Fulfilling, Lucrative, Low-Risk. Pick two.
“Fulfilling, lucrative, low-risk. Pick two.” — Sahil Lavingia, Gumroad founder
The more I reflect on my life, the decisions I’ve made, and the ventures I’ve embarked on, the more I keep coming back to the conclusion that Sahil Lavingia is 100% correct.
When I worked as an engineer on a nuclear site, the job was steady (low-risk) and paid insanely well (lucrative); however, it didn’t bring me much joy (not very fulfilling).
Starting a coffee business has been insanely fulfilling, and with a near-limitless ceiling on earnings, quite lucrative. But it’s hardly been low-risk, as I’ve contributed a fair amount of my own money into jumpstarting the business.
Playing board games on a Friday night with friends is an extremely fulfilling, low-risk activity, but it certainly doesn’t put much money in the bank.
I believe there’s a time and place for any of the scenarios chosen, however that trade-off almost always exists.
For me, I try to keep a healthy balance in the activities that I choose, making sure that not TOO many of them are fulfilling and lucrative yet loaded with risk. By sprinkling in some low-risk category activities, I actually feel like I lower the overall risk across the board. But for certain, I’ve been focusing much more on the “fulfilling and lucrative” category as of late.
Being fairly young still, I like the idea of satisfying activities that fall in the high-risk, high-reward bucket. I’m sure as I age, that will likely fade. For now though, it seems like the way go.
A good friend of mine followed suit, launching a Kickstarter campaign for a board game he and his brother developed called “Pick’d Off” (which is actually a pretty damn fun game). Very fulfilling, potentially very lucrative, but for sure on the risky (not risque) side.
Life is full of trade-offs. The key, I believe, is to consciously understand the nature of your decisions and correct course whenever necessary.
What do you think?
- Fulfilling and lucrative?
- Fulfilling and low-risk?
- Or lucrative and low-risk?
Pick one and run with it.
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