What’s at Stake If You Don’t Succeed?

In 1986 I started my own publishing company with Robert Wolgemuth. We had worked together at Word, Inc. and then at Thomas Nelson. Like a lot of young entrepreneurs, we had a big dream, a business plan, but few resources.

Orel hershiser Pitching

We raised enough money from investors to launch the company, but we were still strapped for cash. Regardless, we soldiered on, believing that God would bless our creativity, hard work, and commitment to excellence.

Our first big break came in 1988 when the Los Angeles Dodgers won the World Series. After the final game, Robert and I miraculously got an appointment with Orel Hershiser, the Dodgers’ pitcher. We met with him in Washington, D.C. just after he met with President Reagan.

Our meeting went well. He hadn’t considered writing a book, but we were able to talk him into it. He seemed genuinely excited.

After our meeting, we visited the Washington Redskins practice field together, where we met Coach Joe Gibbs and watched the Redskins practice. Orel was a major celebrity and everyone on the team wanted to shake his hand.

We then flew with Orel and his agent to New York by private jet where we had dinner together. It was heady stuff for a couple of young businessmen from Nashville.

We were really excited about the idea of publishing Orel’s book, but we knew we would be in competition with the biggest publishers on the planet. They would surely drive up the royalty advance for the book, but we hoped against hope that we could make a favorable enough impression that he would publish with us in spite of the money.

A few days later, Orel’s agent called us. He said, “I have great news. Orel would like to publish his book with you, provided you are willing to pay a royalty advance of $150,000.”

Without a moments hesitation, we both said, “Absolutely. We’re in!” We then promised to get him a contract the next day. We were pumped!

We hung up the phone and high-fived one another. After a few seconds, I said, “Only one problem … where are we going to come up $150,000?”

Robert laughed, “Oh, yea, that!

We didn’t know if we should celebrate or puke. It was one of those times in business where the line between success and disaster is razor thin.

Robert finally suggested that we call Jack, one of our investors, who also sat on our board. He said, “I’m sure Jack will lend us the money. This is a no-brainer.”

A few minutes later, we had Jack on the phone. We shared with him our story of meeting Orel, and his agent’s decision to give us the book. Jack was enthusiastic. “Way to go guys. I am proud of you!”

Robert then said, “Yea, only one problem, Jack. We need $150,000 for the royalty advance. We’re confident this book will be a bestseller, so we just need a short-term loan. Can you help us out?”

We held our breath.

To our surprise, Jack said, “You bet, guys. This is going to be huge.”

Robert and I pumped our fists and quietly mouthed the word, “Yes!”

“Just one thing I need you to do,” Jack continued. “As part of the loan agreement, I need you to pledge your homes to me as collateral. If you are willing to do that, we can make this happen quickly.”

Uh-oh. We didn’t see that coming.

What Jack understood, and we eventually learned, is that having skin in the game makes it easier for everyone to win. I’ve seen it again and again—in life and in business.

When you have something significant at stake:

  1. Your attention is focused. Winning or losing matters.
  2. You work harder, because you have a stake in the outcome. If the book didn’t work, we would lose our homes.
  3. You won’t walk away as easily. You have to fight until the bitter end. This is good for everyone involved.

As it turns out, we did agree to Jack’s terms. He loaned us the money, and we published Orel’s book, Out of the Blue. It landed on the New York Times list at #4 where it remained for several weeks. The whole process took less than ninety days from the first phone call to hitting the list.

Thankfully, we were able to repay Jack the money we owed him. Our wives were happy too, since we didn’t need to move out and turn our property over to Jack. This was one of those times when everything just worked.

The moral of the story is this: if you want to accomplish big goals, you need to have skin in the game. You don’t have to pledge your house, but you need to have something significant at stake. The more concrete you can make it, the better.

Questions: Think of your biggest goal right now. What is at stake if you achieve it? What is at stake if you don’t achieve it? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
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  • Anonymous

    That razor thin edge between success and disaster is so real and daunting a lot of the time when making decisions. As a recent college grad what I have to lay on the line to chase after big goals has come more in the form of choices to pursue my passions or money. Over the past couple years I’ve had to give up potential higher paying jobs, relationships and the relative comforts that are standard for most post graduates to pursue troubled youth and the homeless (I’m mainly trying to reach “the least of these” with all I have).

