Ben & Jerry’s Over Vanilla Every Single Time

By Bob Olmstead, - In Entrepreneurs

Picture of an actor with bright clown hair and holding a gold smiling mask to his face and another sad mask to the right of him

Photo Credit: stockphotosecrets

This article has been adapted for Fridge Magazine from original first published on

There is this little voice inside my head that never seems to shut up. It is always whispering, bouncing around, trying to get my attention. It does not want to be too obvious, giving away its’ intent- but its’ intent is rather clear. Apparently,  I am not measuring up. 

If only I were more traditional and better behaved and a little less rogue. If only I fitted in better as a business owner, because then- I WOULD FINALLY BE NORMAL! Come on, man- get with the program, toe the line, play the game.

No thanks, I’ll pass. I’ll choose Ben & Jerry’s over vanilla every single time!

The little voice inside your head will tell you that you are not enough, you are too much. Be less, be more, be this, be that; you are better than them, you are less than them. The white noise can drive ya crazy!

It creates uncertainty and uncertainty will kill your dreams.

However, then, out of the blue, your imagination, which LOVES to break the rules, arrives to show you another way. That is all it takes;  a single spark, one moment, one insight that could change everything. In fact, that is how I ended up in Austin, Texas.

Taking Risks Opens Doors

At the time, I was living in San Diego. My fast track career had stalled, and I had no idea what to do. The uncertainty was making me crazy! I think this was around 1997. A job opportunity opened up here in Austin, Texas.

The position was with a high-profile marketing firm, very high profile. I wanted the job. After the interview, I decided to go for broke.

I sent the business owner an obnoxiously huge thank you card delivered by a pink gorilla with mylar balloons. A lot of mylar balloons. Needless to say, I made a statement.

Soon after, I was offered the job. Obviously, there was more to the offer than the pink gorilla but the gorilla did help me close the deal. It could have gone either way. Meaning, my passion for getting hired did not hinder my willingness to take a risk.

Taking Risks Gets Results

How good are you at breaking the rules? Seriously, think about that. Do you snuggle up to convention or do you shatter it? Do you live and breath outside-the-box or are you rather well behaved? Tough questions.

Since the pink gorilla, I’ve started several solo enterprises to including my business and personal coaching practice. I’ve become a filmmaker,  directed a play; hell, I’ve even performed on stage with a New York accent. And for the record, I was born in California!

Moreover, I’ve crashed and burned, multiple times, in fact. I’ve had more than my share of self-doubts. Not everything I have touched has turned to gold. Moreover, so there you go, I am human, just like you.

When you decide to move boldly forward in spite of your shortcomings, that is when you go to the next level. Rarely will luck favor you with the perfect climate to be bold. It is something you have to claim, regardless.

Almost all of my most cherished experiences in life have happened because I dared to follow a single spark of “what if?” … and then another … and then another.

The magic of life and business cannot be harvested from a sure bet. It is found in a single spark of possibility, the “what if” moment that you ride for all it is worth. Moreover, yes, that will require you to rise above some of your toxic comfort zones. So it is a win on many levels!

Taking Risks Is About The Moments

We do not always have the luxury of enough resources or time. Nor do we typically have the perfect team. Life and business are messy. Learning to trust your gut,  owning your mistakes,  that’s the DNA of making bold decisions.

Anyone can seize the day. It is not about charisma. It is about slowing down and noticing the moments. Specifically, the moments that could change your life and/or business forever. Then trusting your gut to make them happen.

When you get good at that, a whole new world opens up.

Life and leadership are found in the moments! What moments have you honored and embraced? What moments have you let slip past? We all face these questions at some point. Why not face them now? There is no better time for this kind of work than right now.

Making bold decisions is about more than business, it is about how you choose to live your life. What bold choices do you need to make? I know I have a few that I am working on.

So What Are The Big Takeaways From This Blog Post?

  1. Make bold, effective choices.
  2.  To have Self-doubt is human.
  3. Look for small sparks of possibility.
  4. Ignore the doubts that echo in your brain.
  5. Transcend your comfort zone.
  6. Life & leadership require making bold choices.
  7. Notice the moments that could change your life forever.


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