I love the term YOLO*, of course, not before you do some kind of physically dangerous thing like jumping off your roof with an umbrella to see if you can fly. (Everyone knows you need a cape for that.)
No, I mean more like a mentally or psychically dangerous thing.
I love thinking YOLO because its a fact that we seem to forget from time to time. We seem to forget that YOLO when we are spending time doing something we don’t enjoy or that moves us forward in our careers or life. We also seem to forget that YOLO when an opportunity to do something which may only happen once in a lifetime comes up, you come up with excuses of not to do that thing, then later live to regret it.
For example, a friend of mine was once offered a likely life changing (or at least an incredibly amazing) experience, but he turned it down because he didn’t have the airfare to go. But with a little effort, he could have. Since YOLO, he’ll probably never get that opportunity ever again.
If you think about it, how many times in your life have you come up with an idea, but not done anything about it, then saw that exact same idea become a huge business success (especially sucks when you came up with the idea like 15 years ago and this guy went from 0 to millionaire in 2 years, plus he’s younger than you to boot). I’ve seen that, more than once. Not thinking YOLO stopped you from taking the risk: with some money, time or co-founders, maybe you’d be the millionaire now.
Maybe 2015 is your YOLO year. This year, whenever you come up with a new idea for a business, or have a decision to make between doing nothing, the same old thing, or something new which you’ve never done before, think YOLO.
- You are offered a job in a foreign city. Same wage, bigger market. They’ll pay for your move. YOLO. Take the job, its a springboard to new things.
- You can go to your regular bar, or try that new one. YOLO. You meet your future spouse.
- You’re laid off, and you read an article about “Mobile Is Eating The World” YOLO. You learn iOS programming in 3 months and land a telecommute job working from home for roughly what you were paid before, or more.
- You stay home and watch TV or go to a meetup. YOLO. You meet your next co-founder and build an amazing business with her.
- You come up with a great business idea but don’t have the cash to build it. YOLO. You learn to program it yourself, or borrow against your credit cards to fund it. Boom – billion dollar startup. Or not. You will never know unless you take the risk.
Next time there’s a decision to make, think YOLO. Will you regret taking that risk? Remember, as The Great One said – “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”
So take the shot. YOLO.
* YOLO : You Only Live Once.
— Photo Credit – Maria Ly – flickr