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  • Writer's pictureBob Prentice


Just because we can doesn't mean we should! This phrase has a very special meaning in our home and business. You see, over the years we have at times let our creative ability get us into a lot of trouble-what we have come to refer to as being knee deep in alligators kind of trouble.

Early on, we realized that our family had been blessed with a fair amount of abilities, talents, and skills, and that there would always be an abundance of opportunities coming our way. We also discovered that just being capable or gifted to do something, did not necessarily mean that we should jump in with both feet whenever an opportunity presented itself to use those capabilities we possess. The fact is that once in awhile one of us would get an idea that we would jump right into, and it almost always seemed to cause us some real challenges.

Over the years, we have had to learn the hard way to become more discerning in the midst of opportunities. Now I know that I am always telling people to seize opportunities, and I really do believe and live that. However, every opportunity that comes our way must first be weighed in light of the pros and cons. The decision to take advantage of an opportunity should be made only after careful consideration. Yes, we can and must be opportunistic-minded, but unless we want to find ourselves knee deep in alligators we must learn not to jump in so fast. If we are to keep the alligators at bay, we need to be discerning.

How about you? Have you ever found yourself jumping at an opportunity only to end up frustrated that things weren't working out the way you had thought they would? Have you ever felt like you were knee deep in alligators and they were chomping and biting on you, big time? Want to avoid that feeling the next time you are presented with an opportunity?

The next time someone or something, comes along and says, "Hey, I got this great, super neat, whiz-bang, thing-a-ma-jig business idea (or product, etc.) that can solve all of life's problems!" catch yourself. Slow down, stop, count to ten and then ask yourself a few questions.

  • If I do this what will I have to give up?

  • Is this the right timing?

  • Am I in the right place?

  • Do I have all the resources (money, time, energy, etc) I need to do this?

  • What will be the long term effects if I do this?

  • Who else, besides me, will need to be involved? Are they willing to be involved?

  • What if I fail? What if I succeed?

  • What is my purpose in doing this? Does what I want to do fit with my life purpose?

  • Am I thinking I need to buy the whole cow when I what I really need is just a glass of milk?

These are just a few of the questions you need to ask. Of course, there may be many more depending on the situation. Just one more word of advice to keep in mind: Just because you can doesn't mean you should!

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