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The Worst That Can Happen

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!


Sometimes it’s really funny the illogical fears people allow to paralyze them. I shared a moment of levity about this with one of my coaching clients that I thought I’d share with you.

       “B” is a talented communicator and marketing person who was in-between jobs at that time. She was sitting at home—doing nothing—and just a little depressed, lamenting the fact that nothing was going on in her life.

Then, she told me about a unique contest she had heard about. It was a “Submit Your Ideas” contest & call for entries being hosted by a fairly reputable organization here in the city. She was debating whether or not to participate, since, while the prize (a full-time position with the company) was enticing, she feared that the contest organizers might simply steal her ideas and use them without compensation. (Sure, it happens all the time, but companies that plan to steal ideas generally don’t go public with a call for entries!)

We weighed the pros and cons, and eventually, I encouraged her to enter the contest anyway, but to structure her ideas in such a way as to make herself and her involvement in them an indispensable part of their success. In other words, present the idea in such a way that the idea would likely not succeed without her unique talents and participation in the process.

I acknowledged her concerns, but insisted that she had nothing to lose when she considered the alternative. My exact words were, “Hey look, you might as well. ’Cause the worst that can happen…well, is already happening!” (i.e. nothing at all!) We shared a laugh, and then pondered the truth and implications of the statement.

There’s always something in another person’s experience that you can apply to your own life. Are you letting some irrational fear paralyze you? Are you opting to be safe in your inaction, rather than expose yourself to a little risk by taking action?

In your social life, are you choosing to stay at home and meet nobody rather than go out because you might get rejected by somebody? In pursuing your passion, are you choosing to keep your ideas and talents a secret and in your mind alone, where they are safely yours rather than put them out there for the world to see because someone might steal them? (I can relate. That’s the same thought I had just before finding the courage to publish my first book—the book which became so successful that I was able to match my civil engineering salary and quit my job!)

       If the worst that can happen is nothing at all, and you end up right where you are, then you might as well take the risk. As the saying goes, you’ve got nothing to lose, and everything to gain!


Well, it’s clear that you’re just apprehensive

and you’re making excuses to stall

For the choice you’ve presented to me here now today

Well, there’s really no choice there at all


You can do something new with your talents

venture out into realms now unknown

or instead stay at home with your mind wrapped in doubt

wondering, “Has another chance just been blown?”


And “So what?” if the outcome is “iffy”

Sure, your ego may suffer a bruise  

There’s no contract, no blood, and you keep your first born

What the heck, you’ve got nothing to lose!


When you look at the possible outcomes

This might work, though we’re not quite sure how

But, the worst that can happen is “nothing at all”

And, Hello? That’s what’s happening now!!




Note: Walt’s fans and followers may check out his new adventures on


Note: Ever wanted to direct your friends and family to a set of websites that revealed the best things about Saipan? Do what I do: send them to!


Until next week, remember, success is a journey, not a destination!--Walt

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