The Beautiful Risk that is Life, Business, and Happiness

by Marcus Sheridan

FenwayRisk: It has been on my mind a good bit lately, as I’ve been playing with the 4-letter word quite often in recent weeks. But it all came to a serendipitous head Friday night as I was working out on an elliptical with my business partner Jason in the Sheraton hotel in Boston.

While working out, the TV was showing the Boston Red Sox vs. the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, an important series for two teams fighting for their playoff lives. Never in a million years did I think I’d be sitting at the game only a short time later.

But before I jump ahead, after our workout, Jason mentioned we should go for a walk and see what Fenway Park (where the Sox play) looked like. Always having wanted to see the magical facility (it has been on my bucket list to go to a Sox game for quite a few years now) I happily agreed and soon we were off.

Once at the stadium, the game was winding down, with the 8th inning getting ready to start. But as Jason and I circled the complex, we noticed just how many entry ways there were to get in the building, and suddenly we saw a particularly large entryway that was being watched over by a security guard who didn’t seemed terribly interested in his job at hand.

Just Keep Walking

What happened next is something I’ll be laughing about for a long time. Without saying a word to each other, much less making even the slightest visual motion to the other, Jason and I found ourselves walking right through the door, past the guard, and up the stairs to catch a view we wouldn’t soon forget.

Within seconds, we planted ourselves on the second deck, immediately off the left field foul line, and practically within an arm’s reach of the famous ‘Green Monster’. As soon as we sat down, and while Neil Diamond’s ‘Sweet Caroline’ echoed throughout the stadium, for the first time we gave each other a look, and all we could do was laugh…and laugh…and laugh.

As the amazing Bostonian fans screamed and heckled away at the Devil Rays, Jason and I were able to take in a moment that just an hour before was nothing more than a ‘wouldn’t it be cool to be there right now’ feeling as we saw it on TV.

Within no time, Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon had struck out everyone in the 9th inning and the game had come to a close. A victory for the Sox, and a victory for two guys willing to take a simple risk.

The whole thing was surreal, just as the goofy photo above would indicate.

But as I thought about this event, the word risk kept returning to my mind. In fact, almost every great accomplishment of my life has been preceded by a risk.

  • Starting a business without any ‘experience’ was a risk.

And the list could go on and on.

Heck, just this last Wednesday, I flew to Michigan and spoke to a company of 60 people as to how to catch the vision of inbound marketing and become a content producing machine. This alone wasn’t too risky, but the fact that I tried to do it in one day, and spoke a total of 6 hours to the entire group, was a HUGE risk (most folks get sick of hearing me after about 30 minutes ;- ) ).

Notwithstanding, the results were exceptional. The company is ecstatic, and I know they are now commencing a new chapter in what will be a very, very successful period of growth and prosperity.

Risk is Good

My point in saying all of this is that risk is good. In fact, it’s imperative. It’s the only way we grow—individually or as a business. As we’ve all heard, there is no such thing as a ‘sure thing’, and so if we feel prompted to act, then sometimes we just need to trust our gut, despite what the rest of the world may be thinking or saying.

So that’s my simple message to you my friends on this day. If there is something you’ve been contemplating for some time, but just haven’t taken the plunge, stop waiting. Stop procrastinating. Don’t look left. Don’t look right. Just look forward and walk fast, as you never know what just might be waiting for you on the other side. :-)

Your Turn:

I’ve got a simple question today my fellow readers: Can you name a time when you experienced a huge reward after taking a chance and risking big? And what do you think is the key to learning how to overcome risk and trepidation? As always, I’d invited everyone to leave their thoughts below.

Have a wonderful week everyone!

Mad Marketing Podcast

If you like the articles, you'll love Marcus' podcast and insightful tips on business and life.

Click to listen

Subscribe to Future Articles

Read Marcus' future articles and stay on the cutting edge of business, marketing, and life success tips!

Click to subscribe

{ 92 comments… read them below or add one }

Eugene September 19, 2011 at

Canyoning in Interlaken, risking physical injury, provided for probably the most exhilarating experience ever.

Quitting my job without a clear plan…helped me escape total boredom and misery.

Getting out of bed each morning is a risk!

I think the key is to stop listening to the little voice inside your head sometimes and just do it. Nike would be so proud.

Reply

Marcus Sheridan September 19, 2011 at

Somehow I just knew you’d be loaded with experiences for this one Eugene. :-) Absolutely love your style man. Your persistence is admirable. I really mean that.

Cheers brother,

Marcus

Reply

Steve Scott September 19, 2011 at

The SOX! Pffft. (Yankees fan)

LOL

A very amusing story and a wonderful example of taking a risk.

My example is an easy one to pick out. When I had a job I simply hated rather than, “get by” I quit and tried to make a go of this internet career thing. It was really touch and go for a while and I was unsure if I had made a huge mistake.

But now, while I am still far from being rich, I am comfortable enough that I get to live life on MY terms and do everything with my life that I desire.

Risk is scary and the possibilities of failure are real, but if you try and fail, perhaps you can get it on the second attempt…and if you try and succeed, the benefits are always worth it.

