• Advice

Earn Your Degree in Riskology

Do you want to join the top 1% of the world?

We’re not talking about income, we’re talking about the people in the world who do things that less than 1% of the world will ever do: the world’s small collection of risk-takers.

Recently we ran across the awesome blog Advanced Riskology, where founder Tyler Tervooren shares original research and insights about winning at life, business, and adventure by taking smarter risks. He also does crazy stuff like set out to climb a mountain and run a marathon on each continent (even Antarctica). He also inspires his readers to take risks by starting their own businesses -- a risk freelancers are familiar with!

We talked with Tyler recently about his story, risk-taking, and the entrepreneur mindset.

FU: What’s a "microbusiness”?

**Tyler: **A microbusiness is just like any other business but smaller—much smaller. In many cases, they can be run buy just one person on a part-time schedule. Most of already know someone running a microbusiness. Maybe your friend sells things on Etsy or eBay. Or maybe a co-worker of yours runs a website on the weekends that makes a little money.

Microbusinesses are great because anyone can start one. By starting so small, it removes all the barriers to entry that most people are concerned about when it comes to starting a business. You don't have to quit your job or mortgage your house or any of that kind of stuff. For most people, they simply take a hobby and find a way to make a little side income with it.

It's simple and a really great way to get your feet wet with entrepreneurship.

FU: How did you become a microbusiness entrepreneur?

**Tyler: **I've started lots of them over the years. When I was 16, I was a one-man landscaping crew with one, single client. In college, I ran a concert ticket resale business on eBay. Earlier this year, I helped start a little coffee subscription website where I would mail a different Portland coffee to you every other week.

I've done lots of things like that. My "real business" though, is Advanced Riskology.

FU: Let's say I want to start a business because I have a great idea, but have no money. What should I do?

**Tyler: **Well, I'd start by making sure you actually have a great idea. You really have no clue how good your idea is until you try to sell it. So, the first step is to sell your idea. There's no other way to know. That's a pretty confusing concept for most new entrepreneurs—how do you sell something if it doesn't exist yet?—but this is how all sorts of businesses work.

Before they even make their new product/service, they offer it for sale in a "pre-sale." That gives them the ability to gauge interest and make smart decisions about how to invest in what they're building. If you get a lot of pre-sales, scale up investment. If not, reconsider!

So, if you want to know if your idea is any good, try to actually sell it to someone! You don't need any money to do that.

FU: What if I'm afraid to quit my terrible job because I'm worried I will embarrass myself and everyone will laugh when I fail?

**Tyler: **Not that many people are watching. And anyone who laughs? What have they done (or even tried to do) that's so great?

FU: You’ve been all over the world. How did you choose your hometown?

Tyler: Portland is a great town for freelancers and entrepreneurs, I think. There are lots of us here already, so it's easy to network every day with other people doing similar things.

But really, anywhere is a great place for for those types of folks. Running your own business and being entrepreneurial is about finding a way to offer some sort of value to people wherever you are.

So, if you have the right mindset, you can do well anywhere in the world.

Want more from Tyler? Sign up for his free Smart Riskologist Newsletter.