A few of years ago at my high school reunion, I walked up to the first love of my life.“Becky,every single therapist I’ve ever had knows your name.”She looked at me like she hoped the nut house I’d escaped from would be picking me up soon. Very soon.
From 3rd grade through 8th, I pined for Becky. I knew it was love. I would have stood in front of an onrushing train for her. But I was apparently unwilling to risk the humiliation of potential rejection. That sure helps explain the years of therapy!
What does my unrequited pre-pubescent love have to do with business? I’ll get to that.
But first, a few words from The Great One, Wayne Gretzky: “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”
I lacked the courage to hear Becky say, “Get away from me you disgusting creep!” The truth is, she might have said, “I like you too, Tommy.” I’ll never know. I missed the shot because I never took it. I ran in terror from my fear.
In business, if you are unable to harness your fear, you’ll remain on the sidelines while others — many of whom have far fewer skills than you — reach extraordinary success.
Business success requires courage. The courage to fail. Show me a successful entrepreneur who claims to have never failed, and I’ll introduce you to a liar.
Don’t put yourself in the position to whine, “I wish I’d gone out on my own sooner. Now the market is flooded with competition.” Or, “Our competition just bought our biggest supplier. We’re toast.” Or, even worse.…“Damn. Mark Zuckerberg beat me to it.”
In business and in love, if you let fear be your guide, you are sure to lose.
Today’s fear will be dressed as regret tomorrow. Don’t be like Tommy. Take your shot.