What would you do if you knew you could not fail?

When I graduated from college, my sister bought me a metal paperweight with that saying. While recovering from cancer, I found it in a drawer and really started to think about what it said. There are often times when life changes you and when opportunity knocks on your door. Do you hear it?

Many people are worried about the security of their jobs or have already lost their jobs. Do you hear the knocking at the door? I often ask my clients, “if you weren’t doing this, what would you do?” Most of them tell me they don’t know. Most of the time when I ask my students “what do you want to do when you get out of college?” they say “make a lot of money”. They don’t know how to get there but they have that dream. At least that’s a start, right?

Recessions are a great time to start dreaming and figuring out where you want to take your life. Stop letting your life take you. What would you do if you knew you could not fail? Would you go back to school? Change careers? Move to another state? Start a business? Have you ever looked into any of these possibilities or have you dismissed them because you just know it is not possible? Again, I ask what would you do if you knew you could not fail? Don’t look at possible or impossible. Just make a list. Start there. Here was my list a few years ago:

Start my own business
Help people
Get my PhD and teach

I’ve got my own business. I started this blog to help people save money. This summer I start studying for the GMAT so I can apply to schools this fall. I’ve been teaching since last fall. When I made this list in 2002 or 2003, this all seemed impossible. I was studying for the CPA exam and I didn’t even have my graduate degree. Hadn’t started it. It was not until I got sick and found that paper weight that I stopped letting impossible limit me.

I then started to research how to get where I wanted to go. I talked to some business owners I knew who encouraged me to start my business. It was my knitting group that encouraged me to start the blog after sharing tips with them (I think they just wanted me to shut-up already about the coupons). I decided one day that I would just start looking for part-time teaching positions. I sent my resume out to a bunch of schools and got a phone call.

Don’t get me wrong. The fear of failure does hit me. I think that’s why I’ve waited so long to apply to a PhD program. I see the statistics. Over 130 people applied to the college I want to go to and 12 (that’s right twelve) were accepted. That’s less than 10 percent. I might get rejected but I decided this week that I won’t know if I’ll get rejected if I don’t freakin’ apply. I might just get accepted. If I get rejected, I’ll try again next year. It doesn’t mean I won’t get accepted some day. But I don’t know because I haven’t tried.

I start studying for the GMAT tomorrow.

If you could do anything, what would you do? Start there. Don’t tell me why you can’t do it. What would YOU do if you knew you could not fail? Make a list and soon we’ll start discussing how to get you there.

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