A Gamble that Paid Off

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Today is Todd Defren‘s birthday and I feel I should get him a present, even though I’ve never met the CEO of Shift Communications in person.


More than five years ago, Todd gave me one of life’s precious gifts, inspiration, with this post on his PR-squared blog. At the time, I was physically present but mentally wandering from a public relations agency job I’d worked for more than a decade. Half in a career that paid the bills and halfway (in my mind) toward the life I wanted to create.

I was at the proverbial fork-in-the-road, a point where fear and insecurity often overtake hopes and dreams. Then Todd’s words in “Your Next Gamble” struck me like a lightning bolt:

“If a rising tide is coming, are you in the right boat? Are you in the boat that will sail you on your way to your greatest achievement? Or are you in a dead-end job, living hand-to-mouth, hoping to simply stay afloat?”

It was a moment of epiphany, and the motivation to transform desire into action. It’s also why a yellowing copy of the post continues to occupy a prominent place in the Impact Players office to this day.

Defren words

“Regret is a nightmare worse than failure,” Todd wrote. “Life is short. The time is now. Take your next gamble, while you can!”

Happy birthday, Todd, and thanks for the words of wisdom.

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4 Responses to “A Gamble that Paid Off”

  1. Karen Swim

    Happy Birthday Todd and thank you Stu! Stu, this post is a powerful reminder of why our voices are needed on the world wide web. By sharing our thoughts, insights and experiences we never know who we may help or inspire along the way.

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