When I’m asked which college I attended I proudly say Cheyney University of Pennsylvania. The next question is almost always, “what made you leave Florida to go all the way to Pennsylvania?” I know it was a huge move and without a doubt a tough one but all I can say is, “I was taking a chance”. I didn’t realize how much of a risk taker I was back then but when I think about it now, that was HUGE! I grew up in a place where winter was 70 degrees and that only happened about 4-5 times a year. Flip flops were a staple and our version of a winter coat was a pure joke to a true northerner. I knew very little about Cheyney or living in the northeast. There was the thrill of the unknown but I would be lying to you if I said I wasn’t afraid. Moving 1200 miles away at the age of 17 was really scary.
Since leaving college my life has been full of risk and I love it! Because life without risk is just BORING! You may have heard the term taking a calculated risk. Whenever I see something I wanted I count the cost and formulate a plan. This is my way of taking a calculated risk. When calculating your risk you should not only consider what it will cost to do something but what it will cost if you don’t do it. For instance, it took me three to finally get serious and write my first book. My hesitation was never the cost, it was mostly because I wasn’t sure if I could get it done. It seemed so daunting and I really questioned my ability. Then one day I was having a one-on-one session with my business coach and he asked me a series of questions. The first question was, “why do you want to write a book?” My response was I want to help business owners start their business the right way and stay in business. Then he asked, “do you really feel you will be able to help other business owners with the information you are going to put in this book?” My answer was “yes, without a doubt”. Then he said, “Well you HAVE to get this book done because if you don’t think of all the business owners you won’t help. How many businesses will go out of business if you don’t get this book done?” So beyond the cost of time and money there was a greater cost. More failed businesses. After that slap in the face, I sat down and got it done. My first book was published months later.
What have you been afraid to try for fear of failing? What is the cost of you not taking the risk?
This is an excerpt from Bernadette Johnson’s (currently Harris) book entitled: “Life and Basketball: 7 Locker Room Lessons That Score Big In Life.”