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Beware of Motivational Speakers

By Marty Nemko

Most motivational speakers extol risk-taking: "Feel the fear and do it anyway. Successful people have risked and failed many times." That's simplistic. Fact is, many other people have risked, failed, and been permanently decimated--for example, the thousands who gave years and 100K for a Ph.D. yet remain grossly underemployed. And the day traders who lost every penny and more. My view: Let history be your guide. If your previous risks have generated more benefit than loss and your next prospective risk seems prudent, go for it. If not, consider ignoring those motivational speakers.

What can you do today?
What's a risky thing you're contemplating doing? Look back at your track record in taking such risks. In light of that, is the risk worth taking?

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