Risk is Not Scary

Repeat after me, “Risk is not scary”.

Artist Megan Pena of Art By Megan shares her mantra, "risk is not scary."

Had you told me the mantra “risk is not scary” three years ago, I would have laughed at you and said: “umm, ok”. But, the past 3 years have taught me that it’s not the risk that is the “scary part” of adulthood. A risk is actually invigorating, allows you to re-invent yourself, challenges you in ways you have not yet even explored, and pushes you to become a person you would not even believe is hiding inside of your “safe” shell.

Now, before we continue, I am writing today about taking business risks. I don’t recommend doing anything too crazy or dangerous and then saying “risk is fun”!! I think though, that we are living in a time when people are taking new risks in inventing, reinventing themselves and becoming entrepreneurs. It’s an exciting digital time and we need to run towards it full throttle and not live in total fear.

When I began my career as an artist, I wasn’t interested in the risk element of starting a business. I was terrified of failing and embarrassing myself because I still had a big ego and I had not yet learned how to swallow my pride and just JUMP! I wanted to prove that I could do it and secretly I wanted it to be effortless, fun, beautiful and elegant.

Then, I realized that being an artist meant owning my own business, negotiating legalities, being responsible, taking action and planning ahead of time, and getting messy (mentally and physically!). I came to the knowledge that owning a business wasn’t going to look much like the curated online Instagram version of life. IT was going to look a lot more like a blooper video. Yes, my career is a blooper reel. And I LOVE IT!

Risk is not scary. An article by Rising Tide Society regional director, Art by Megan.

A quick “interview”:

Imaginary person: “So, Megan, how do you get to the point where you let go of the perfection and just enjoy the process and the risk and the scary uncertainties.”
Me: “You get like 2407 emails denying you from opportunities. Then you cry a little bit and whine about how hard it is to your husband or friends. Then, you decided that it’s all worth it still.” Imaginary person: “But what if you want to give up?”

Me: “Then you are not in love with it enough. I want to paint for the rest of my life. I’m in love with it. I am not quitting. I’m willing to do the work, even when it’s really, really hard or frustrating or annoying.”
Imaginary person: “So, you are just a really stubborn person, aren’t you.”

Me: “No I’M NOT! (read: yes, yes I am!)”

So, what’s next? I need to go make a list in my bullet journal because I haven’t set the bar high enough. I am not totally scared of my dreams, as they say, so they just aren’t big enough!

If you have questions as a business owner, please know that I am rooting for you! Email me anytime and I will cheer you on. And remember, RISK IS NOT SCARY.

Megan Pena-Ariet

Artist + NYC RTS Leader in New York City

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