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Extra Points – Being Fearless

#17 Apple Tree Golf Course - Yakima

Fearless.

When I was younger, I played a lot of golf and was pretty good. I was part of my high school team that competed at the state tournament in 1982. One of my strengths in those days was that I was fearless on the golf course. I would take risks, attack tough pins, try to clear fairway bunkers from the tee. I imagined myself the swashbuckling Seve Ballesteros! Sometimes my daring would land me in trouble, but more often than not, it turned out well and I was rewarded with a good hole. It was fun.

Now, nearly 30 years later, I’m not quite so daring. I can actually hit the ball longer than I did back then and some of that skill is still there. However, I’ve lost some of that fearlessness. Now, I overthink three-foot putts. I’m scared about hitting a ball out of bounds or in the water. I take fewer risks, but more concerning, I’m more tentative. The outcome is never as good. Funny thing is that it’s just a game. I’m not in any danger, nor will hitting an errant shot drive me to financial ruin. It’s dysfunctional thinking and I’m working on that to improve my game.

This fearlessness affects your business in the same way. Young people come into business with an assertive, confident, and often arrogant attitude. They are viewed as “hard chargers” and “go-getters.” Over time, they turn increasingly cautious as they start families and increase financial obligations. Do you find yourself there? I have and that really changed two years ago when I attended Million Dollar Consulting College by Alan Weiss. I realized that this is supposed to be fun and what I do in business isn’t life and death. I was hitting too many balls “out of bounds” by being tentative and not succeeding to the level I wanted. I had to eradicate that dysfunctional thinking.

My takeaway for you this morning is to be bold; have fun; and be fearless. You may just find that your business “game” scores more birdies!

Now back to that golf game…

This week’s quote – “The most rewarding things you do in life are often the ones that look like they cannot be done.”
– Arnold Palmer

Categories: Extra Points
  1. July 26, 2011 at 3:15 pm

    Dan,

    Good post — lots of lessons to be learned about being fearless. In my experience, most non-lethal fears are either unfounded or based on false assumptions.

    Now in golf, it’s about length off the tee. That and miracle shots are the only thing remembered. No one ever talks about the “four-footer they made on #7.” Or the “great sand wedge from behind 17.”

    My high school golf coach (see, I’m even older than you), in way different times than today, would frequently tell me to “swing as hard as I could control.” “If you’re going to be ‘wrong,'” he would say, “it’s better to be LONG and wrong…”

    KB

  2. July 26, 2011 at 3:42 pm

    Thanks, Kevin. Great quote from your golf coach. I’m betting if you are older than me, it’s not by much.

    The island green above I played this weekend. I clubbed up since the pin was in the back. I was 45 feet left but safe and pin high. My buddies were either in the water or well short on the green. One guy actually putt off the green going uphill. There’s a lot to be said about being pin high!

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