also became a published author. Perspective is often difficult but on balance the good in all likelihood outweighed the bad. In fact, if I had to write out a list, I’m positive the pros would outnumber the cons, even if the con side was an emotional juggernaut.
This year I am also taking another big risk. For the first time in my working life, I have quit the security of a full-time job. Why? So I have more time to do what I love, spend more time with my young children who are growing up far too quickly and take advantage of all the beautiful things New Zealand has to offer but which I was always short of time to indulge in. I see it as a lifestyle choice. Others might regard it as financial suicide. In reality, I have taken a giant leap of faith in my ability to earn an income as a freelance writer and as a yoga instructor, two occupations that aren’t exactly lucrative but which offer freedom and flexibility. It’s premature to say whether this leap of faith will see me to a safe landing. Taking the road less travelled is scary to be sure but it’s often the path wherein you’ll find the greatest reward, even if those rewards aren’t always immediate.
So how will I put food on the table and pay the rent? Through multiple income streams that include writing a regular column for my former employer at interest.co.nz, by teaching yoga, writing book reviews, through broadcast contracts and appearances, public speaking and book sales. Saying goodbye to a regular paycheque will pain me but nowhere near as much as had I stayed in a job merely for the security of it and never challenged myself to go for it on my own.
Dreams are great but if you never test them they’ll only ever remain fantasy.
What are you willing to risk in 2013?
Notable quotes on regret and taking chance:
“We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us. The old skin has to be shed before the new one can come.”
“I would much rather have regrets about not doing what people said, than regretting not doing what my heart led me to and wondering what life had been like if I’d just been myself.”
“Many of us crucify ourselves between two thieves – regret for the past and fear of the future.”
Amanda Morrall is a New Zealand based personal finance expert. Her first book Money Matters was published in 2013 by Penguin Random House in NZ.