Thursday 1 December 2011

Opportunities Missed

The other day, my buddy and I were talking about the world in general and the price of gold in particular. I had heard that morning gold would top the $2000 per ounce early in the new year. Ken said that he wished he had bought gold for all of those years when he was buying RRSP’s, food and clothing for the kids. I said that I should have been buying ounces of gold instead of ounces of grass when both were $30 dollars and ounce. Who were we kidding, if we had bought gold when it was $30 dollars an ounce we would have sold it when it doubled in value. I sure didn’t have the foresight to have held on to it until it got to $1500/oz.

Those are the opportunities missed. They come along every now and then and for the most part we are either too conservative or just too chicken shit to actually act on them. In the early eighties two friends, Chris Haney and Scott Abbot invented the game Trivial Pursuit. The game market is a hard one to crack and needs quite a bit of start up capital which they didn’t have. They eventually raised the money needed from friends and family, but many people declined to invest. The ones that did are now millionaires, but for the ones that opted out they have the memory of what could have been.

My wife’s best friend when she was growing up had an incredibly talented musician for a brother that was in a group called Garfield. They made four albums and had the backing of Sam Sniderman the founder of Sam the Record Man stores. They did everything right, but in the end the rigors of touring did them in. I am always amazed when people make that hard decision to end what I view to be a golden opportunity. I wish I had the talent and drive to get to a certain level of success and then just piss it away. I just bypass all of that drive and talent and have gone straight to pissing my life away. I guess that happiness is a part of the equation that doesn’t always fit.

I have mentioned before that Louise and I have thought of more than a few businesses over the years that we should get involved in. We always find a reason not to succeed of course and invariably a few months later someone actually has the guts to follow through and are making a living doing what we should have been doing. Oh well, such is life.

When I think of these opportunities missed, a couple of things come to mind. How that poor storm troopers life would have changed if he had realized that R2D2 and C3P0 “were” the droids he was looking for. Maybe not a promotion, but he could have gotten off of that hellhole of a planet.

The other major bad choice would be the guy that turned down Jesus when asked to be a disciple. There must have been someone that would have said “Holy Moses Jesus, I don’t know. I have a pretty good job at the tax collectors office and Ruth and I are thinking of starting a family. I can’t just go wandering around the countryside! What would we eat? What if we got sick? I like to have a cup of wine with dinner, and all I would get with you would be water. Oh yeah, how do you intend to cross that sea? Walk? No, sorry man, it would take a miracle to get me to go with you.”

Yeah, I am afraid that I would be the doubting Thomas. I figure that by the time I hear about a good thing it is already too late. I guess that I will keep on missing opportunities and living my life in blissful ignorance.

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