-Steve

Reply

Marcus Sheridan September 19, 2011 at

Hey Steve, so glad you took a moment to share your story on here, as it’s symbolic of everything I said above regarding faith, inspiration, guts, etc.

You’re making it happen, and you’re proof it can be done. Absolutely awesome man, I respect the heck out of that.

Marcus

Reply

john Falchetto September 19, 2011 at

Risk is good.
The worst thing we can ever do is not taking any. Becoming complacent and comfortable.
As an expat I am constantly reminded that this place is temporary, it can change quickly and without much notice.
I take risks everyday in my professional and personal life to make sure what happens tomorrow is better than today.
Living is a risk but as you say stop waiting- the time is now. Do it. Who knows there might not be a tomorrow.

Great post Marcus and something we should all apply in life and business. Heck, what do we have to loose ?

Reply

Marcus Sheridan September 19, 2011 at

Yep, that’s it JF, what do we have to lose? You know, when we really take a moment to honestly answer that question, all of the sudden most ‘risks’ don’t seem nearly so impossible.

Heck, your whole life over the last 10 years or so is living proof of that Mr. Expat ;-)

Thanks for all you do bud,

Marcus

Reply

Joe @ Not Your Average Joe September 19, 2011 at

Hey Marcus—
Another fine post at TSL. :) Change and risk are daunting things, and even the most fervent risk takers can be made nervous taking another one. My tolerance for risk has grown since I’ve gotten older. I was more safe and conservative as a younger guy!

I was never particularly chatty with the ladies :) but the moment I saw my future wife, I made a move to go talk to her immediately, taking a risk. I don’t know how I mustered up the courage, but I did, and I’ve always been glad that I made that move.

I took a risk leaving the comfort and familiarity of the family restaurant business to try to make a living in sales. My reward was increased time with my family as well as a better financial position. I loved the restaurant. It took every ounce of guts I had to make the move.

My wife is looking to take my daughter to NYC to see Coldplay perform on the Today Show next month. In the past, I may not have been fond of the idea of them traveling without me to do something like that, but now my first reaction was to say “Go for it”. My daughter loves the band, and you never know when another opportunity like that will come.

Fenway Park is a rip, isn’t it? And that’s coming from a Yankee fan!

Reply

Marcus Sheridan September 19, 2011 at

Such a cool story Joe. Yeah, good dang thing you listened to your gut when that pretty lady of yours was walking by. :-)

It’s also cool to hear you say that you’ve grown to appreciate risk more and more as time has gone on. Yeah, we need to be selective, but that doesn’t mean we don’t take that leap when the time is right.

Thanks for all my friend and tell your daughter I said to have fun!

Marcus

Reply

Lori Gosselin September 19, 2011 at

Hey Marcus,
We’ve posted on related topics today, sort of! I love it when that happens! I can’t tell you the end of my story, only that being a maverick (my topic) is a heady feeling. I’ve also never done what you did – Marcus! But what, as John said, is life without risks!?
It’s a great adventure, or nothing. Would that we’d remember!
Lori

Reply

Marcus Sheridan September 19, 2011 at

Hey Lori!! Looks like great minds think alike ;-)

Yep, I think we’ve all got to find our inner maverick. Such is the stuff memories and greatness are made of.

Thanks so much for dropping by,

Marcus

Reply

Al Smith September 19, 2011 at

great job Marcus. Love this. we will never know unless we try. I have taken a big risk by investing in the company, and not being able to “pay attention”, if you will. More risks to come. It’s been time for more. Videos are top of the list. yeah, I know. You told me this weeks ago. I am getting there. Thanks for another inspiring message.

As you know, I am a sports junkie too. walking into fenway is classic. Awesome job, my friend. The Mountaineers hung on for a big win. Now they have LSU, right ? Hope you beat em. It will help Bama. ha !

Take CARE, brother.

Al

Reply

Marcus Sheridan September 19, 2011 at

Hey big Al, you are a gutsy guy, with a gutsy mission, and you’re willing to pay the price for what you know to be true. I respect the heck out of that. I know the seas are rough right now, but the storm will pass, and then on to beautiful sailing.

As for the ‘Eers, ESPN is making the trip to Mo’Town this Saturday….and so is the LION!!!

Very pumped indeed!!!

Marcus

Reply

Steve Roy September 19, 2011 at

Marcus,
I grew in New England and have been to Fenway many times. Awesome isn’ it? I definitely miss the spirit of the Boston fans!

For me, the risk is sacrificing so much right now (time with kids, vacations, days off, lunch breaks) to try to build my blog into a business.

There are definitely no guarantees here and I could certainly fail.

I think my biggest risk is staying in a job I hate though. At some point, my boss will probably wise up and realize how miserable I am and fire me. Or not.

Either way, I’m risking my paycheck each day I write for my blog but I know it will be worth it…

Reply

Marcus Sheridan September 19, 2011 at

You’re a gutsy guy Steve. Really man, you are. Keep up the faith brother, and this ‘crazy dream’ of yours will soon become an ‘awesome reality’.

Thanks for being awesome,

Marcus

Reply

Jens P. Berget September 19, 2011 at

Hey Marcus,

Very interesting story.