    Some times are more stressful than others and I feel like I’m falling off the razor thin edge to the side of failure but I can stay I’m still here because God’s still providing. Giving up all that I have (money, jobs, relationships) to pursue these people has been my way of “putting skin in the game”. These sacrifices are my daily reminder to try hard because if I don’t achieve my goals I will have given up a couple years of making money, having relationships and those who say I’m crazy for living how I have, those who told me to live safer, would have been right.

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

      Man! Really good comments! I agree with you 100% that it feels like a razor thin edge between trusting in God and trusting myself(or the opinion of others)! As a Youth Pastor for 15+ years (and a former Young Life guy) I have heavily invested in passion over the purse. And, in my opinion, the risk is worth it!

      • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

         “… passion over purse …” Simple and simply memorable. Those are wise words to guide a person in making sound decisions in life. It’s not saying “ignore purse,” but put purse in proper perspective (ah, the alliteration just flows tonight).

      • http://iampart.wordpress.com/ Travis Rieth

        Thanks guys. Really enjoyed looking through your blogs… I’m young and all new to this so I really appreciate the encouragement and advice. If you want to check out more/give me more advice into what I’m doing that would be awesome.



        Thanks again

        • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

          Love your video, Travis. It sounds like you have a lot to share. Do it!

    • http://TillerFamily.org/ John Tiller

      Wow, Travis!  You definitely have skin in the game!

      Maybe those who told you to live safer will be proven right, in their eyes.  But it sounds like you have already experienced blessings that they’ll never have because you were willing to make the sacrifice to serve the needy.

      You remind me of  Prov 30:8-9 (NIV) …Give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread… 

      Keep up the great work!!

    • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

       Travis, you express an idea that I’ve experienced as well–that, as God continues to provide, I continue to serve. Well done.

  • Colleen Hargis

    Great blog…but I am NOT a risk taker by nature…this is my biggest obstacle.  I have the work ethic, degrees, experience, skills and have been a successful leader in a traditional workplace in the past, but boy…I just freeze at risk.

    • Rachel Lance

      Sounds like you’ve really spent time mulling over this aspect of yourself. Have you found ways to help you grow in this area? Perhaps putting up your house as collateral is too big of a risk (it is for me!) but are there other, smaller yet incrementally more challenging risks you can use to increase your risk tolerance?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Matthew-J-Williams/1520637381 Matthew J Williams

    At the risk of sounding snarky,

    While I understand the principle and how it works I guess I have questions around this.  Are we suggesting here that unless there is some direct or indirect benefit to me then I am going to perform at a less then optimal level?  That certainly is human nature but as new creatures in Christ it seems we have a higher calling then that.

    In scripture we are told that no matter what we do we should do it as if we were doing it for the Lord.  I do not recall the specific reference for that but I know its in the Bible.

    Maybe this mentality, that people need to have skin in the game before they can fully engage, is one reason why churches can’t get help in nurseries or for kids ministries. I don’t know but it strikes me as being sad that we are motivated more by whats good “for me” then whats good for those around me.

    What about serving one another?  I guess my question overall is how does the idea presented here by Michael line up with scriptures?

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

      You ask some great questions here. Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment. I am not trying to answer your questions—but to give my take on it.

      First, the reference you were looking for is Colosians 3:23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.

      Michael did not say directly, or imply, that he was investing in this project at the sake “of those around him.” Simply stated—he is saying that when we have more invested in our work/projects/passions we are more likely to really be attentive and engaged in our work. This is especially true when others (like our families/employees) are counting on us.

      As you know—making money is not wrong, but worshiping money can certainly lead to a bunch of problems.

      Thanks, Matthew


      • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

        Thanks, Barry. You said it better than I did.

