That said, don’t expect it to read like a three-point leadership manual or like a philosopher who is deep in thought. Capital Gaines is 100% authentic Chip: fun, encouraging, transparent and wise in his own way, but you have to dig a little to find rich or specific advice. I’d sum up the book like this: what you do for a living matters - beyond simply taking a paycheck - so don’t you dare let fear prevent you from doing what you feel compelled to do most.
Overcoming fear evidently means something different for Chip. He doesn’t spend time teaching us how get over the walls of our fears; he just tears down the walls themselves. Kind of magically, Chips convinces us that if we’d look a little closer, we’d realize that we only imagined the walls in the first place.
Take the fear of failure, or of financial loss, as examples. Chip says, “When you aren’t trying to avoid failure, fear loses its foothold” [p. 61]. He’s not wasting energy making sure he succeeds or make a profit. Instead, he’s perfectly content failing and knows very well that he may lose money. It seems that one of the keys to ‘making it big’ is to not care whether you make it big. If you’re an entrepreneur for the money, the threat of failing will be too overwhelming. If you do it for passion, though, you win regardless of what the monetary implications may be.
Later in the book, he explains a little further, “If the thing I do turns out great, then I can rest easy, knowing I was probably on the right path. That’s a win. If it turns into a disaster, well then, God somehow uses that for my good too. He teaches me something I couldn’t have understood any other way. So I chalk that up to an even bigger gain. For people with a winner mentality, there’s a positive waiting for you no matter the outcome. For those with a loser mentality, if there’s a negative outcome anywhere along the way, you perceive that you’ve lost. That’s why I always say winning and losing isn’t an event; it’s a mindset. I think a lot of people tend to take every win and every loss as some sort of a play-by-play: if you win, you win, and if you lose, you lose. But I don’t see life like that at all” [pp. 100-101].
Truthfully, Chip’s goal is not to instill in us a higher tolerance for risk, but rather, to shift our mindsets to see that what we perceive as risky is actually not at all.
If we care less about money, then we’ll be able to live freely, as we want to. We’ll be able to tolerate ‘risk’ - because what is the risk, really? Losing money? Who cares? Money is a non-essential for our level of fulfillment, happiness, and satisfaction in this life. On the other hand, it is undoubtedly essential that we find meaning in our work, let our hearts dream, and take steps to pursue our dreams. To fail in these areas is the much riskier risk.
‘But,’ you may ask, ‘what about more important things like our families? It’s good to have a healthy dose of fear in these areas, right?’ Wrong, says Mr. Gaines:
We can’t waste our lives running away from things like fear and risk; we have to put our energy in running towards things.
And it’s the stuff you’re running towards that Chip really cares about. Listen to the man:
That’s some vintage inspirational Chip right there. To those of us who may not know yet what our dream work is, Chips advice is simple: we don’t need to worry about ‘getting it wrong.’ Take his experience of failing to become a Major League Baseball player for example: “I believed the baseball field was the perfect place to train me as a baseball player, but it turned out to be the perfect training ground for life as an entrepreneur. That can be true for you too, no matter what your passion is. Every ounce of energy you invest in pursuing your goals will help you grow toward God’s plan for you, even if you end up somewhere you hadn’t counted on” [p. 15]. In other words, applying ourselves and giving effort towards something, regardless of what it is that we’re doing, is always a good idea. We’ll always end up better off for it. So, again, what’s the risk? Forget about waiting to find the perfect thing to do - let’s just go do something, and do it as best as we can. All that’s left to answer is - what?
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