Tag Archive for 'Road less traveled'

The road less traveled

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood

And sorry I could not travel both.

These are the first two lines of one of the most important poems of the modern age, by one of the greatest of American poets, Robert Frost. “The Road Not Taken” has inspired millions to at least reflect on the paths they have taken in their lives, if not stirred to write down their genius, justification, or lament for the choices they made.

We entrepreneurs seem to live in a “yellow wood” where our roads are always diverging. We have to make lots of “left or right” decisions, and often quickly. Some decisions are big and some are not.

If we try to have everything perfect before we decide, we’re in danger of doing something worse than making the wrong choice — not deciding. Inertia is worse than a mistake because with inertia nothing happens, which also means that nothing is learned.

We have to choose our paths — whether it start a business or not, to buy or sell, in or out — with the information we have at the time, and let hindsight shine its perfect light on our genius, justification or lament. But in that perfect light, which only shines when a decision is made, we will find information, knowledge and wisdom.

Mr. Frost took a risk and chose the road less traveled, which is the point of his poem. For entrepreneurs, the moral may be more about the fact that he made a decision. And to paraphrase the poem’s last line, for entrepreneurs, that could make all the difference.

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