    • http://TillerFamily.org/ John Tiller

      Matthew, you make a good point.  Scripture certainly calls us to do (all of ) our work “as unto the Lord.”  You nailed the problem, though.  It’s human nature.  And it is sad … kind of.   I think eliminating “self-love” would mess up the design of “free will” to do as we choose, including making the choice to love God.  

      “Skin in the game” is an indicator of commitment.  Jesus demanded commitment from his followers (i.e. “leave your nets and I’ll make you fishers of men”, “let the dead bury their own dead”, “carry your cross and follow me”, etc.).  If they put skin in the game, Jesus knew they were committed and He was willing to work with them.   I view Jack’s request above to put liens on their homes, the same way.  It’s obviously for a much less significant cause than Jesus’ cause, but I think it does line up with scripture.  

      Great question Matthew!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I think it lines up quite well. For the first three centuries, being a Christian meant putting your life on the life. You had to risk everything to follow Jesus. (It still means that in many parts of the world today.) David said he would not offer to the Lord that which cost him nothing (2 Samuel 24:24). Jesus exhorted his disciples to count the cost.

      • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

         The David comment came to my mind as well. True worship involves sacrifice.

    • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

       I think this principle of having something on the line can be seen in a number of arenas. I’m listening to an audio book, “My Lucky Life In and Out of Show Business,” written and read by Dick Van Dyke. The X-ray visual of spots on his lungs, the word “emphysema,” and the history of a father who succumbed to the disease proved incentive enough for Dick to finally quite smoking. It took his health and the threat of a premature death to move him to action. The higher the stakes the more likely we’ll take action. Scripture, as Mike alluded to, confirms this principle. In fact, God often motivated change in the lives of His people through their circumstances and the possibility of loss. How often did He send prophets warning of the loss of their homes and their nation if they didn’t humble themselves and turn to Him.

  • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

    Our biggest goal as a family is to move to Hawaii next year: excitingfamilyjourney.com this goal has been something we have dreaming about for years but have let fear and a bunch of other excuses stop us, NOT ANYMORE. This move also inspired my second book “The Difference Between Living and Existing: A Nine Month Plan to Radically Change Your Life” and what’s at stake is us not moving and continuing to live a life a medocrity, a life we’re not truly happy with. We also have a ministry opportunity in Hawaii that uses some gifts the Lord has given us, it would be a shame to not fulfill our calling! Sorry for rambling on.

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

      Love it! Kimanzi—Way to inspire.

      • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

        Thanks alot Barry, really enjoying this blog!

  • Kelly

    Love this story – and SO TRUE!!!  I can think of several of my own stories where this principal applied to me too. Thanks!  I am passing it on to our team of “doers”.

  • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

    When you have a family—you have “skin in the game” no matter what your calling is!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Robin-Harkey-Dixon/1559891795 Robin Harkey Dixon

    My BIG goal for my life right now is to finish and publish my first book. But not only that, this book needs to sell well enough to get me back on my feet. What’s at stake? My freedom, my independence, my life. This is my second “start again” except now I’m living back home in my parents’ house with my two kids, the oldest just turned a teenager. And while I love my parents dearly, I’ve got to get back out on my own before our relationship becomes strained beyond repair. So what’s at stake – everything.

  • http://frugalportland.com/ kathleen

    This could have gone a different direction — losing your house is no small risk. Sure, hindsight is 20-20, but did you succeed  because you had skin in the game? Would you be giving the same advice if you’d failed?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      The point I was making is that because we had skin in the game, we worked harder, were more focused, and stuck with it until we did succeed. (It was no small feat, as we only had 90 days to get the book written and into the market—something unheard of in publishing circles at the time.)
      I have certainly had much invested and failed. But all things being equal, I perform better when I am vested. I also would never invest in a company where the principals weren’t “all in” either.

  • http://www.thementoringleader.com/ Aaron Drake

    Absolutely right Michael.  We have recently been overhauling our compensation plans for sales by lowering salary and increasing commission.  It’s amazing how production goes up when starving is an option.

    Stepping out and taking risk is easier when you have a healthy perspective on material things.  While losing your house certainly wouldn’t seem wise in retrospect, it’s not the end of the world.  We literally lost everything but 16 boxes of clothes and personal effects, with 4 kids, and we have managed to get it all back over the last 4 years.  It’s just stuff.

    • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

       “It’s amazing how production goes up when starving is an option.” After reading that line, for some reason, the picture of a galloping gazelle with a lion in pursuit pops in my mind.

      • http://www.thementoringleader.com/ Aaron Drake

        Too funny!  while picturing that I thought, “What’s the lesson for the gazelle?”.  I think it’s that when motivated by fear, we are always running from something and never to anything.

        • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

           I pictured myself as the gazelle in said analogy, but I suppose, sticking with your “starving” statement I’m the lion. Just never feel much like it (except for the hungry part).

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

       My workplace is considering the same compensation plans for the sales team. In fact, we just moved one salesman to commission only. He wasn’t too happy about it but I think it will be a great move.

  • http://www.activechristianmedia.com/ Stacy Harp

    Great post and  I totally remember that book and Oral because he was very famous here in California.  To answer your question, for my husband and me what is at stake is our financial livelihood.  My husband quit his career of 25 years to join me at Active Christian Media full time, so that we could take this company to the next level.  We’re also putting our home on the market, here in CA and getting ready to head east to TN….just about the largest decision we’ve made in our 20 years of marriage.  We’re leaving the only state we’ve ever known, to pursue a calling we not only believe in wholeheartedly, but we’ve laid our finances on the line, our home on the line and frankly, our lives on the line.  What’s at stake… nothing really, because I have never failed at anything I’ve ever tried.  I’ve never been afraid of success and I’ve never been afraid of failure…probably because I’ve never failed at anything I’ve tried.  When the core of your conviction is the foundation in Christ, that we have in the Word of God, there’s no room for fear…but instead just faith and adventure.  So, if we were to “lose everything” no biggie, because it’s not mine anyway.  But we won’t, because we don’t fail, that’s not our focus.  We’re successful and we’ll remain that way.  Which may sound arrogant to some, but that would be their issue, not mine.  :)

    • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

       Love the attitude and the perspective.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      You’ll love Tennessee, Stacy! Welcome.

  • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

    My biggest goal currently is to sell a novel. I don’t mean sell it in order to get it published. I mean sell it after it comes out. For me, I’ve not only invested the time to write the book, rewrite it, and rewrite again (at this point, it seems ad infinitum ad nauseam), I’ve invested the finances into the venture. Like you wrote, Mike, “the line between success and disaster is razor thin.” I’m all in on this venture. Will we lose our house if I fail? No. But I better get used to the taste of ramon noodle soup. ;-)

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

       I doubt you’ll be living on ramon noodle soup. You’ve got something to say and I believe an audience that is willing to listen.

      • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

         Joe, those are magnificent words. I am deeply encouraged and grateful.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1033661898 Kendra Elliott Tillman

    My biggest goal is attending this year’s She Speaks conference that Proverbs 31 ministries host to learn, be mentored and pitch my book proposal during a 10 minute agent appointment. What’s at stake, if I don’t achieve it? Living life with regrets and what ifs & lowering my credibility in the eyes of my family and friends that I’ve shared the goal with. I have really big dreams and big goals. Thank you for this post! Now, excuse me. I need to get to writing…

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

      That’s a great goal, Kendra. And, having been that person putting myself out there at a speaking/writing/agent conference, I know how risky it feels. But go big and give it everything you’ve got, so you can come home knowing you didn’t hold a thing back!

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1033661898 Kendra Elliott Tillman

         Hi Michele
        Yes, it feels very risky. I really want God’s will and not my own. I’m going and trusting that He will order my steps along the way. Thank you for taking the time to reply.

    • http://lilyscloset.com/ Monica Smith

      Kendra;  I attended the She Speaks Conference in 2010 and can tell you it was worth the cost.  You will walk away with more info than you will know what to do with.  You will also leave full spiritually as well as amazed at how many women God has called to write, speak and minister for His glory.
      Take a deep breath and enjoy the process as everyone who is there whether attendee or conference leader is genuinely nice and willing to guide you with your calling. 


