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You miss 100% of the shots you never take

I recently found this quote in a NY times article that talked about someone who was uncertain about/afraid to apply for a new job. It was originally said by hockey great Wayne Gretzky. I found this saying very relevant to the low to moderate income users of this website and readers of this blog.

What it means is that if you never try (take your shot), you will never even have a chance. So if you never try to go for that job promotion, you have zero percent chance to get it. If you never apply for SNAP food stamps (which as we reported millions of people are qualify for based on their income for some reason do not apply) you will never be able to get that little extra help to pay for your groceries. If you never take the shot to jump at that extra project at work, you will never know if it could lead to a higher salary/promotion down the road.

All of this means if you never take a shot, you are 100% guaranteed to fail. Heck, even if you do take a shot there are of course no guarantees to succeeding, but at least you have tried. This concept is similar to what we wrote about earlier in our Fear of Failure post. It is always better to try, and do not worry about failing.

Anyone that is struggling to pay the bills should always keep this quotation in mind. You will miss 100% of the shots you never take…so if you have a chance for a new job, apply. If you have an opportunity to get some advice on how to budget and/or save more money, take the chance and listen to to the advice you are given. If there is a chance to pay down some debt from asking your creditors for a hardship program, ask. Or take a chance and ask for a lower monthly rate on your cable bill.

The point being there is never any harm in asking and/or trying. Lets say you ask for relief from a creditor. Maybe they say “no”. But no sweat off your back. But maybe they will say yes, and lower your monthly payment or give some assistance. Maybe you ask for time off at work for a training class; maybe your employer says no, but maybe yes and they appreciate the fact you want to continue to educate yourself.

A survey from Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America shows that anywhere from 1/3 to 75% of older Americans regret not taking that chance. They mention not taking the chance for a new or better career, not living in a different part of the US or even country, not starting a business, and in general “not taking their shot”. Studies from older Americans often reflect that…they regret not taking a shot and it was a miss on their part.

This quotation supports many of the concepts we have been writing about, and there are many other quotes out there as well. Take a shot, and if you don’t, you are 100% certain to fail. Take a chance at that new job. Take a chance at starting a business. Do not fear failing. Who care what your neighbors, friends, or family think. There is no need to “keep up” with the Jones on material goods or keeping their “favor”. Take a shot on yourself and your own ability.

While no one is ever promised anything in life, and the best things in life are often difficult to get, at least taking a shot gets you into the game. It helps people build pride in themselves and gives many other benefits as well. As you are 100% certain to miss your chance (your shot) if you never take it.


Jon McNamara is the CEO of needhelppayingbills.com, a company that he started in 2008 and that specializes in helping low income families as well as those who are in a financial hardship. He also found NHPB LLC, a company committed to helping the less fortunate. Jon and his team also provide free financial advice to help people learn about as well as manage their money. Every piece of content on this website has been reviewed by him before publishing and many of the articles he has personally written. Jon is the leading author for needhelppayingbils.

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