You miss 100% of all the shots you don’t take: Wayne Gretzky
I write on the best way to prepare for the future — by creating it.  Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.
Ice hockey player Wayne Gretzky, Chicago, Illinois

Starting is scary.

Starting means you put yourself—and your money and your reputation—out there and at risk.

Starting means you are facing head on the possibility that you may fail, and fail in front of family and friends who may have provided funding for your entrepreneurial venture.

So instead of doing any of those frightening things, it is easier, and feels safer, to keep thinking and researching your new idea.

But if that is the course you take, you will never start anything. There will always be one more piece of information you need. One more call you have to make. One more thing you have to do.

And so you never get underway.

The problem with that was summed up brilliantly by hockey Hall of Famer Wayne Gretzky: “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”

In other words, you can’t succeed unless you try.

And that means you have to take action.

It doesn’t have to be a huge step. In fact, I would argue that it shouldn’t be.

Nothing big

You only have so much time, so much energy, so much in the way of resources. You don’t want to waste any of it.

That’s why, as I have advocated before, you want to start moving slowly toward your goals.

More specifically, I believe the best approach for you to follow is:

1. Start with desire. You find/think of something you want.

(“I think I may want to go to law school, as a way to advance my career.”)

2. Take a smart step as quickly as you can toward your goal. What’s a smart step? It’s one where you act quickly with the means at hand. What you know, who you know, and anything else that’s available. You make sure that step is never going to cost more than it would be acceptable to you to lose should things not work out.

(“Okay, let me call the state law school and find out what are the requirements if I want to go part-time. That would be the least expensive way to go.”)

3. Reflect and build on what you have learned from taking that step. You need to do that because every time you act, reality changes. Sometimes the step you take gets you nearer to what you want; sometimes what you want changes as a result of what you discover. If you pay attention, you always learn something. So after you act, ask: Did those actions get you closer to your goal?  Do you still want to obtain your objective?

(“Gosh, it is going to take forever, if I only take law school classes at night. I don’t have that kind of time.  Maybe a “weekend” MBA program makes more sense.”)

4. Repeat.

So to reduce all this to a formula: Act. Learn. Build. Repeat.

But the key word is act. You have to act.

If you don’t, nothing ever changes.

Albert Einstein: The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

But it’s not Insanity to learn and play our methods of Baccarat play but more considered enlightenment to winning consistently over and over again through time and well practiced discipline.

Good winnings to you,


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One thought on “You miss 100% of all the shots you don’t take: Wayne Gretzky

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