Long War: What Might Have Been
By Laurence Sanford

Professor Hickey, who taught my sophomore Business Law class, constantly used the expression "life is a long war and the main priority is to survive." His words apply equally as well to business and to selling.

“For of all sad words of tongue or pen –
The saddest are these: It might have been”

Those are words from the poem Maud Muller, written in the 1800’s by John Greenleaf Whittier of Haverhill, Massachusetts.

It is a poem about a man and woman of different social status that meet only once, but who have a special personal chemistry. They part, never to meet again, but think about what “might have been.”

If you have an idea or passion for something, but just can’t seem to get around to doing it – do it. Write out an action plan. Almost all successful people have written action plans. If it is the right business idea, the money will come. Most successful people have had one or more failures before striking the right situation.

We all make mistakes of commission and omission but I would rather make a mistake through commission than omission. Life is more exciting by begging forgiveness than requesting permission.

In business, haste often means waste but no action generates no action! We need to act!

I have never had patience with people who bemoan their fate. They hate their boss, their job, their income, blah blah…This is America – if you do not like the present state of affairs, do something about it.

When I was a young man, I always wanted to see the world (and have someone else pay for it). So I worked for IBM World Trade, US Navy, CIA, Avis Rent A Car and Nashua Corporation. Fifteen years and fifty countries later, it was time to move on so I started my own business. For almost 20 years I enjoyed the challenges of growing the business but eventually I enjoyed the business less so I moved on. I don’t know what might be coming in the next world, so I better do the best I can with the short time allocated to me in this one.

Life is a long war. Win some battles, lose some battles. The important issue is to win more and survive.

Laurence Sanford is a consultant with PTCFO. He can be contacted through our office.



Attitude: What Might Have Been