      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1033661898 Kendra Elliott Tillman

        Thank you for taking the time to reply to this. I attended the conference a few year back. I didn’t realize at the time I chose that track because it felt safe to me. I truly believe God has called me to write. I’m really excited to be in the company of other women who want to obey God’s call.

        I saw your other post regarding what it will cost you. I will be praying for you. I pray God will give you wisdom and insight into the natural and spiritual course of things, that He will bless the work of your hands and that He will be a voice behind you saying “this is my way walk in it.” All God’s richest blessings to you!

  • http://twitter.com/gentlechirodc Maya Pande

    My coach suggested something similar for me this week.  She called it a negative consequence.  I want to see a certain number of patients a week in my practice by August 2012. If I don’t, I will give $500 to a charity i don’t believe in.  It’s not as big as  staking your mortgage, but it does not appeal to me in the slightest to do this. I’ve had this same goal for a long time but I know this time I’m going to reach it, partly because of what I’ll have to do if I don’t!  Funny how I came across this article today! :) Thanks!

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

      Gotta love good timing. ;) I’m intrigued by this negative consequence … would love to hear the status come August.

      • http://twitter.com/gentlechirodc Maya Pande

         Thanks Michele!  I told my staff about what I’m putting at stake and they were all horrified!  It will keep me on track, that’s for sure!

        • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

          No turning back now. ;)

  • Anonymous

    The best analogy are these parents that buy their 16 year old a $30,000+ car.   As a father of 3 boys you watch how much a teen will take care of a car in which they had a stake in (paid for part of it).  You give a teen a $30,000 car a most of the time, they will beat it, abuse it and often crash it with a worry.  Teach teens to have a stake in their life decisions and it will be a valuable lesson to them!

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

       Spot on Douglas.

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

      Exactly, Douglas. The same could be said of a college education as well.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      This is a great example. Wish I’d thought of it!

  • http://rise365.com Claudia Good

    Wow, wow, wow. That was a crazy story. I LOVED it!!!!!!!!!!! Edgy and proactive. You took a risk and it paid off! Thank you for sharing.

    My husband just quit his job and is starting a business. Yup, we are in the same boat as you were. What a crazy, awesome, scary, exhilarating ride it is!

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

      Several years ago my husband quit his job of nearly 20 years to start his own business. It was exhilarating … until the first few Fridays without a paycheck. Then it was terrifying! It’s now been 7+ years and we don’t regret it at all. One of the best decisions we’ve ever made!

      • http://rise365.com Claudia Good

        Wow, awesome story. We need to hear more of these :) 
        What business did he start?

        • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

          A residential/commercial construction and property inspection business. He does a lot of custom work (i.e. Kitchen/bath remodels, basement finishing, etc.), including our house. Lucky me. :)

          • http://rise365.com Claudia Good

            Wow Michele,
            That sounds pretty sweet!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      As the old Apple commercial says, “Here’s to the crazy ones …” Good for you.

      • http://rise365.com Claudia Good

        Hahaa – exactly! :)

  • http://missionallendale.wordpress.com/ Joey Espinosa

    Just started working for the school district in the 10th poorest county in the nation. Trying to help get things turned around, by getting parents and community members back involved with the schools.

    There is a lot at stake for this community, but honestly not much for us. We really won’t even know how well we are doing for years to come.

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

      A worthy investment, Joey. And you’re right — it will probably take years to see any fruit of your blood, sweat and tears. But the lack of quick results doesn’t change the depth of need.

  • Kapil Sopory

    At this late stage (am 71+), my highest goal is to totally live in the present, allow, as far as possible, the past not to overshadow my thought processes; also that to let future arrive without any mental botherations. If I raise positive thoughts only and make the best of each day, future too could be good. Even if there are any hiccups, not to grumble but take it as His will by aligning this goal with what He should have planned for me. In nutshell, to make all-out efforts to do well in all my endeavours withot expectation of rewards…whatever comes, be accepted with gratitude.
    I am going through the literature containg words of wisdom to attain total happiness and am aiming to follow what seems to suit me.

