How many times have you kicked yourself around for apparently making the wrong decision on something that might have changed your life? My advice – give it up before you find yourself walking funny and being unable to sit in a normal way. Everybody has a story or two about the wrong decision, which by the way seemed right at the time. Recently I had lunch with an actor who talked about not wanting to take a part in a movie that sounded really dumb. He used his best reasoning power with the director and was let out of the film. Not only did the film become one of the most famous movies of the 20th century, but the part he didn't take launched a career that is still going on. My actor friend is still walking normally, as he believes that under the circumstances, he made the right choice and would do it again.
When I was a young man, I had an opportunity to meet and present a plan to a world famous athlete for marketing his image. I was given the go ahead and, together with the gentleman who brought me the deal, we sent out letters to prospective companies to see if they were interested in participating. One major company replied and one small company replied. We chose the smaller company, at the insistence of my new partner, and the rest is history. Nothing good came of it. Looking back, the major company was the right choice. We just didn't make it.
The father of one of my friends told me about a choice he had to make when he was first starting out in business. He sold a new company some equipment they needed and was offered a cash payment over a year or stock in the company. He took the cash and was quite pleased with his profit. During the next ten years he sold them more equipment and was paid on his terms, but was never offered stock again. The company quickly grew and became listed on the New York Stock Exchange. The stock would have been worth a fortune, but it didn't happen for him. He would always chuckle when telling the story because he became a wealthy entrepreneur anyway over the subsequent years.
Could I go on with these examples? Probably for the next week or so, but I think you are getting the picture. Whether it is a big monetary mistake or a small lifestyle choice we did or didn't make – and we have thought (albeit in the back of our mind) that maybe the other choice was right, there isn't anything we can do about it now except laugh or cry. I vote for laugh, because I am sure we all have cried enough over the path not taken.
Roger Schlesinger's Mortgage Minute is heard on hundreds of radio stations and daily on the Hugh Hewitt radio show and Michael Medved shows. Roger interacts with his hosts and explores the complicated financial markets in order to enlighten his listeners and direct them along their own unique road to financial freedom.
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