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The only way to take control of your life, raise your standard of living and move beyond merely surviving is to create your own unique product or service that you offer to increasing numbers of people in exchange for the things of value that you desire. This simple formula applies to countries as well as people. A self-sufficient economy has its own products or services of value to export to the world. Similarly, a self-sufficient individual has something of value to exchange in the global marketplace. That thing of value is based on your natural talent, skill, or interest—in other words, your passion!

Dear Walt,
There's a guy who came to my church last fall to instruct a musical workshop. I've never really met him, but he's constantly on my mind. He really impressed me with his singing, his demeanor, and his sense of humor. I know and I feel like he might be out of my league, but as stated earlier he is constantly on my mind. What should I do? I've prayed and asked the Lord to reveal to me why I keep thinking about him. I know the Lord, if He hasn't already, will answer me. Perhaps the answer is not what I want to hear, but I'm in a quandary right now and would love some printed answer or something I think is concrete. Thank you for listening! -In a Quandary

Dear Quandary,
Nothing ventured, nothing gained. It's better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all. Not knowing is the hardest part. There are a host of proverbs I could offer you as to why it's in your best interest to initiate some sort of interaction with this fellow. I know, however, that this can be quite a scary thing.

Now, the most telling part of your letter is the phrase "I know and I feel like he might be out of my league." That little bit of self-deprecation is what's holding you back. Remember this: When it comes to your fears, it's never really about the other person. It's really only about you. No one else really exists but you. ("I live in a world filled with fears, foes and fancy. But there's no one else here but me.")

Now, here's something else to think about. Your gut feeling of a connection with this person might not be what you think it is. Maybe he has a message for you that has nothing to do with love and romance. Perhaps he is the missing link to an experience that might put you on a different career path, get you a new job, find you that dream house. Don't think that just because you can't identify what you're feeling, that it's an attraction for which you risk rejection. Fear not! Go forth boldly in search of your good!

When your interest and desires
are quite obvious to view
You fear a big rejection
is what lies in store for you

You know and feel inside
he might be way out of your league
But thoughts of possibilities
spark yearning and intrigue

You feel your chances slim
that he too might feel the same way
You want to get to know him more
but don't know what to say

Just follow with your heart, friend
but don't marry expectations
When wedded to an outcome
that's what leads to great frustration
What he offers might be friendship
what he offers might be bliss
You've got to strike it now
or this great chance you'll surely miss

And know above all else my friend
the odds are really with you
It's often true the thing you seek
is also seeking you too!

Now then, to keep my editor convinced that this is still a business column, I'll make the obvious connection that "Quandary's" experience can be likened to the situation many people find themselves in with regard to chasing and living the life of their entrepreneurial dreams. The key to success is simply to take action-any action-in the direction of your desires. Use the outcome-whether good or bad-in your favor. Whatever results as a result of your efforts can be used as a lesson you can build upon, an experience you can capitalize on, and at the very least, an opportunity to say, "At least I tried, and I have at least one new thing I learned about myself as I press forward."

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