In 1978 I wrote my parents a five-page letter, diagrams included, detailing my decision to quit teaching. Shortly after, I gave my mother 24 envelopes for my car payments and student loans, converted the bucket seat of my car into a bed, and set off to make my own way. Looking back now, I’d say the letter was as much for me as for them. I was reassuring myself that the choice I was making was the right one.
I wanted their approval, though I certainly didn’t need it.
That’s to say, it’s difficult to step out from the familiar without support. And even though I had done the numbers and planned it all out, I still wanted someone else to give me the OK.
In business that OK isn’t always available. And as any entrepreneur knows, taking the risk with or without it is all part of the process. In fact, that instinct to step out and embrace failure should it come to you — and it often does — is part of what keeps a company moving and growing.
I never knew when I wrote that letter that it was the first step to something bigger, but it’s what got me to where I am today. And I know making those tough decisions is what will get me to where I need to be in the future. I’m sure if you look back, you’ll realize the same is true for you. So whatever decision you’re sitting on, maybe it’s time to take the leap yourself
— Fred Ode