My older brother Eddie threw a mean bullet pass. During the big games on Curtis Street, when all the Mulhall boys showed up, Eddie would have me run short patterns across the middle and buttonhooks in front of Mr. Holder’s old Buick.

Then, after my arms and chest were beet red from Eddie’s zingers, he would finally send me long. What a thrill it was to run past Tommy Mulhall and know the ball was coming in a high arc over everyone’s heads. It was mine alone to catch, a big victory within my grasp.

In many ways, my whole life has been like a Curtis Street football game. Most of it has been about catching the short pass, feeling the sting of repetition, playing it safe by grinding it out. But on occasion, I get an urge to take a risk, to fly past what is expected of me and go long.

And I do it. I don’t have Eddie to tell me when it’s the right time. It’s my job to quarterback. Sometimes the circumstances are not ideal and the victory is out of reach. Other times I fumble the catch, and a big opportunity slips away. But then there are those times when magic is in the air and I go for broke just at the right moment. I pay no attention to those sideline naysayers who tell me I will fail. Regardless of the outcome, I take great pleasure in going for it and converting challenges to successes on my natural turf.

Okay, enough with the football analogy. My point is that I believe that part of the joy of my life has come from going after big opportunities, reaching for what appears to be unattainable. Starting The Change Companies® was one of those long shots. It meant leaving the security of a monthly paycheck and fringe benefits to go after a dream.

Many of my friends have elected to play it safe, to live conservatively and run their regular routes. That’s their choice. Over the years, I have accepted their critical evaluations of my “go for broke” behaviors. They are excellent at pointing out the jeopardizing errors in judgment, the numerous times I’ve fallen flat.

It all gets down to how each of us wants to play. If people see victory as a lifetime without any scars, then hooray for safety, compliance and a fair return on effort. For me, after earning the red welts of doing what is expected, one of my real pleasures in life is to take a shot deep down the field.