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I’m not afraid of dying. As a matter of fact, I’m tired and I could use the rest. I am afraid of dogs, and I’m afraid of swimming in large natural bodies of water. (Thanks for that one, mom. Jaws was a cinematic masterpiece, but maybe not the best film to show your third grader.) Although I’m not afraid of dying, I am acutely aware that time is running out, and I’ve got some $#&% to do.

Jason and I just interviewed Rick Telberg, the uber-cool veteran journalist of the accounting profession. At one point in the interview Rick killed me. He said, “Change is constant. You have to change. You change, or you die. By ‘die’ I mean that these guys simply run out the clock, go out of business, and make room for the next generation.” If that’s death, then I’m terrified of dying Rick Telberg style.

When you give up, you’re dead. When life is good enough and you decide to coast, you just turned into a zombie. The Zombie Apocalypse is here (hooray, Magic: The Gathering nerds, you were right).

In the 2011 movie Sucker Punch (I know you either didn’t see it or you hated it; just relax and play along, Blumer), a group of imprisoned/enslaved women are plotting a very dangerous, very risky escape. One of the women says, “There are armed guards everywhere! And if Blue finds out, we’re dead!” Another voices her continued support of the risky plan when she points out to the group, “We’re already dead.” So why are we afraid of doing anything? If Rick Telberg is right, and dying is simply “running out the clock,” well the clock is running out regardless. We’re already dead. You can do anything when you realize that on the grand scale of things you have nothing to lose.

Why are you not pursuing your BHAG? “Because I could fail and that would be hard.” Spoiler alert: Life’s hard anyways, dumbass.

I’m currently working as a CPA in industry. I am way overpaid, I have lots of job security, and I get to do my “little jokes and skits” on the side. It’s been a great ride getting here. I could run out the clock very comfortably. No. Not comfortably. Securely. My existential crises arise when it starts to look like I’ve “arrived” and that “this is it.” And you can’t be comfortable in an existential crisis.

So I say this kind of crap all the time. As a result, I put myself at risk of being a hypocrite if not a liar. Ten months ago at the 2011 THRIVEal Deeper Weekend gathering in Greenville, we all had to say something that we needed to stop doing and something we needed to start doing. I said that I needed to quit my job and start my own comedy accounting dealie full time. To date, I am still not doing my own comedy dealie full time. I’m a hypocrite. A THRIVEal Pharisee. A THRarisee.

So I’m sorry for lying to you (refer to title). It’s just about time for me to take the zombie antidote — take the risks that I know I need to take. What about you? Are you going to jump off the cliff, or are you going to continue eating brains for lunch?

 

Greg was born in Akron, Ohio, in the shadow of the Firestone tire factory. He began to swim competitively when he was eight, swimming for the Mountlake Terrace Lemmings. He graduated in 1995 from the University of Washington with a math degree. He chose math for the ladies.  After serving ten-years as an 8th grade math teacher, he decided it was time for a career change, mainly because he “couldn’t stand those little bastards.” He began his accounting career with a local CPA firm in Orem, Utah, where he consistently failed the QuickBooks ProAdvisor advanced certification exam.  Greg currently works as the Controller for the Utah Valley Physicians Plaza. He lives in Provo, Utah, with his wife and two kids. He enjoys eating maple bars, drinking Diet Pepsi, and swearing.

Category:
Business
Comments:
5
  • On 08-06-2012 at 8:01 am, Barrett said:

    I’m afraid of natural bodies of water too. But for me, it was Lake Placid. Prehistoric crocodiles are best left for others to discover. I still don’t swim in Lake Tahoe any deeper than I can see.

    Kudos on the realization. Get to it.

    Reply
  • On 08-06-2012 at 8:26 am, Magen Smith said:

    What is up with all the Thriveal men getting all ballsy today? Kudos to you boys for embracing life and leaping. You are role models for all of us!

    P.S. You don’t owe me an apology Greg. You owe yourself one you freaking liar 😉

    Reply
  • On 08-06-2012 at 11:19 am, Kevin McCoy said:

    Has it been a year already? Shoot. I don’t remember what I said but it obviously didn’t mean much to me. I think I made some crap up. I’ve used that word – hypocrite – on myself this past year. Good luck Greg, we’re here to support you.

    Get busy livin’ or get busy dyin’ – great quote from Shawshank Redemption.

    Reply
  • On 08-07-2012 at 2:06 pm, Peter Wolf said:

    You may not have come through on your promise but look at the positive side: you’re not a quitter!

    You continue to stick with your job day-in, day-out no matter how far each and every day takes your from pursuing your dream.

    Good on you Greg! Good on you.

    Reply
  • On 08-25-2012 at 5:09 pm, Carol LeBlanc said:

    Great article Greg. I said I was going to stop undervaluing myself and come up with the 9 prices for every proposal like Ron and Ed taught us. I still have a way to go but I am making progress. We are in this together. Thanks for asking me what I am afraid of. Keep on trucking.

    Reply

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