Something important today
One that I believe is the difference of all differences.
I intend writing at much, much greater length about this sometime, somewhere, but here it is in nutshell; the difference of all differences: fear vs. courage.
Every business, financial or personal decision made from fear turns out badly. Usually, all the unintended, unexpected, unseen evolving consequences prove far worse than the thing that was feared in the first place. (I'm not talking about healthy and essential paranoia as a strategic planning device. I'm talking about fear. )
Of course, not every decision made from courage turns out well.
Were it that simple!
But the list of decisions from courage turning out well is a world longer than the list of decisions from fear turning out well. If you like playing the odds, you think and act courageously.
A lot of little things that add up, little hinges that swing big doors, open or closed.come from fear or courage. Price, for one. Terms, another. Cutting troublesome or nominally profitable accounts, customers or clients to make room for better business or keeping them in the way. Firing. Now, discretion can be the better part of valor, particularly in terms of timing.
No team ever won the F.A cup with a punt, but you can't win going for it being defensive throughout the entire game either. Defense is important, not just offense. But there's almost always a turning point, a gut-check, when a courageous call is needed. So it is in the game of business. You can't be reckless, but you can't be timid either.
There are legendary acts of courage in celebrated success stories. Stallone's refusal to sell the first Rocky script when he was told he couldn't play the lead role, even though he was dead broke and in desperate need of that cheque, that worked out well for him. There are also acts of courage born out of desperation Fred Smith keeping FedEx alive at the Las Vegas craps tables leaps to mind. As JFK said, I had to be a hero, my boat sank.
Many historians speculate the entire world would be a different place if Nixon had the courage to defy everyone, burn the tapes on the White House lawn as assertion of national security, defy impeachment (as later did Clinton). The Disney business has, at several points, prospered from courage: Walts defying the amusement park industry experts, Eisner defying his own Board immediately after 9-11.
I have personally seen very successful businesses destroyed by their owners making a sequence of fear driven decisions.... I have seen none destroyed by courage.
It is at least a great question: on what core basis am I making this decision, fear or courage?