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April 24, 2015

Risk More, Regret Less

Hal photo outside Feb2012“Ideas without action aren’t ideas. They’re regrets.” (Jeff Haden, Inc Magazine)

I just spent a few days in Las Vegas with my family. We had a great time — without gambling one cent. Don’t get me wrong; my stance against it is not a moral position, and it’s not because I’m not a gambler. It’s actually quite the opposite — in the real world, I’m a constant gambler.

As an entrepreneur, I’ve gambled my entire net worth and career to get ScreamFree out into the world. As a public speaker, I’m risking this non-profit’s reputation by continually trying out new material.

However, I think my riskiest behavior of all is not as a professional, but rather as a spouse. It’s incredibly risky to open myself up to the one whose opinion matters the most to me. My wife could hurt me emotionally, physically, and financially far more than any other person alive. She could ridicule my attempts to succeed, reject my advances in disgust, and refrain from showing any affection at all. Coming from her, even the slightest smirk or furrowed brow while I’m revealing some vulnerability, could definitely, profoundly, hurt.

So why risk it at all? Because connection isn’t possible without intimacy. And intimacy isn’t possible without vulnerability. And when it comes down to it, I prefer the risk of rejection to the certainty of regret.

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