Why Take the Risk?

July 1st 2015, by Lyle E. Hershey

In one way or another, I believe we all strive for comfort even if that is as simple as getting out of the heat and humidity on a hot summer day into a climate controlled house or office. Generally, we seek to avoid pain and discomfort. Sometimes we will go to great effort to avoid an experience that we believe will be painful. Recently, I have been asking myself if comfort is a worthy aspiration. I’m not suggesting that you should sit out in the heat when you could be comfortable in your air conditioned house; however, I have come to believe that when we focus too much on being comfortable, we can easily become complacent.

Complacency can be the enemy of innovation, personal development and ingenuity.  It can be tempting to become satisfied with our current or past achievements. I am intrigued by Milton Hershey’s story, the founder of Hershey Chocolate. As I understand it, he sold Lancaster Carmel Company around 1900 for approximately $1,000,000. He took that money and started Hershey Chocolate and founded the city of Hershey, PA. Why would someone take that kind of risk?

I recently attended an event where the speaker talked about his own experience of selling a very successful business and how he wrestled with what to do next. He laid out a formula that drove his decision making process: “Dream big. Work hard. Never quit.”  When we become complacent, we limit our ability to make a difference. Milton’s positive impact and influence on others continues today and will continue into the future. I don’t want to settle for good enough!