Fortune Favors the Bold

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In Latin, there is a saying that goes Audentes Fortuna Iuvat or translated to effectively Fortune Favors the Bold. The underlying meaning is that without taking risks, the greatest rewards will elude you. Without taking action you can't be successful. 

There's another quote by the ice hockey great Wayne Gretzky:

"You miss 100% of the shots you don't take."

This sums up the idiom nicely doesn't it? In life, in business in everything, you can never become successful if you don't take action. In fact, you should consider taking bold action to achieve your greatest dreams. You should not allow fear and the failures of others to creep into your mind and hold you back from doing what you know is best. Be bold, be confident, and stride forward toward your goals.

Let's be clear about what I'm saying here though.  I am not saying to take necessary risks, to be stupid or blind to what could happen. As a Boy Scout, you should always be prepared and like a military commander, you should plan your missions ahead of time assuming things will go wrong. For example, if you were investing for retirement it might be bold to opt to elf manage your 401K and choose to invest in computer-controlled index funds.  It might also be bold to liquidate your 401K to buy Bitcoin.  One of those two is a calculated risk to invest in historically high yield investment funds with low fees and the other is gambling. Could you become much richer by betting on Bitcoin?  Yes, you could, but the greatest likelihood is that it drops dramatically and you panic sell leaving you with less than you had at the outset.  I know, I've seen friends do it. 

You will see other articles or people telling you that fortune doesn't favor the bold. From their perspective they are right. They are looking at the individuals that bet the farm. Those that took great risks without worrying about the consequences or even preparing for them. In those cases, they are right. Those were extremely risky bets. Some of those pay off and leave the person who took the risk wildly successful, but most of those crash and burn. 

50% of new businesses fail within the first 5 years of operations. These are bold folks, that bet everything on a dream they had. Of course if half of the businesses failed, it means the other half are still operating. Some, of course, are just doing OK or barely hanging on and some are absolutely killing it. What are some of those differences?  Why do others succeed when so many fail to achieve their dreams?

Fortune Favors the Prepared Mind

Fortuna Eruditis Favet or as the subtitle above tells you, fortune favors the prepared mind. Many people have big dreams. Many people never act on them, but some do. Of those that do act on their dreams some prepare in advance and some do not. Those that do not prepare in advance run into problems that they didn't foresee. They charged ahead with stars in their eyes but missed the pitfalls they later fell into. Those that prepared knew that they would have hurdles and obstacles to face and prepared a plan to overcome them. When their competitors fell by the wayside, they jumped the hurdle and pushed forward. 

Flexibility is the operative principle in the art of war.

There is a quote by Sun Tzu author of the Art of War that talks about the necessity of flexibility to be successful in the field of battle. The quote goes:

"Don't flail against the world, use it. Flexibility is the operative principle in the art of war." 

What Sun Tzu was saying is that you can't find the circumstances that you find yourselves in. You can only recognize them for what they are and find a way to work within the constraints that have been placed on you. When the world experienced the great recession in 2008 many investors ran and sold their portfolios. They attempted to get out of the market with what little they had left. Others saw the opportunity. In their minds, they had the chance to purchase investment properties, businesses, brands, stocks, etc. at a discounted rate. In their minds, they knew that thein the future, all of these investments had the potential to rebound and reach new heights. They took advantage of that opportunity and came out of the other side wealthier than they went in.

In your life, don't push back, don't point fingers, and don't blame others for the circumstances you find yourself in. You are responsible for yourself and your results. Instead, look at what might be a difficult circumstance and find the silver lining. Look for the opportunities that others overlooked or discounted. When people are afraid and running in one direction run in the direction they came from and find the opportunity that they threw away.

Strike while the iron is hot

This is another idiom that applies well to this argument. Strike while the iron is hot means that when an opportunity presents itself you must be prepared to take advantage of it. You must, when the time is right press boldly forward. If you wait too long, the opportunity passes you by. We have all had situations where we've felt we should do something but waited instead. We missed the concert tickets, we didn't get that date to the school dance, or we didn't get the new Phone on the day it launched. 

Rather than miss out on those opportunities be ready to strike. There's another quote I like that really applies here.

"Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity."

This quote by Seneca the Roman philosopher and author is a great example of why preparation is so important. Earlier we talked bout the importance of preparation and that preparation is what allows you to see the opportunity and take advantage of it. For this reason, you should always be working to improve yourself, to learn more, and to prepare for what is still to come.  Only when you are prepared can you take advantage of an opportunity.  To buy an investment property you must have saved the downpayment. To compete in a cycling race, you must have prepared with months of riding. To pass the bar exam and become a lawyer, you must have spent years studying the law.  Be prepared when an opportunity presents itself. 

Do you believe that fortune favors the bold? Have you ever taken a calculated risk that paid off? I want to hear about it!  Tell me below or contact me!