Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.
— John D. Rockefeller
In 1853, an 18-year-old boy named Andrew Carnegie found a low-paying job as a telegraph operator in a railroad company. After six years, the hardworking Carnegie was promoted to the position of superintendent of railroads and earned a respectable salary that allowed him to support his family. Between this job and several successful investments in various companies, Carnegie was ready for a comfortable future.
However, Carnegie saw an opportunity in the steel industry and decided to take a huge risk: he sold nearly all of his stakes in successful companies and used most of this money to start a steel company. This risk paid off for him. Over the next 25 years, Carnegie Steel controlled a massive portion of the world’s steel output. Carnegie sold his company to J.P. Morgan for over $300 million in 1901 (over $10 trillion today!).
We have many choices to make in life. It’s up to us whether we want to take the safe route or the road less traveled. While sometimes it is better to go with the flow, it’s important to take our chances in life occasionally. Whether it is investing money in a company that you think is going to boom, or backing a friend’s business venture, sometimes it is worth going with your gut feeling and taking calculated risks. You will never find out unless you try.