Wayne Gretzky said it best, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” There are those moments in life where you ask the question, “What if…?” It’s the moment where you’re looking back at a situation or a decision and wondering if things would have worked out differently if you’d taken a different path. The answer is inevitably yes. A different path would have wrought a completely new set of circumstances or decisions.
I recently heard a story from a friend who had the opportunity to invest in Broadcast.com at its inception. He told me that the initial investment was $10,000. That represented a 1% share in the company. At the time, he said, “There was no way I had $10,000 laying around but, had I know the company was going to sell a few years later [for $5.7 billion in 1999] I would have found a way to get the money.”
Can you imagine? A $10,000 investment that netted a $57 million return. The reality is, no one can predict that. That truly is a moment where you have to take the shot, to step out and take a huge risk.
What is the shot you you need to take today? Perhaps in your business or in your life, there is a looming decision that requires a hard choice. I know you’ll look back on it in a few years and question the validity of your decision. But. You’ll never know the consequences of your choice until AFTER you make it. So step out there, take the risk. Take the shot.
Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken” is one of my favorite poems. The last stanza sums up the theme of this post –
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
There will a moment, somewhere in the future, where you’ll recall your story. There will be many forks in the road; many decisions along the way. Perhaps you’ll sigh, as Robert Frost, and remember those decisions, those choices that truly made all the difference in your life. Some decisions you will remember with remorse and others will be sheer joy. Either way, the roads will diverge and you will be bold enough to take, “the one less traveled by…”
grace and peace,