Fear. That is what it came down to. In a previous blog posting, I talked about my First Date in middle school. We fell in love but never kissed. I wanted to of course, but we were young and inexperienced, and it never ended up happening.
Then came high school. I did not have any wild romances, but some days I would walk a girl named Heather home from school. We would hang out at her house. Sometimes we would be alone in her room. We were not dating, but I am sure she knew I liked her. One time we were on her bed, and she closed her eyes and just lay there. I was pretty sure she wanted me to kiss her, but I was an awkward teenage boy, and a small amount of doubt in my mind along with a big lack of courage kept me from doing it. Then a few months later we were on her bed again, and she closed her eyes again, and I said “what the hell” (silently, in my head of course) and went in for the kiss. It was great (it was not her first kiss, so from her point of view I am sure I was not very good), and I was on cloud nine. We were never a couple, but were together like that a few more times over the next year. I will always have fond memories of my days with her. But, I regret how shy I was. I regret how much of a dork I was. I regret not taking charge more, I regret thinking too much and not being free enough.
Why is it in the business world, I have no fear? Even before the Internet came along, as a kid, I was an entrepreneur. Always thinking about money, always scheming to get rich, going to auctions/flea markets/tag sales, doing business deals with adults, and generally acting like a little business tycoon. Then I grew up, hopped on the information superhighway, and was soon buying flower stores I had never seen, inventing toys, conquering the domain name market, and doing multi-million dollar deals.
I am trying to change though. Maybe it was stupid, maybe I am just a wimp, but recently I climbed up on the roof of my house. I know, “no big deal,” you say. Well, it was for me. I am not scared of heights, and generally like roller coasters and that sort of thing, but I don’t usually take real physical risks. I don’t want to get hurt. A guy was here recently clearing the ice off my roof and was telling me about how while he was up there he noticed the chimney flashing was messed up and should be fixed. He told me I should go up and take a look, and I said “No need, I believe you, go ahead and do the work”. A few days later he comes back and again, he and the guy who works for him both are telling me I should take a look myself. I really don’t care at this point, but they keep asking me to go up there, almost like peer pressure chanting “Do It, Do It”, and I was so ready to say my usual “No” when it occurred to me I should try doing the opposite of what I usually do, and that it was an opportunity to do something exciting, and in a split second I blurted out “Ok”. Now, the week before I had just had a conversation with the wife of a brain surgeon who said that her husband was treating an unusually large number of men that were falling off roofs while trying to scrape off snow and ice due to the record winter in this part of the country. So, this was in the back of my mind the whole time. I was also thinking about my wife and three kids and how I might make one wrong step and fall and die, and that would be very stupid. It actually turned out to be just as scary and dangerous as I thought it would be, but I did it and lived to tell the tale. I am not sure what lesson I learned from this.
I think what it all comes down to is that I always have known a lot about the business world. It is where I feel comfortable. Now, as a middle-aged adult, I feel I also have a good handle on many of the things in life. But, even after 46 years, I still don’t know much about girls.