Tips and Tricks

Is It Time to Stop Playing It Safe?

You can’t be that kid standing at the top of the waterslide, overthinking it.
You have to go down the chute.

Tina Fey

by Skip Cohen

If you’re new to reading my Sunday posts, here’s a short warning – I always go off the topic of business and marketing. 

Last night Sheila and I, wandering through Netflix, found a movie, “This is Where I Leave You.” It was released in 2014 with an all-star cast including Jane Fonda, Tina Fey, and Jason Bateman. And for those overly macho film seekers out there, I suppose it would be classified as a chick-flick. 

In one scene, Jason Bateman talks about his life and how he’s always played it safe. He stayed away from risks and anything that was complicated.  That kicked off a conversation I later had with Sheila, and it’s been on my mind all night. Up until 2009, I always played it safe. I waited for things to come my way instead of going after them. I stayed away from complicated and never strayed from the path I was on.

I remember deciding it was time to leave WPPI, and everyone thought I was nuts except for one person, Sheila. I’ve written about this before, but she asked, “What are you afraid of?” Without one second of hesitation, I answered, “Failure!”

On April 1, 2009, I handed in my resignation, and while it’s never been easy, I’ve never looked back. And because of that, one foundation-building risk, I’ve got no regrets. I stopped playing it safe and I see it reflected in so many decisions I make every day. 

If you play it safe in life, you’ve decided you don’t want to grow anymore!
Shirley Hufstedler

​Growth only happens outside our comfort zone. I’m not suggesting it’s been easy, but I’m grateful for a partner supporting taking a risk. I had lived vicariously through the entrepreneurial spirit of so many of you. I wanted to see if I could walk the talk, and while I’ve got a few scraped knees from falling down, it’s been so worth it.

And there’s my point – don’t stop chasing your dreams. Don’t hold back from taking risks. Step outside your routine and stop being so predictable. It’s not easy, but there is an outrageous sense of accomplishment at the end of the day – even when you’ve missed the mark, nothing is cast in concrete. You think it through, analyze what didn’t work, and hit it again!

Wishing you a day filled with passion, growth, and, yes, a little risk-taking. Don’t overthink that waterslide – take the leap and head down the chute. You’ll be amazed at how much you can accomplish taking a different path, and as hokey as it sounds – you’ll wake up tomorrow energized over the changes!

​Happy Sunday…or Monday on the other side of the world.

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