I believe my biggest risk is writing a novel, and only be working 60% at the university while doing it. I have no idea what this will bring into my life. But I know it’s a risk worth taking.

Jens

Reply

Marcus Sheridan September 19, 2011 at

That it is my friend Jens— a risk worth taking. And big props to you for taking that plunge, you’ll never regret it! :-)

Marcus

Reply

Grady Pruitt September 19, 2011 at

Life is full of risks. One of the biggest I’ve undertaken is writing a novel. I have no guarantee it will ever be published. But I went ahead and did it anyway.

Risk can be fun!

Thanks for sharing!

Reply

Marcus Sheridan September 19, 2011 at

You wrote a novel Grady?! Sweet man! I must ask, what’s it about?? And I’m sure that’s a GREAT risk!!

Marcus

Reply

Grady Pruitt September 19, 2011 at

5 of them, actually, but nothing anywhere close to publication. They were written, but I haven’t taken them through editing (yet). The one I like best is basically about a Tolkien-esque city on the coast, the capital of a kingdom, that gets hit by a storm, setting off an assassination attempt. The novel is about how they deal with with this and throw off an invasion attempt.

Wrote them all during NaNoWriMo, an event where you write 50,000 words in 30 days. Taken part in it 6 times, with two of those being combined into the story I mentioned above.

Reply

Marcus Sheridan September 20, 2011 at

Dang Grady, now that’s impressive! Well done!

Reply

Nic Cartwright September 19, 2011 at

if you have the ‘cajones’ (sp??) – it is amazing how many sports events you can walk into without being challenged – confidence, and a bit of risk – and tada!!! This is a good one for sure…

Just moved to USA with no job – RISK.
Married great American Gal – no RISK!!

Reply

Marcus Sheridan September 19, 2011 at

Hahaha, love it Nic. You’re enthusiasm always jumps off the page whenever you come by here my friend. You’ll have to tell me the story behind this American girl sometime. ;-)

Marcus

Reply

Nic Cartwright September 19, 2011 at

it’s certainly an intriguing tale of kilometers, mystery (and red wine)….. Anyway – off to help my Pa-in-law get his pool ready for autumn shut down!!

Reply

Ameena Falchetto September 19, 2011 at

Risks? What are risks? I guess I take them everyday just getting out of bed.

I don’t think of them as risks rather, opportunities … some just cost more than others! :)

Seriously, taking risks is for other people, I don’t take risks. I don’t play it safe either.

Interesting, think I just learned something new about myself! Cheers Marcus!

Reply

Marcus Sheridan September 19, 2011 at

Hahaha Ameena, love the outlook. ;-) Your perspective is awesome, one that very, very few people actually have. :-)

To continued opportunities!

Marcus

Reply

Srinivas Rao September 19, 2011 at

Marcus,

I believe that there is a strong correlation between your tolerance for risk and your potential for success. While every risk may not pay off, the only way you can really find out what you’re made of is to take chances and gamble. Two years ago I walked away from a job in two weeks after a 6 month search. That was a huge risk considering I had nothing to go to. Everything that you see today was the byproduct. BlogcastFM may not have even existed if it hadn’t been for that.

Reply

Marcus Sheridan September 20, 2011 at

I think you’re absolutely right Srini. The phrase ‘tolerance for risk’ is such a powerful, powerful thing. And if anyone I know has a high tolerance for that, it’s you. ;-)

Looking forward to seeing you soon brother,

Marcus

Reply

Elena Patrice September 19, 2011 at

Hello Marcus!

It’s been such a joy and blessing watching, reading, witnessing you flourish lately … what a privilege to your follower and audience! I refer to you a lot in my thoughts about success and forging ahead no matter what, so I thank you so much for that!

Now, risk ey?! Geez, I think I know quite a lot about this! I risked pretty much everything in my last rodeo and as I look back, painful as it is at times, the journey was amazing and a bit surreal. It’s funny when I discuss it with others and realize what was accomplished – I never slowed down enough to ever cherish or appreciate it.

Now, I definitely still take risks and don’t intend to stop (I don’t think entrepreneurs and dreamers ever really do). My risks are just a little more measured and limited strictly due to where I’m currently at in this venture. No doubt when the opportunity rises however; I’m tearing down the walls not thinking twice. ;)

I really loved this post Marcus … you had me traveling the venue with you, but you need to share that popcorn next time OK?! :) Great pic too! Whoo hoo!

You’re an inspiration always! Be safe and keep sharing the journey … it’s a good one!!

Much kindness,

Elena

Reply

Marcus Sheridan September 20, 2011 at

Elena, you’re simply one of the kindest people I’ve ever met in the blogosphere. I really mean that. You have a magical way of just saying the right thing. And for that, I’m very, very grateful.

As for your journey, I sincerely hope you’re able to reach all those goals you’ve laid out. One thing is for sure– your effort is amazing and you’re a fighter. And that’s really all you can do.

So keep rockin Elena and thanks again for being down-right amazing.

Marcus

Reply

Elena Patrice September 20, 2011 at

You’re very kind Marcus … thank you.

