A few days ago the Internet connection in my region was down for more than 24 hours. While it’s perhaps just because the connection is not so reliable, it reminds me of an important principle: do not depend too much on something. Or, in other words, don’t put all your eggs in one basket. In my case, if I depended too much on the Internet, then the situation might have affected me badly. Thankfully, that’s not the case.

This principle applies to everything we do. Bad things could happen, so we’d better be prepared for them. We should spread our risks in such a way that a negative event will have minimal impact on us. Of course, we should not spread the risks too thinly that we lose focus, but neither should we put all of them in one place.

While this principle is applicable to many aspects of our life, here I will share 6 ways to apply it that I think are relevant to most of us. Here they are:

1. Always backup your data

Nowadays most of us work with computers. The first and foremost rule to minimize your risk here is to always backup your data. Don’t ever have your data in only one place. I use an external drive to backup my data regularly so that I’m prepared when something happens to my computer. I learned this lesson the hard way: I once lost three-semester worth of data. I hope you don’t have to learn it that way.

2. Have offline copy of important online data

This is a variant of the previous tip. While the previous tip focuses on having a backup of the data in your computer, here the focus is to have a backup of the data on the Internet. The Internet is a very dynamic place, which means things can disappear as easily as they come. For instance, good online articles might not always be there; the sites might be down. This is not to mention potential problem with Internet connection like what I experienced.

That’s why I’ve used Scrapbook for years to save and read the best articles I found around the Internet. This way, I always have the articles I love no matter what happens.

3. Create several income streams

If you had only one income stream and it failed, then you would face the danger of not having any income at all. Having only one income stream is like a company that has only one customer; no healthy company has only one customer. So make it your goal to create several income streams. The passive income resources might give you some ideas.

4. Diversify your investment

Diversification is a well-known principle in investing, and for a good reason: poorly diversified investment might give you a big loss that erase years of good performance. So be sure that you invest in different investment classes such as cash, money market, bonds, and stocks. Find your risk profile and diversify your investment accordingly.

5. Diversify your relationships

In many cases, your network is your insurance policy. When something bad happens or you need something, your network is the place to go to find help and support. The more diversified your network, the more cases it can handle.

6. Diversify your knowledge

Being an expert in your field is always a good thing, but not learning about other fields is dangerous. What if the market changes and your expertise is no longer in demand? In the current fast-pace environment, anything could happen. So be sure that you diversify your knowledge. This way, when a new wave of change comes, you will be prepared to face it. Even better, be a versatilist.


Those are my 6 ideas. I’m sure there are still many other ways to spread risks. If you have ideas about it, feel free to share them in the comments.

Photo by ground.zero