I had drinks yesterday with a favorite lovely friend who is lucky enough to be at a crossroads in her life: finishing business school, about to move to a new city, perched between interesting job interviews and a mack-daddy idea for a business of her own.

What to do? Where to go? What green light to follow?

You know what I told her: you have so many choices! Take the road not traveled – you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. (shorthand: start your own company and see where it takes you)

There are two kinds of people in this world: those who bemoan their fate and those who direct it. Which do you want to be? Because it IS a choice.

I was lucky enough to grow up in an entrepreneurial family where we learned to take chances because hey, it just might lead you to success. (It usually does if you believe it will.) But even those who didn’t have startup parents can find their own path and when they do, it is so much sweeter than taking direction from someone else.

Sure, owning a business means having to put in extra hours at 5 a.m. or Saturday afternoon or after the kids go to bed. It also means ducking out of work at 2 p.m. to help with picture day (guess where I’m going today) and not having to ask permission to do so.

Owning your own business means in slow months, getting paid less, and in better months, putting more away in your own savings account.

I would far rather live my life by taking chances and seeing where I end up. This last weekend, I had a new client in San Diego and so I planned a trip to visit him. Then the client got cold PR feet and decided to hold off a few months on marketing his business. Dan and I had tickets to San Diego and a reservation at what turned out to be the BEST bed and breakfast we have ever stayed at.

We took the chance. We took the road not traveled – which led us to the Pacific Coast Highway and Torrey Pines State Park and an overlook of the Pacific Ocean that still mesmerizes me today.

Which path would you rather be on? You only live once. Make sure it’s all it can be.

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