Reply

Brent Carnduff September 19, 2011 at

Hey Marcus,
Another great article – thanks for the continuing the inspiration! My big risk was leaving my teaching job (and pension!) of the past 15 years to start my own marketing company! Not sure of the outcome yet, but I love what I am doing, enjoy the people that I am meeting, and can’t wait to get up and go to work in the morning!
Brent

Reply

Marcus Sheridan September 20, 2011 at

You’re a gutsy dude Brent, and a heck of a guy. I know that it has been a big time transition for you, but you’re putting yourself in position to have huge success, and I’m excited to see how it all unveils for you as time goes on.

So grateful for your support my friend,

Marcus

Reply

Gini Dietrich September 19, 2011 at

I won’t bore you with the details of all of the risks I’ve taken, but I will tell you that photo is freaking priceless. Worth the price of admission FOR SURE!

Reply

Marcus Sheridan September 20, 2011 at

Hahaha, you goof ball! Believe it or not, as soon as I saw this photo my first thought was, “Gini is going to laugh at this one!”…. Guess I was right. ;-)

Reply

Joe September 19, 2011 at

You never stumble over anything by standing still.

Marcus, I remember that you flew out to Arizona..??? I think.How has that company embraced content marketing?

Could you give some general background on the MI company, industry, what have they been doing, what lead them to call you..??

Thanks,

Joe

Reply

Marcus Sheridan September 20, 2011 at

Hey Joe, great to hear from you bud. Honestly, I’m not sure how my friends in Arizona are doing, but I can tell you that the Michigan group was awesome. I’ll be writing an article next Monday (probably ) about the experience, but the company is called Block Imaging and they sell refurbished medical imaging equipment around the world. Now, every one of their 60 employees have embraced the idea of content production, and they’re on fire.

They called me because their head of marketing reads this blog, and they also use Hubspot.

Thanks so much for asking Joe, hope you’re well my friend.

Marcus

Reply

Ryan Biddulph September 20, 2011 at

Hi Marcus,

Great story ;) I’ve been to Fenway once, what a ballpark.

My experience resonates strongly with yours. I took a risk starting an online opportunity right after I was let go from my job as a security guard. I took a risk starting a blog, spending hours building up my content base and readership. I am living in Southeast Asia for the year. 5 months ago, I was never on plane. My first flight was about 21 hours in total, to Bali. It felt like a risk, and I was a bit nervous, but I enjoyed the heck out of the experience.

We are not taking chances, by taking risks. We are giving ourselves chances. We embrace opportunities when we embrace risk. When we stop taking even the tiniest risks, we begin to die. Plain and simple. When we risk, we live.

Thanks for sharing your insight!

RB

Reply

Marcus Sheridan September 29, 2011 at

Ryan, sorry for my slow response on this but man, loved this comment. ‘When we risk, we live.’ –Amen to that brother. And it sounds like you’ve been really living my friend!!

Marcus

Reply

Tom Ewer September 20, 2011 at

As far as I’m concerned, if you’re not taking risks, you’re not living life as you should. Of course, there is a limit to the risks you should take, but you are the only person to be the judge of where that limit it. Life is too short to be afraid of the unknown.

I’m trying to think of where I have taken a big risk recently…I think the problem is, something that seems like a big risk to you may not seem like it others! It is all a matter of perspective – what seems risky to you may not to others, but that does not make it any less of a risk.

Risk is more about overcoming your own personal demons, not doing something that others consider risky. Say you were agoraphobic (afraid of leaving the house) – heading down to the shops would be a huge risk for you, even though it would be completely normal for most people. More power to those with agoraphobia who can overcome their fear and take that risk.

Anyway, I’m rambling…my point is, risk is in the eye of the beholder, and if you’re not taking risks, you’re not living life to its fullest potential!

Great post Marcus :)

Reply

Marcus Sheridan September 20, 2011 at

Tom, I’m feelin ya brother. Yep, risk is certainly not cut from a singular cloth, and it varies for all of us. I think what it really comes down to is that we’ve got to make sure we’re uncomfortable at times, pushing ourselves a little more and more, and certainly following the promptings that likely come to each and every one of else every single day.

Thanks for all your support my friend,

Marcus

Reply

Flo September 20, 2011 at

You gate crasher Marcus!

If we never take risks in life, we will never have have a success story to tell, will we? If you and your friend did not take this risk, you will never have this motivating blog post for us. Not to talk about all the smiles this single incident will put on your face all the days of your life whenever you remember it ;) Without taking this risk, all you will be doing now is beating yourself hard for not trying but then the opportunity is gone, kaput, forever.

Oh, the subject of all the risks I have taken in life will best be reserved for an ebook :) :) but I can tell you that all those risks are what got me where I am today.

You may know this quote already:

“He who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, is nothing and becomes nothing. He may avoid suffering and sorrow, but he simply cannot learn and feel and change and grow and love and live.” – Leo F. Buscaglia

Reply

Marcus Sheridan September 20, 2011 at

Dang Flo, that quote at the end there was utter awesomeness…Thank you!!

And I particularly like how you said if we’re not pushing ourselves and risking , then the opportunities are gone, kaput, forever.…Wow, isn’t that the truth. Some things simply can’t be brought back, they’re meant for that moment, and that moment alone.

