"Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature,
nor do the children of men as a whole experience it.
Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure.
Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing." - Helen Keller
Not once in over 35 years have I had a sense of security. I’ve rarely had the security of a steady paycheck coming in every two weeks. Being self employed and never knowing where or when your income is coming from can be very unsettling. I must admit, there were a few times in the early days of growing our business when the electric company pulled the plug on us because we weren’t able to pay the bill.
But if you know me, you know I always do my best to turn those negatives around. (Guess it was in those days that I learned that.) Taking in my little payments each week to show my commitment and to keep my word, gave me the opportunity to get to know the personnel up close and personal. As I did this, amazingly I was able to plant some seeds with the electric company that ultimately turned them into a major client. In fact, I used the checks I got from the them to pay my electric bills!
Since those dark times, I actually have gone to work for several electric associations and power and light companies that hired me and I am happy to say that we have been able to keep the lights on. Those were some tough times, for sure, but I would not trade those tough dark times for anything. I am so glad I stuck my neck out and stuck to my commitments.
Years ago when I needed more clients, I decided to go to Gillette, Wyoming to open up some new territory. I knew it was a pretty tough market, but I also knew I needed to take the risk. In the end, I secured a few coal mines, a bank, a hotel and a dentist office, along with several other new clients, and I was really glad I took the risk.
A few year later, my wife and I decided to sell all of our possessions and purchase an old Greyhound Bus and pack up the kids to go travel around the country. This was big time scary. Our friends and family thought I was “off my rocker” but we did it full time for almost three years and had the time of our lives. Our children still talk about the experiences at the ocean and up in the mountains and out in the sand dunes yet today. Risky? Sticking our necks out? You bet.
Risk taking, even after you’ve completed your due diligence can still be quite daunting. Things can go wrong. People can let you down. Equipment can break down. We can get off on the wrong path. But risk taking is still worth it. It moves you out of your comfort zones. It is where the good stuff is found.
How about you? What risks are you going to take? Where are you going to go? What are you going to do to put yourself in a completely different place? I challenge you to stick your neck out there, because you just never know how well it could go for you unless you try.
"Behold the turtle. He makes progress only when he sticks his neck out."
James Bryant Conant