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“Slow and steady” or “go for broke”: where do you sit on the spectrum?

Updated: Aug 29, 2023

Go for broke.

Leave it all on the table.”

Push your boundaries.”

These are common mantras you hear athletes and entrepreneurs say. But what do they mean? How can we truly apply them to what we are doing on any given day? And if we were to apply the mantra, how could one sustain that level of effort? Is the short-term sacrifice worth the long-term outcomes?

April 5th is national “go for broke day” in the USA. The phrase basically refers to the dedication of “wagering” everything or being fully committed that was the motto of the 442nd RCT regiment who fought in World War II.”*

And while that day is long past, the theme evokes some questions for me. It challenged me to assess where I sit on the spectrum of “take it easy and relax” to “go for broke” and, also ask myself why I sit in that spot.

While I believe in really investing in, and committing to, whatever it is I am doing, I take a more realistic approach to “pushing my boundaries” or “going for broke.” I am more about slow and steady growth, balance, personal and professional fulfillment, and living my core values.

Yet, I’ve met other entrepreneurs who’ve been bigger risk takers; individuals who are comfortable with short-term sacrifices for long-term gain. They work 16-18 hours a day. They are attached to their phones. They are always in business mode. This isn’t a judgment; for some, they are living their core values by doing this.

Somehow that doesn’t appeal to me. I get that if they give it all for a short period of time, the results can be AMAZING in terms of market share, finances, growth, and investment opportunities. But at what cost?

I am not judging here. Really, I’m not. I’m curious.

Personally, I don’t understand how one can sustain the “leave it all on the table” approach for any great length of time. Every athlete runs out of energy if they push too hard—they need to take time to refresh themselves. Athletes who work too hard injure themselves, sometimes permanently.

I would think that there comes a point where EVERY entrepreneur needs an opportunity to step back, relax, rejuvenate, and refresh themselves too—an opportunity to de-stress, de-compress, and just wind down. I’m not sure that this can be done when one is working 60-80 hours per week, constantly in go-go-go mode, looking for the next opportunity.

It makes me wonder: what opportunities are missed when we don’t stop and take a break? What creative answers are we not able to find because we are too focused pushing through? Alternatively, what opportunities are realized when you “go for broke?” When you live and breathe your business? How is our productivity impacted in either situation? What can we learn and apply from the approach we currently aren’t taking?

Which mindset drives you to grow your business? Why? Please share your thoughts in the comment box below. I’m very curious to get a better grasp on the thinking behind each one—and I realize it’s all very personal. Looking forward to learning from you!

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