But thanks so much for swinging by here for a visit Flo. I’m not sure if we’ve met before, by I just love your smiling avatar. :-)

Come again soon.

Best,

Marcus

Reply

Laura Foley September 20, 2011 at

Hey, Marcus–
I caught your act at HUGS2011 and really liked your style.

My big risk was approaching the head of the WPI [Worcester Polytechnic Institute] Forum and telling her that I wanted to teach a class in how not to suck at PowerPoint. It was the first class I’d ever been paid to teach, but of course I made out like I was an experienced lecturer. She put me on the schedule then and there, and it was the start of my business transformation.

I’m having more fun at work now than I ever did before now that I’ve found my focus. Cheating Death by PowerPoint has become my vision and my goal.

Reply

Marcus Sheridan September 20, 2011 at

Oh my goodness Laura!! I had no idea you were a fellow Power Point opinionist. ;-)

I’ve actually written about ‘The Curse of PPT’ on here before, because so many folks that do slides and presentations like to use it completely the wrong way….which can make for a pretty-longggggg-seminar. ;-)

You and I need to talk about this more in time Laura!!

Marcus

PS: The phrase Cheating Death by Power Point is AWESOME.

Reply

Walter Pollard September 20, 2011 at

Risk is a vital component to success!
Yes more than not, you will make mistakes and even fail along the way. But the return is invaluable!
As I try to instill into my children, only through taking risks do we clearly define the foundation to success.
Marcus, this is an extremely important topic in today’s society. With so many individuals financially burdened. I truly believe empowering others to take risks will help in future growth of the economy through small business.

Reply

Marcus Sheridan September 20, 2011 at

Love it Walter. And even more, I love how you’re teaching it to your little ones. It’s something that starts early, and the ones that ‘get it’, are the ones are most likely to succeed later in life.

You’re a heck of a guy with an awesome vision Walter, and I appreciate your support man.

Marcus

Reply

Adam Sokoloff September 20, 2011 at

Hey Marcus. Great seeing you up in Boston, and an even better story!

As for risks, I would say going into business for myself at the beginning of the worst economy since the Great Depression. There were many a sleepless night I can tell you that for certain!

And without the risk, there wouldn’t be the reward of a growing, thriving business!

An even bigger risk (for me), was walking up to, and saying hi to Joanne (completely not my style). She could have brushed me off, or even laughed in my face lol. The reward has been getting to know and loving one amazing gal!!!

Talk soon man! -Adam

Reply

Marcus Sheridan September 20, 2011 at

Two awesome stories Adam! I’d love to hear more about how you met Joanne sometime, that would be cool. Plus you’re both bloggers….that’s even cooler!!

It was truly great meeting you in real life Adam. You’re a stud brother. :-)

Marcus

Reply

Keith September 20, 2011 at

Hey Marcus, I actually got into a NASCAR race at Bristol like this, it’s the only time I have been to that track and after going to over 20 races over the years and spending thousands of dollars, that free race was the best one ever!

Risk is good, I have to be careful because I risk too much sometimes….

Reply

Marcus Sheridan September 29, 2011 at

Hahaha, nice Keith. Nothing like the thrill of walking through the gates ;-)

Thanks for dropping by man, hope you’re doing well.

Marcus

Reply

Joanne Cipressi September 20, 2011 at

Marcus,

I never want to regret that I did not reach for all that I desire to do. My entire life I have been taking risks. Some turned out amazing…while others were complete disasters. But…all were completely worthwhile. My risk to be vulnerable and share my story with others has brought in HUGE rewards on so many levels, especially when people who have never shared their abuse with anyone finally opened up to me. Their healing finally begins…and that is so beautiful to watch them truly shine.

It was a pleasure to meet you and Jason in Boston after HUGS2011! Loved your energy. :)

Reply

Marcus Sheridan September 29, 2011 at

Hey Joanne! Sorry I missed this comment and was slow to respond, but thanks so much for your wonderful comment here and yes, it was an absolute pleasure meeting you in Boston…and good luck with those videos!!! :-)

Marcus

Reply

Sandi Amorim September 20, 2011 at

Just one???
Starting my business for sure, but the one that sticks out is a time almost 12 years ago when I accepted an apprenticeship in Europe (I live in Vancouver, Canada) via the Internet without really getting clear on what I was getting into! Family and friends thought I’d lost my mind, but it turned out to be the most amazing 4 months of my life. All because I trusted my gut and took the risk :)

Reply

Marcus Sheridan September 21, 2011 at

Awesome Sandi!! Love the example :-) And I’m sure in many ways that 4 months has been the impetus for many major decisions you’ve made since that time.

You rock lady!!

Marcus

Reply

Sandi Amorim September 21, 2011 at

It was Marcus! So often through the years I’ve thought to myself, “If I could do THAT, I can do anything!” and it’s spurred me to action. And those times when I haven’t taken the risk, didn’t trust my gut the difference was glaring! Taught me how to pay attention to the signs, mostly in my body, that the risk was moving in the right direction.

