When Leading With Your Gut is Not a Whim

I wound up in this place by gut instinct and 25 years of failing forward.

I wound up in this place by gut instinct and 25 years of failing forward.

“There is no instinct like that of the heart.” ~ Lord Byron


Here’s an equation I’ve learned to accept as truth in the way I view both business and life.

(Time x Failure) + Experience² > (Common Sense + Rational  Thinking)


Earlier today, Dana and I took a break on the back porch to assess the whirlwind of activity we’ve encountered during the last 10 days.

In the hour previous, she’d noticed my distractedness, and suggested she take action to get me focused. There was no way to get really focused, I responded, until I could soak it all in, and consider what it all meant.

During the last 10 days, we’ve encountered opportunities with eight new business clients.

We’re getting an on-the-job, crash-course lesson in Latin American business.

We’ve seen more possibilities here than we ever imagined.

New friends have overwhelmed us with hospitality.

And one or two opportunities have opened up, that are positively outrageous when we consider the directions to which they could lead.

“And it was all pretty much on a whim,” she said, as I paced our gravel driveway.


“No, not a whim,” I responded, recalling the first time I laid eyes on Puerto Cayo, Ecuador. “A gut instinct based on 25 years of failure.”

It’s failure, I’ve come to learn, that moves us toward a greater success, and perhaps more importantly, lessens our fear of failure for all that lies ahead.

“You’ll always miss 100 percent of the shots you do not take.” ~ Wayne  Gretzky

I’ve failed enough in life, you see, that risk is a less formidable foe than it was 20, or even five years ago. Risk, when juxtaposed with 25 years of lessons learned from failure, is just another day in life, and joy cometh in the morning, so who has time to be scared?

And all other things aside, I turn 47 in less than a month. I no longer have time for fear.

Was it crazy to dream about launching a new business in a “foreign” country 6,000 miles from home?

Was it absurd to think there was another frontier longing to be conquered?

Was it laughable to pack the bags and pursue it all?

Absolutely. But I don’t care, because I know my gut, and I trust it as an old friend.


One thought on “When Leading With Your Gut is Not a Whim

  1. you are both an inspiration to the rest of us. Thanks for sharing the realization of your dreams with all of us…and giving us hope that we might someday see our own dreams come true.

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