  • http://twitter.com/chrischancey Chris Chancey

    It can be fun to declare BHAGs…but to pursue them requires “skin in the game.” Thanks Michael for this insight. It seems we are quick to think of what is at stake if we fail, but making that clear and concrete is imperative to your success. Great post! This really gives me something to chew on.

  • Meg Davis ~ MegDance.org

    “Homes on the Line” Sharp breath of air! “Book at #4.” Sigh of Relief! I love a good business gamble and there’s nothing so classic as the house (and the wife’s good opinion of you) on the line.

  • http://ellansstudio.wordpress.com/ Lexie N.

    I think this is one of many young writers problems.  They have nothing at stake if they write or don’t – so it really doesn’t matter if they never finish “that book they started”.  Unfortunately, I am in the very same boat :(  Writers really need someone to be accountable to, and/or have something at stake to keep them motivated.
    Thanks for the awesome post, Michael.  I can always count on getting good advice on your blog.
    God bless.
    Lexie N.

  • http://www.flybluekite.com Laura Click

    Love this story. I think this is oh-so-very important.

    When I went to college, my parents made me pay for half of it. They covered room and board and the tuition was my responsibility. I drained my life savings to pay for my first year and took out student loans for the remaining three years. 

    I hated my parents for it at the time, but it really helped me value my education more. And, unlike so many of my friends who were on the “five year plan”, I had extra motivation to finish on time because I was footing the bill. 

    Having skin in the game definitely makes you more responsible and helps you better appreciate success AND failure. 

    I just became a full-time entrepreneur ONE WEEK ago and I definitely feel this more now than ever. I’m glad I learned the importance of this lesson years ago. ;)

  • http://uma-maheswaran.blogspot.com/ Uma Maheswaran S

    Agreed Mike! I have read that in securities market, people who do   day trading  for making their living tend to make profit rather people who do trading for hobby.

    Similarly, when everything is at stake,  our human nature tends to focus and concentrate over that particular issue.

  • http://www.tonyjalicea.com Tony J. Alicea

    A friend of mine likes to say “no risk-it no biscuit”. Loved the story!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Great quote!

  • http://lilyscloset.com/ Monica Smith

    I have to say that this post has messed me up!  I have been sitting at my desk at a job I know I need to leave, asking myself what is at stake if I fully pursue God’s call on my life?  I know I am to teach, speak and write about godly image and beauty and true value and self worth can be found in Christ for women and young girls.  I have been working on this for years and know that it is time to go forward with the messages God has laid on my heart.
    So what is at stake for me when I rent, have a car loan and owe over $100k in seminary school loans?  Having stepped out in faith three other times and not earning any or very little money leading to going through the eviction process several times, what would be at stake for me?  I have been at the place where I could have lost my home.  I’ve been without money and food.  I’ve been scared to death and worried about what I looked like to other people.  And, I have suffered the condemnation from family.  Yet, I am still scared to death about pursuing this mighty dream.  I would do it for free, but I still have to eat and pay my bills.  Matthew 6:33 always comes to mind when I freeze and I have to say that I am grateful for God.  I guess I just want to know that I will be okay and can just pursue His call like the Apostle Paul, desiring to know nothing but Jesus Christ and Him crucified.

  • http://www.charlesspecht.com/ Charles Specht

    True.  People can have the best of intentions but even a well-intended, “hired” shepherd runs when the savage wolves approach.  A shepherd with “skin in the game” who owns the sheep will fight to the death to save his investment.

    Lots of wisdom in your post.  Thank you, Michael.

  • http://josemcane.com.ar/ José

    This is great advice, and I think the title hits in the nail: we all believe we can win, but how much are we willing to get in the bet? That’s the tough question.

  • Ron Tank

    Hi Michael,

    You are spot on with the “skin in the game” strategy! I’m wrestling with a new business. I have a current profession and am having a had time crowding another one into the same space. The “skin” is in my current profession, and since it is, the new adventure is in slow motion and not getting far. It is difficult because the new one is where my heart is heading. If I could just get my “skin” to go along! Appreciate any ideas you have! Thanks for sharing your knowledge and experience!!!

  • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

    Great story!

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