Love your writing. Might become a Sales Lion groupie ;-)

Reply

Marcus Sheridan September 22, 2011 at

Groupies are always welcome Sandi!! ;-)

Reply

Barbara September 20, 2011 at

When you talk about taking risks many people will respond with “I’m not a gambler.” I am certainly not a gambler but I’ve taken many risks in my life. I started my first business when I was 29. It didn’t make a ton of money but it never lost money. I think of that as success. Plus it taught me so much that you just can’t learn working for someone else.

I also bought a franchise once that ended up eating my house. We survived it, but it was painful. I think of that business as my MBA. Playing it safe all the time would just bore me to death. I need to get the juices flowing and that means putting yourself out there.

I have a short story about Fenway… my kids grew up in the Boston area and remain huge Red Sox fans. My youngest was working for Aramark in Philly managing 2 restaurants at what is now the Wells Fargo Ctr. (it changes to a different bank name annually I swear), anyway… He got the opportunity to go to Fenway for one of the playoff games a few years ago.

Right before he went they had an exterminator in due to a mouse invasion. The exterminator told him, “Hey, if you got mice you ain’t got rats cause they don’t co-exist.” Good to know.

In the midst of his dream, being at Fenway in the thick of it all, they asked him to go to a pantry downstairs. As he tells it, “I opened the door and there was Papa, Mama, and several baby rats looking at me like ‘and You are?’ so I said ‘Carry On!’ slammed the door and ran upstairs.”

When I asked him how he enjoyed the experience in Boston he told me, “Well they don’t have mice!”

Reply

Marcus Sheridan September 29, 2011 at

Hahahaha Barbara, that story was awesome! And thanks so much for being so real and sharing your experiences here, all of which have made you who you are.

Keep smiling and thanks for all the support you give here at TSL,

Marcus

Reply

John Sherry September 20, 2011 at

When did I risk all? Well ‘now’ as you know, to sell up and move hundreds of miles to where I know no-one leaving behind all my roots and memories and familiarity. To start again and follow through on promises I made myself. You see life without risk is love without togetherness. The greatest risk is not to try, go beyond ourselves, make expeditions into who we are and what we want to make happen. I know some other 4 letter words too – life, kids, love. And what would life be without these as well? Empty and joyless. Risk is life’s ultimate home run Marcus, hope you continue to win with the bases loaded!!

Reply

Marcus Sheridan September 21, 2011 at

Oh John, you are the perfect guy, at this point in your life, to talk about this subject. What you’ve done amazes me man, and you’re literally getting everything out of this thing called ‘life’ that you possibly can. I’m serious when I say you’re a powerful motivator for me my friend.

Appreciate you bud,

Marcus

Reply

Greg Minnick September 20, 2011 at

Hi Marcus,

Cashing in a small 401k right before the market tanked, getting a 3% for life cash advance on a credit card and starting an auto repair business as a one man shop in Michigan of all places. The business has grown every year and I’ve almost made it to the 4 year mark.

The latest risk is hiring a service manager for the front of the shop even though the current level of sales is a little thin to support the staff I have. It was to the point where I was wearing too many hats and the right individual came along. It felt like I imagine jumping off a cliff would feel. I do have some time now to pursue capital, and work on a marketing plan including my soon to be new Hubspot site as a result.

Cheers,
Greg

Reply

Marcus Sheridan September 21, 2011 at

Love what you’ve done Greg. You’ve got huge guts brother. And now that you’ll be working ‘on’ the business instead of ‘in’ it all the time, I bet the results will be astounding. So excited for you bud. And thanks for dropping by with a comment too!

Marcus

Reply

Craig McBreen September 20, 2011 at

Marcus,

You law breaker! Well, I’m not sure that blowing by the gates without a ticket in the 8th inning qualifies, and that does sound like fun. I’ve had a few, “Just Keep Walking” experiences myself :)

I’ve always wanted to go to Fenway as well, so I’m jealous man.

My wife and I moved from Baltimore to Seattle just after getting married. No family, no job, little money. We just wanted an adventure. We are still here, so I guess we picked the right place with that risk. Starting a business with zero clients qualifies too, eh? But, right now I’m more exciting about blogging and what I can do in this realm.

So, a big “Yes” to risk. Thanks for another great bit of inspiration, Marcus!

Waiting for the Yankee Fans I know to chime in about the stinkin’ sox :)

Reply

Marcus Sheridan September 21, 2011 at

Baltimore to Seattle Craig? Wow man, now that was a gutsy move. And now with your biz, that will be its own chapter, and a dang good one I’m sure.

Here’s to marry a lady who wants a little adventure my friend, :-)

Marcus

Reply

Howie at Sky Pulse Media September 20, 2011 at

Take the risk. It is worth it. almost always. Even if you fail. Usually you have an epic story!

1984 went to the US Open of Tennis with no tickets. I didn’t want to go. I was broke. I knew we would take a long train ride and not get in. I was a high school senior. We tried. My friend said the turnstile guys will take cash. They did not. I was upset.

My friend knew a scalper who we ran into in the parking lot. We paid $15 for tickets from 1983 and told to go to a specific turnstile guy. One that wouldn’t take our cash! We got in. We walked down to court side box seats right behind where a player sits. We watched Stan Smith v Don Newcombe for the over 35 finals. Then we watched most of the epic Ivan Lendl Pat Cash Semi-Final Match. Towards the end the Box Owners came down and kicked us out. Place was sold out. Next thing you know I am sitting in the aisle on the stairs the top step of the stadium watching the rest of the match.

