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We are pleased to present the following excerpt from the book

You Don't Have to Learn the Hard Way: Making it in the Real World: A Guide for Graduates

by J.R. Parrish

Benbella Books - April 2009

QUIZ: How Big a Risk-Taker are You?

1) If I had enough money to live on for a year, right now, I'd . . .

a. Quit my job and take off for a year because I may never get that chance again.
b. Keep working and spend the extra cash on fun stuff.
c. Try to save most of it.

2) I would change jobs if . . .

a.I thought the new job would be something I would like to do more and would be much better at.
b. The new job title would sound cool to my friends, even though the money is no better.
c. The new place offered me more money, even if I didn't really like the job.

3) I envy people who are richer than I am and I want to be one of them one day.

a. Strongly agree.
b. Not sure.
c. Disagree.

4) I planned a great vacation and then find out I lost my job. I . . .

a. Go anyway because I figure I'll feel more like looking for a new job after I've had some fun.
b. Go on a vacation that doesn't cost as much but still will be fun.
c. Cancel the vacation plans and start job-hunting.

5) Here's how I feel about debt:

a. All my friends have some, for college loans and stuff, so it doesn't bother me.
b. I don't want to have credit card debt but I realize that sometimes that's what happens in life.
c. I don't like the idea of owing anybody anything.

6) If I see something I like, I . . .

a. Try to talk myself out of it because I often regret buying stuff afterward.
b. Shop around to see if other stores have the same thing for less.
c. Buy it -- it's not worth the time to come back later and it might be gone by then.

7) When I am facing a big money decision, I . . .

a. Do some research on the Internet, call friends, and even see what my parents or some other expert-types have to say.
b. Call my friends to see what they would do.
c. Flip a coin -- these things even out.

SCORE: Count up your points

1) a. 3; b. 2; c. 1

2) a. 1; b. 2; c. 3

3) a. 3; b. 2; c. 1

4) a. 3; b. 2; c. 1

5) a. 3; b. 2; c. 1

6) a. 1; b. 2; c. 3

7) a. 1; b. 2; c. 3

What your score means:

If you scored between 19 and 21 points, you are willing to take a lot of risks. Sometimes risks pay off -- but if you don't also start trying to weigh your choices more carefully, you could find yourself in financial trouble.

If you scored between 11 and 18 points, you seem able to balance some risk with common sense. That's just what you'll need to succeed in your career.

If you scored between 7 and 10 points, you don't seem comfortable taking a lot of risks. While you don't want to play it completely safe all of your life, you're probably on the right path to financial security.


Copyright © 2009 J.R. Parrish. Reprinted with permission.

J.R. Parrish, author of You Don't Have to Learn the Hard Way: Making it in the Real World: A Guide for Graduates, went from being a milkman to a multimillionaire. In 1974, he founded J. R. Parrish Inc., a commercial real estate company in Silicon Valley. He ran the company based on the premise that to succeed in life, you must treat people with fairness and respect, a premise that not only won him friends, but made him a fortune. J.R. spent the next 25 years studying and teaching his employees and brokers about human relations. The company grew to be a huge success and one of the premier real estate brokerage firms in Silicon Valley. J.R. retired in 1999. Today, he and his wife Lisa live in one of the most idyllic spots in the Hawaiian Islands, on their own coffee plantation. He continues to support the ideals he believes in through his foundation. For more information please visit

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