Where There’s No Risk, There’s No Reward

When I travel around the country speaking to green-industry pros, I make sure to always save enough time for a Q-and-A session.

And pretty much every time—no matter if my talk was on sales, or leadership, or developing your right-hand man or woman, or something else entirely—I am asked a version of the same question:

How do I get ahead without risking where I’m at?

Oh sure, the question is phrased in different ways: How do I expand capacity without taking on more debt? How do I run a business that’s not solely dependent on the owner without losing control? How do I know if investing in marketing will actually lead to more sales?

These are all valid and important questions, and the answers can be as varied and specific as the people asking them.

But it’s also true that if you take a step back, the same thing is at the core of all these questions, and that thing is FEAR.

And that’s something you yourself have to conquer head on if you want to succeed in business.

Now I’m not telling you to bet the farm on a risky move. Do your research and carefully weigh the potential consequences—bad and good. Plan, measure, refine. Then measure some more. Do all these things, but do not let plain raw fear be the thing that holds you back. We all feel fear at one time or another; it’s what you do with it that matters.

As my wise friend and mentor Jim McCutcheon, who’s grown HighGrove Partners into one of the most successful commercial landscape companies in the country, likes to say, “No debt isn’t realistic or opportunistic.”

Or, in other words:

Where there's no risk, there’s no reward.