On just giving things a go…what’s the worst that can happen?

Today I want to talk about something scary. At least, something that I find scary and I know that I am not alone. I want to talk about getting out of your comfort zone and just giving something a try.

Let me tell you a recent story. A few weeks back I sat and thought about places that I would like to speak at, and places that would benefit from having me speak there. I’m currently down in Frankfurt taking Economics classes at the Goethe-Universität and knew that they have a course in Entrepreneurship (which I am, by the way, not taking). Perfect. Lecturing at a University has long been a dream of mine.

Here I could have done any number of things, but I chose to look the professor up and write him an email, presenting myself, who I am and what I do and offered a guest lecture on any of my topics. I thought: What’s the worst that can happen?

What happened? Within five minutes I had a reply from the professor, asking for an appointment later that week, and later that week I had the lecture confirmed. Why did this happen? Because I took a gamble and asked.

Now, let me tell you, it isn’t always this simple and straight forward. I am however constantly surprised at how often it in fact is this simple. A quick, honest email or call to someone and you’ll find yourself getting what you wanted because it benefitted everyone. Instead of thinking about this person as unreachable—I have it a shot and this time succeeded.

The lesson to be learned here is the importance of just giving things a go. You never know what could happen. There is a 50% chance of succeeding if you try, but a 100% sure probability of failure if you don’t. Which gamble would you rather take?