We said this sucks. We had our reward and now we failed. We took the train home. I was upset at my friend. I really wanted to see the women’s final there if I made the trip. So I watched the women’s final on TV Chris Evert vs Martina Navatilova. I was pissed. I could of been sitting right there behind Chrissy (if I owned that box! =P)

Then the camera zoom in to the guy with the hat and shades who sat next to me for the time I was there. He spilled his beer a Kirin. They were the sponsor. I was under age and couldn’t drink there. Back then it was $6 a beer. So I felt for the guy. He said to me ‘I see it is going to be a long day’ I said ‘Looks like it I am under age please don’t spill another’ He laughed. He never even questioned how 3 kids could be in that box. He was right. Not long after we got booted and after the match had to take a 50 min train home. Guy was a freaking Oracle.

Actually…the camera zoomed in on the guy with the hat and the shades and the TV announcer says ‘Jack Nicholson is here today’.

Reply

Marcus Sheridan September 21, 2011 at

It’s official Howie, that’s the wildest tennis story I’ve read in my life man. Seriously. What it would have been to be a fly on the wall of good ‘ol Howie back in the day. ;-)

Thanks for the smiles brother,

Marcus

Reply

Howie at Sky Pulse Media September 21, 2011 at

But notice how many other great stories people posted! You are attracting risk takers and rule breakers. Next thing hooligans and rapscallions. My type of blog. 8)

Reply

Rochelle September 21, 2011 at

Risk is good, what do we have to lose? Thanks for posting this. I enjoy reading your posts!

Reply

Marcus Sheridan September 21, 2011 at

Hi Rochelle, so glad you liked the post. :-)

Reply

Ana @ lead conversion September 21, 2011 at

What an awesome experience, Marcus! So happy for you!!!

I like a lot of variety and I don’t fear change, so risk is inevitable. The key is to be responsible even when you take risks.

Reply

Brandon September 21, 2011 at

I take risks daily. Of course, being military, that seems to be the norm. Funny thing is I think cops are crazy for what THEY do!

What is comes down to, I think, is whether or not your risks involve throwing caution to the wind or if they are calculated. I’m a planner, so 90% or better of my risk taking is very calculated. It benefits me because I try to be responsible in all things. I have seen the second and third order effects of reckless abandon. However, some of the most interesting people I know are the ‘caution throwers.’

Who’s to say which is the right or wrong way? Not me, that’s for sure.

Insightful post, Marcus. :)

Reply

Marcus Sheridan September 21, 2011 at

Hey Brandon, so glad you stopped by!! :-)

First, being you’re military, let me start with ‘thank you’. That’s awesome my friend.

Second, I like what you say about ‘calculated’ risk. That’s very true. Risk, just for kicks, really isn’t my thing. But if I can see the vision, the end result, and it puts a smile on my face, then I’m likely going to make a go for it.

Appreciate your thoughts Brandon,

Marcus

Reply

Janine Fowler September 21, 2011 at

Cool story, reminds me of my younger years. I need more of that!

Reply

Marcus Sheridan September 21, 2011 at

Ahhh, the younger years Janine. ;-)

Here’s to keeping our youthful ways then!

Marcus

Reply

leon Noone September 21, 2011 at

G’Day Maecus,
Risk! Nothing much is achieved without risk. And risk is a label others give to what someone else does. I think that it was Victor Kiam who said something to the effect that “Even is you fall flat on your face, you’re moving forward,”

No risk; no reward. That’s what I say.
Regards
Leon

Reply

Robert September 21, 2011 at

Hey Marcus,

Starting a business was the biggest risk I’ve ever taken in my life. It’s also been the biggest challenge, but the payoff is proving tremendous. Even just a couple of years ago I would have never, ever seen myself doing this, but it’s proved to be the best thing that I’ve ever done. I love what I’m doing and I couldn’t see myself doing anything else. To be honest I really jumped in to the deep end, I had little planning or experience (I’d practically just left college), but it’s been an amazing journey so far.

As we say in England, I “take my hat off” to people like yourself, John Falchetto and John Sherry, who have taken huge risks by moving hundreds if not thousands of miles away to start a new life and a new business. There’s never a right time for anything. I’ve learnt that the “one day” mentality doesn’t work. Most of the time it really is all about seizing the moment and embracing the challenge. You never know until you try.

Great post as usual bud.

Speak soon,

Robert

Reply

Ryan Critchett September 21, 2011 at

WHAT? Dude, this is epic. EPIC. Great job.

Man, I’m so for risk. Without it, you basically have to succumb to living in situations that people who are willing to take risks, put you in (occupational and otherwise).

I took a huge risk some years back, quitting a job to do some venture full time. It gave me the stomach for future risks. It allowed me to realize that most of the crap we fear is just that, crap and that whatever the outcome was, I had taken a step toward what I wanted.

I actually had to go back to working part time temporarily a few short months after but developing the stomach to make tough decisions, and all of the learning that came along with that experience, was so worth it.

Reply

Bryan Thompson September 21, 2011 at

Wow!

