True victory must include risk

What “If opportunity doesn’t knock” is about:

If you want to achieve anything great in this life, you must be willing to take some level of risk. In order to pull yourself out of bad situations, or to get closer to your dreams, at some point you have to DO SOMETHING! Your current situation will not improve by just wishing for something better. At some point you have to step out.

But I would also tell you to take educated risks. Meaning, don’t put your spouse and kids and mortgage at risk. You can take risks but do so intelligently.

One of my larger, and more intelligent, risks occurred when I wanted to shift my career to become a corporate trainer. The closest experience I had to that was from teaching bilingual education to 6th graders. And I was currently working as a training designer, but never actually facilitating in the classroom. But I knew that serving as a classroom trainer was something I would be good at, and enjoy.

So my plan was to secure a “job” at the IRS (Yuck!) that was just enough to pay the bills, and in the meantime start hustling to get my first gigs as a trainer. When that first opportunity arrived, I even had to feign illness + bereavement with the IRS in order to take my very first training contract. Hey when opportunity knocks…

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That first gig was to train Toyota Manufacturing employees how to use a new phone system that was being installed company-wide. Simple enough. So for two weeks I drove a 50-mile commute to make it happen. And guess what. BAM! That first gig led to another, and another, and which then led to my first full-time trainer position.

This entire process only took about 8 months for me to go from never having trained ever, to being a full time trainer.


“If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.” ~ Milton Berle


“This ridiculous weakness is perhaps one of our more stupid melancholy propensities, for is there anything more stupid than to be eager to go on carrying a burden which one would gladly throw away, to loathe one’s very being and yet to hold it fast, to fondle the snake that devours us until it has eaten our hearts away?” ~ Voltaire – Candide