Have you learned to trust your business instincts?
Any prudent man or woman who takes on the responsibility of becoming entrepreneurial should have the good sense to study, take counsel from trusted advisors and use common sense in decision-making. But after all of that—do what feels right!
I urge you to think of a time in your past in which you had a creative thought and either did or did not follow through on it. What were the results? Are you happy that you took the risk or disappointed because you did not.
Allow me to share a rather simple and non-business related example from my own life.
As a young boy growing up in the tiny village of Lawler, Iowa—population around 500—I somehow became enamored with the Boys of Summer, otherwise known around the National League as the Brooklyn Dodgers.
My hero was the center fielder, Number 4, Duke Snider: ‘The Duke!’ I absolutely idolized the ‘Bums of Flatbush’ in general and The Duke in particular. There came a magical moment when, in 1955, Brooklyn took seven games to beat its traditional rivals, the hated New York Yankees, to win the team’s first World Series. At age eleven, that was the most thrilling athletic contest I’d ever seen on our black-and-white Philco television.
Years passed. In 1958, Dodger owner, Walter O’Malley, moved the popular franchise from the cozy confines of Ebbetts Field in Brooklyn to the vastness of Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. The Duke got older and retired. I grew up and left sports heroes behind.
But one day in 1980, while sitting in my office as a 36-year old insurance salesman, it occurred to me to call my childhood hero and congratulate The Duke on his induction into the baseball Hall of Fame 25 years after that incredible World Series.
Granted, it was different from today. I happened to know that he lived in Fall Brook, California and dialed the operator for his number. Expecting it to be unlisted, I was in shock when she gave it to me.
With sweaty palms and shaking fingers I dialed before talking myself out of this crazy scheme. Momentarily I heard an unfamiliar voice on the other end of the line, "Hello."
"Hello, would Duke be available for a call from an old fan?"
"This is the Duke."
Now what? Suddenly I was eleven again and asking myself what the heck I had done. Somehow I nervously blurted out, "Duke, my name is Bill Sheridan calling you from Fort Dodge, Iowa. I simply wanted to congratulate you on your induction into the Hall of Fame and want to thank you for all the thrills you gave me growing up as a kid in Northeast Iowa."
He laughed, adding a quizzical noteof caution, “You a reporter?”
"Nope. Just a fan who wanted to congratulate you and thank you for being part of my life even if just in a small way."
Snider kindly chatted for another minute or two and offered to send me his autograph which I treasure to this day.
And I learned a valuable lesson from that encounter: When a seemingly loony idea like that pops into my head: Trust your instincts!. Granted, the results have not always turned out as successful as that one but more often than not—they will.
If you truly think that you are on to something—trust yourself. Don’t be foolish. Use due diligence. Then go for it. If it makes sound business sense and you have the means and know-how to take the risk, you will not regret your decision.
To cop a line from a Statler Brother’s song, "I’d rather be sorry for something I did than for something that I didn’t do."
Bill Sheridan "Sheridan Writes"—see my bio under Guest Authors
"Sheridan Writes"—see my bio under Guest Authors
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