You have absolutely no idea just how much I needed to read this today. In fact, I just read it aloud to my wife. Yes, we’ve had some great things happen as a result of risk, but we’ve been watching my parents deal with some real junk professionally, and a lot of it is forcing them to take a risk in ways they never have before.

Thanks for trusting your gut, and telling the rest of us to do the same. :)

Reply

Marcus Sheridan September 22, 2011 at

Hey Bryan! Appreciate that so much man. Sorry your folks are going through some tough times. Life has a habit of doing that to us all, that’s for sure.

Thanks for the comment bud and it’s great to see you getting back in the groove again,

Marcus

Reply

Michael Aagaard September 22, 2011 at

Ha ha ha – sweet story!

Risk is essential to success… I take a huge risk with every copy/landing page optimization project I take on.

Because I always split test my treatments against the control, it will be 100% clear whether my stuff actually works. Essentially that means I’m putting my professional credibility on the line daily. It really keeps me on my toes and drives me to excel…

- Michael

Reply

Marcus Sheridan September 29, 2011 at

That’s what’s awesome, for better or for worse, about your job brother— the numbers don’t lie. Ain’t no fudging that my man!

Thanks for dropping by bud and hope you’re doing well,

Marcus

Reply

Tobias September 22, 2011 at

Hi Marcus

I really enjoy reading your artikel.
Many regards here from Denmark

Reply

Marcus Sheridan September 29, 2011 at

More than welcome Tobias!! :-)

Reply

Jk Allen September 22, 2011 at

Hey Marcus,

Sorry I’m so late to this one. But trust me, I love it. I was able to read this post the other day while sitting still in Denver traffic on my way to work. I didn’t move one inch from start to finish (some days traffic is so bad).

I loved the story of you and Jason just shooting for the entrance and making it in. Surely a risk well worth it.

I’m a bit conservative these days compared to how I used to be, but I still take big risk all the time. Most notable with my career. There’s a taboo view against jumping from company to company, but I’ve done so over the past few years (stay with a company for 2 years and move on to bigger and better). Each time leaving one company before going to the next I’ve solidified myself as a player and asset which comes with some comfort and recognition. Leaving such a situation for a new one is risky business because you never fully know what you’re walking into until you’re there. So I could be leaving one company where I have it made until a situation that I don’t like whatsoever. But I haven’t let that fear ground me in making moves. And having a fearless take on managing my career has helped me climb the ladder.

My risks are getting bigger and bigger. I feel like I can’t really lose in the long run, so even if I have a short termed setback, I’ll bounce back better for the next-take.

PEACE

Reply

Marcus Sheridan September 23, 2011 at

Absolutely love your take JK. Do you know what’s funny? Some folks that consider themselves ‘risk takers’ because they jump out of airplanes are the same people stuck in their job because they’re afraid to take a leap of faith into something new and initially uncomfortable. So who actually is a risk taker?

I’ll tell you my answer– The risk taker is the person that gets promptings and follows them. Pure and simple. It’s not the cliff jumper. It’s not the skydiver. It’s the guy that gets paid good money, has a nice job, but knows he can be even greater and stretched even further…and thus goes with it (One Mr. Allen comes to mind here).

So thanks so much for this my friend. Hope the new job continues to go well. You’re a heck of a guy and example to me.

Marcus

Reply

Reese October 1, 2011 at

Just recently I made the decision to quit my job and to pursue a new career. That was a risky decision and I am still waiting to see just how fruitful my decision will prove to be. A lot of the things we do in life our risky. Without taking risks we can never break new ground and move forward.

Reply

Marcus Sheridan October 3, 2011 at

First of all, let me say ‘congrats’ to you Reese. That’s really, really awesome you’ve taken this huge step. I know it will all work out for you and in the end you’ll look back with a smile.

Thanks so much for the comment,

Marcus

Reply

Keira October 6, 2011 at

I also worked in a big and popular company before but I chose to quit because it is far away from my family…What i did was taking risk without thinking if I will have good job when i went home, but I did, even better than being an employee…

Reply

Cameron October 13, 2011 at

Risks are definitely inevitable, for me, maybe because I have already been through it more than hundred times ever since I was at school…It makes you a strong person too…

Reply

Katie June 6, 2013 at

Marcus – love this. I too had a bucket list item of seeing a down played in Notre Dame Stadium (I already saw Fenway and old Yankee stadium), but those security guards weren’t as easy; I wasn’t a student or faculty member during an orientation scrimmage. No problem though – all I had to do was find a group of freshmen and start chanting “Rudy! Rudy! Rudy!” What a great beginning to a cross-country road trip, one of many travelling experiences I’ve taken a risk on and had great and unforgettable rewards. No PTO from work, $4/gallon gas, no real plan. Open road and helping a great friend move across the country: priceless.

Reply

ryan August 23, 2013 at

I just went to the Red Sox/Yankees game once I landed at Logan on Sunday night. My first time at Fenway. First time in Boston, ever. Stayed at the Hilton across from the Sheraton for #inbound13. enjoy your friday!

Reply

Marcus Sheridan August 24, 2013 at

Hahaha, nice Ryan!

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: