Don’t Throw Away That Apple

So we’ve told three stories so far this week about RockStars – one who lost, one who gave it one last shot, and one who could not live with the fact that he left his band right before they hit it big. I want to shift our focus now to an “almost” business story that cost over $57 billion. Yes, with a “B.”

You see, Ronald Wayne had been involved in a few bad deals, so when he was backing away from his 10% ownership of Apple computers in 1976, he was just being cautious with his money. But the $2,300 dollars he received at the time was far from what the company would someday be worth.

In the computer world, we’ve heard a lot of success and loss over the past few years. We all have heard the fisherman story of the one that got away. But put yourself in the shoes of this businessman, Ronald Wayne. It was not just about the relatively small amount of money that he backed away, but also protecting other assets he had.

We never know what the future will bring, like this past year when everyone was so excited to see the public offering of Facebook. Then we watched it lose almost a third of its value in just a few months. But we do not know where Facebook will be in 36 years.

Ronald did not know that a 10% ownership stake in Apple would be worth $58 billion in 2012. It’s possible to make small investments that could someday be worth the billions. But you have to watch your risk. So many people will walk into a casino in Vegas and risk putting the few thousand that Ronald would have put up. They play a few dollars on a lottery ticket that is worth nothing and those gambles almost seem like they are normal – not even risky.

But then you get a chance to put money like that into a business that could return millions in 10 years. They call that a big risk. I have taken a few risky small shots in my day and lost more than $2300, but I have also taken a few that have made more than that back. Those are risks worth taking.

This week of “almost” will be over tomorrow. The idea of investing, from money to personal growth is all worth it. I take chances all the time, and just when it seems like it’s going to get hard, I know I must press on because there may be a reward coming.

I’m Tim Gillette, the Rocker Life Coach. It’s time to live your dream to love what you do and those you share life with. Are you ready to make that investment that makes you the RockStar in your world?

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