There are three kinds of risk, in order from least to most importance:
The risk of losing money is a biggie. It’s a serious motivator. Especially when you have a family. Taking financial risk separates the entrepreneurs from the “business owners.” But, in spite of the unpleasantness of losing money, you can make it back later in your life. Which makes this the least of the risks you’ll face in your personal life.
Losing face is bad. No one likes it. And sometimes it seems impossible to regain your reputation. A great friend once said to me, “You can make lots of money in your life, but you can make only one name.” Your reputation is partly to do with what you think of yourself (can I look myself in the mirror?) and partly what the crowd thinks of you.
You are not alone in the world. Perception counts. The downside of public failure is greater than the downside of losing money at the races.
Are you wasting your time? That depends on your life’s purpose. Think of it. Everyone stands the risk of failing, but when you look back at your life one day you don’t want to say your days were spent chasing an empty goal. Even if you succeed you’ll feel regret!
There is one thing in the world you can’t retrieve. Time. Don’t waste your time on this planet.