A risk that paid off

The greatest and most accomplished men in any age are those who launch out boldly into the unknown, not fearing what the untried paths ahead held in store for them, but believing, even beyond belief, that there was a great prize awaiting them at the end of their endeavors.

The journey of life itself is about taking risks and I have never been afraid to press towards my own uncertainties in the hope that the result, though undefined, would either make or break me. There was one considerable risk that I took in my life that turned out to be quite profitable and which has contributed significantly to my development.

Some years ago I took on the challenge to invest in some real estate in the hopes that I could reap some financial benefits in either the short or medium run. It was a bit difficult for me deciding to invest my personal resources into purchasing a house that was in need of significant amounts of repairs.

When the opportunity presented itself I at first considered that I was not in a very secure financial position at the time that would allow me to recover if I encountered losses as a result of the investment I was contemplating. I weighed the odds and had considerable input from my closest of friends and family in helping me to arrive at a decision.

The situation was going to be a challenge to me and I have not been known to back down from a challenge. However, launching out into real estate investment was an uncharted path for me and I therefore feared that things wouldn’t go as well as I desired.

In situations like these, when contemplating whether or not to take on risk, Wee and Morse (2007) advise that the equation between the possible successes and failures be weighed carefully. Whatever option I examined in making my decision was a great challenge for me. I feared that if I purchased the property and did the improvements I  would end up losing considerably at the end of the day.

On the other hand I also feared that this project was the breakthrough that I have been begging for for so many years and that I would miss out on a wonderful opportunity. It was Collin Powell who had said “You never know what you can get away with until you try” (as cited in McGowan, 2007, p. 105) and I wasn’t about to miss out on potentially my only chance by shying away from the challenge. Therefore, my reservations aside, I decided to purchase the property.

McGowan (2007) suggests that once prudence is exercised in critical risk-taking situations and once proper planning is in place then the prospect of failure, in any endeavor, is significantly minimized. My attack plan with the real estate investment, was therefore to undertake the improvements to the property I purchased at as minimal a cost as possible so that if the returns on sale were not favorable I would not have lost too considerably.

In order to ensure that the improvements remained within budget I had to undertake all of the work on my own. The property needed significant amount of work in terms of tiling, painting and landscaping and I undertook these tasks independently. Of course it was taxing on my energy, time and resources to undertake this on my own. However, each day when I saw the improvements I was comforted that my efforts were not being wasted.

Gradually I was able to accomplish all the repairs and produced my own work of art. I was really impressed with the way I was able to face up and kept focus on the task during this critical stage of my investment. My motivation was the prospect that the returns I obtained would be considerable and my efforts would not have all been in vain.

The long and short of the story is that I was able to double my investment on the property. When I placed the property on the market it was not long before I got calls from eager customers willing to pay me way above what I had initially invested in the project. The improvements I had undertaken really made a significant difference to the point where I was able to double the money I spent on the property. Indeed the success of my venture proved to me that, according to Wee and Morse (2007), those who are wiling to launch out and try something new, are the ones that achieve in life.

Had it not been for this risk-taking activity my life would have been significantly different to date. For me, aside from the financial gains from the investment, the most important benefit of that single venture is being able to take some time off from work and return to college.

For some time I had been considering going back to college but given my work situation I knew I would not have been able to afford the tuition and additional costs any time soon. I am where I am today because of the opportunity afforded me by that single venture.