For those of you who have followed along with my story for a while, or know me in person, you will have heard me mention the Rising Tide Society. Every month, ‘Creatives’ (entrepreneurs in any creative field) meet all over the world on the second or third Tuesday (whenever schedules permit) to discuss a common topic decided on by the RTS founders. Subjects range from philanthropy, client experiences, SEO & branding and more. This month, we talked about taking risks.
Risk is the potential of gaining or losing something of value. Values (such as physical health, social status, emotional well-being, or financial wealth) can be gained or lost when taking risk resulting from a given action or inaction, foreseen or unforeseen. Risk can also be defined as the intentional interaction with uncertainty. Uncertainty is a potential, unpredictable, and uncontrollable outcome; risk is a consequence of action taken in spite of uncertainty.
In our group, we discussed the greatest risk we had taken in our business thus far, followed by a risk that we were currently faced with and what was holding us back. Followers again will recall that Petalsuite started out as my venture into entrepreneurship, providing creative services such as calligraphy, handlettered signage, and artwork for special events and personal use. As soon as I received my work permit in Canada (having moved here from the States and suffering through nearly a year of forced unemployment) I dove head-first into the deep end of the proverbial pool and launched a business- not knowing how I’d finance it, who I’d market to, or how much I would suffer from the loneliness, pressure, hyper-self-criticism, insecurity, and uncertainty of business ownership. I had to doggy-paddle back to the edge of the pool, my mental wellbeing coughing and sputtering, and clutch onto the (how appropriate is this? I had to look up what the ‘curb’ of a pool was called in order to carry on with my metaphor) coping of the pool. I needed a safety net, so I got a job working at something I thought I loved, but could never have imagined the impact that my failure, homesickness, and resulting depression would have on my career, my relationships, and my life. Backtracking to that definition of risk-taking, the value that I lost, completely unforeseen, was my mental health and stability.
Since then, after months of therapy, psychiatry, meditation, and real effort into practicing self-care, I’ve almost stabilized. Now I am faced with a new risk, a new uncertainty, as another Winter is right around the corner and I know the cold, the short days, and the absence of colour and warmth, always bring me back to the edge, as a thick smog falls over me and everything I do. Time to sink or swim.