By Paul Reilly

Growing up, we had many traditions. Sundays were steeped in tradition. There were three activities that let me know it was Sunday: morning church, family dinner, and my dad riding his Harley with his Sunday morning gang (crew).

I remember the first time my dad met the motorcycle crew. On the way home from church, my dad noticed a group of bikers congregating at a local bank. The next Sunday, he noticed the same thing. The following Sunday he, again, noticed the same bikers at the same bank. Well, this Sunday, he drove up to the group instead of driving past. My brother and I sat in the car and watched my dad approach the bikers. After a short conversation, we left. When we got home, my dad hopped on his bike and joined his new friends for a Sunday ride. He wasn’t comfortable just being a spectator—never has been. What began as a simple greeting transpired into a 20+ year tradition with enduring friendships.

But what if he hadn’t driven up to say hello?

Too often in life—and business—people are comfortable being spectators. It’s easy to just watch. It’s easy to sit back and let life happen versus make it happen.

Why is this?

For some, it’s the fear of failure. For others, it’s complacency. There is always risk when you step out of the stands and onto the field. Yes, you might fail. Yes, it might be embarrassing. But who cares? The greatest embarrassment or failure is looking back and asking, “What if?” “What if I would have tried a little harder?” “What if I would have taken that chance?” Just imagine that pain compared to the pain of failure.

If you’re still reading, ask yourself why. Is there an area of your business or life where you’re just a spectator? Do you have an idea you’re waiting to pursue? Is there a voice telling you to take action? Listen to that voice. Trust that voice. That voice is your potential.

If there is a project you want to pursue, then pursue it earnestly. If there is a prospect you want to pursue, then pursue it relentlessly. If there is a story you want to tell, then proclaim it passionately.

Stop being a spectator! You might fail, but the pain of failure pales in comparison to the pain of wondering, “What if?”

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