Taking Chances

May 9, 2011
Taking Chances

The other day, I pulled out a fortune that had been in my wallet for a while (the little paper ones you get in fortune cookies, not a wad of money), and it got me thinking about this post right away.

‘Take that chance you’ve been considering.’

Those who know me already know that I’m no stranger to taking chances, but it’s great to have additional reminders from time to time. It’s not always easy living out on the edge, but I can tell you from experience that it’s where all the fun is.

I asked people in my network what chances they were considering and the answers varied from cheeky and fun to serious and soul-bearing. Here are a few:

Taking ChancesChristy said:
“I don’t know how brave I am but I did just move to Canada for the love of my life : )”

Joe said:
“I was hired for a flight attendant position with jetBlue on Wednesday! Basically uprooting myself from San Diego and taking on a whole new career path, living in a city I never would have considered before (NYC or Boston)…I’d say that’s taking a chance! And I’m looking forward to it immensely!”

Alison said:
“Uprooting my life to move to Germany to be with the love of my life. I don’t speak German (yet…) or have job prospects yet. Also going to travel for 4 months before looking for a job.”

These are obviously big life-altering chances that people are taking. I found it interesting that these all involved uprooting and moving to different cities. After probing a bit further, I asked about smaller chances people are taking. Here is an interesting response that made me pause:

Sandra said:
‘…I could list a few minor things but how important are they in grand scheme of things?’

My response was that it’s often the little chances that are the most important to take. Few people make giant leaps or take the kind of life-altering chances like moving to a new continent without building up to them through a series of smaller actions.

I believe that change begets change, and that we have to step outside our comfort zones and up to the edge from time to time in order to keep ourselves moving forward. That is, if this is the path we choose to lead.

Speaking from my own personal experience, taking chances has been a way of life for me for as long as I can remember. That doesn’t mean it’s easy – it just means that I’m used to it.

One big chance I’m in the process of taking is moving out of Atlanta, which is where I’ve spent the majority of my life and where I have a huge network of friends, family, business contacts, etc. Portland has been on my radar for almost 2 years now and it feels like the time is right to take the chance that has been pulling at me all this time.

And last year, I took some smaller chances traveling through New Mexico and camping in the Pecos Wilderness on a cross country road trip, which ended up being one of the best experiences of my entire life. There were several moments on that trip that I had the opportunity to take chances, and I embraced them at every turn.

I’m often curious how other people handle this topic, and I try to learn as much as possible from their feedback.

My friend Lisa had this response on Twitter:
‘I’m taking chances all the time. I learned that the answer’s always “no” if you don’t ask. :-)’

Well said, Lisa. I couldn’t have said it better myself.

So, here’s the question – what chances are you taking in your life? Big or small – I want to hear about them in the comments below.

Special thanks to everyone who shared for this post. You are all awesome!


  • Reply Remark May 9, 2011 at 8:51 pm

    I think you quite know my story too my friend. Talk about chances…wow. Check out my latest blog post:

    • Reply Brandon Sutton May 10, 2011 at 1:13 pm

      Yeah, we definitely share a lot of the same stuff lately. This is quite a journey we’re on. I applaud you for taking the huge step to move to London and start anew. 🙂

  • Reply Lindsey May 10, 2011 at 2:45 am

    Taking chances can obviously mean a variety of different things to different people. I think in general it can be as simple as finding something out of your comfort zone and giving it a try. Something small like trying a new food or something huge like moving to a different country. Trying new things, big or small that are out of ones comfort zone opens them up to so many things. I once tried the moving to a new country chance a few years ago. I loved every minute of it. I met amazing new people and have memories that will last a life time. Now I am home living with my parents because I sustained a work place injury and I am trying to recover. The chances I am taking in my life are on a smaller scale this time around. From day to day I try to learn new things, think in new ways and just try to get healthy again. I am attempting to learn french in my spare time. I am volunteering for a festival in my hometown called ‘going green festival’ just so I can learn different ways to help out. I figure if I start off small things will come together. I hope anyways. I am loving your blog posts, thanks for sharing !


    • Reply Brandon Sutton May 10, 2011 at 1:16 pm

      Thanks Lindsey. I really loved what you said about trying to learn new things. This is so important, and can be the catalyst for taking chances on a bigger scale down the road. It’s great that you’ve already experienced some of the big ones, so you know how exciting and personally fulfilling they can be. Those memories can be the impetus for taking more big chances down the line.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  • Reply Ali May 10, 2011 at 5:03 am

    Thanks for including me! (Although I will have to kick your ass for spelling my name with 2 L’s) Taking chances still scares the crap out of me, but I know it’s usually a good thing to do. You mentioned the small things too. Sometimes it’s all about perspective. I’ve been to foreign countries by myself but I’ve never been to the movies by myself.

    • Reply Brandon Sutton May 10, 2011 at 1:19 pm

      Yikes! Sorry about the stray ‘L’ 😉

      Very interesting to hear about your movie story. That’s actually great for people to hear. It’s tempting to see people out there taking big chances and assume that they are that way with everything. Great reminder that we all have our own ‘stuff.’ Thanks for the perspective (and the scolding).

  • Reply Ibosarge May 10, 2011 at 3:36 pm

    Wow, taking chances. On a small scale, this is the first time I’ve planted a veggie container and it is doing well. I want to see how it does and from there continue to build on my gardening experience. On a larger scale, my husband and I have always enjoyed wood working together. From custom birdhouses to large furniture. We are talking about building and opening a wood working shop at our home. This is something that we both have a passion for. Will it continue as a hobby or actually turn a profit? I guess will just have to take that chance.

    • Reply Brandon Sutton May 10, 2011 at 3:59 pm

      Great to hear, Lori. I can see a wood working shop being a lot of fun for you two, and I bet you’d sell plenty of what you made. Thanks for sharing the chances you’re taking!

  • Reply Cocosraspel May 11, 2011 at 9:17 am

    whole life is about taking chances and make decisions

    and it is up on you if you take a challenge or you don´t.

    But the most important point is never to look back and regret something,,,,if yes, there is a reason to make a NEW Decision to take a chance and to change something !

    • Reply Brandon Sutton May 11, 2011 at 5:55 pm

      I really like this – it’s basically a way of life. And I totally agree about not looking back with regret. We can’t change the past, but we can make changes moving forward. Excellent comment – thanks for sharing!

  • Reply spencerspellman May 12, 2011 at 3:45 am

    Crazy. Just wrote a post today on this very thing about the last year of taking chances for myself, which was more of a series of chances that now culminates with moving to San Francisco. Good stuff Brandon.

    • Reply Brandon Sutton May 12, 2011 at 11:59 am

      Thanks, Spencer. Loved your post as well. I’m very glad we connected.

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