Stressed Woman ScreamingHave you ever wondered what would happen if you don’t take a chance, invest some time and effort, and start a business? What would you miss out on if you don’t pursue your dream? Everyone always thinks about the fears, risks and downsides of starting a business – “what if my business fails, what if I lose my house” – but what about the huge upsides? “What if my business turns out to be more successful than I thought? What if I succeed beyond my wildest dreams?”

In 2005, an English man named Eric Griffiths died at the age of 65. Most people had never heard of him, but back in the day, he had some very famous friends: John Lennon and Paul McCartney. You see, Eric Griffiths was one of the original members of the Quarrymen, the band that later became the Beatles. And he missed his chance to be part of the Beatles because he couldn’t afford to make an important investment at a critical time.

I first read about the story of Eric Griffiths in a George Will column: Asked to switch from guitar to bass, which he could not afford to buy, Eric Griffiths quit the rock group the Quarry Men in 1958 and joined the British Merchant Navy. On a radio on a ship in the Persian Gulf in 1963 he heard “Please Please Me,” the first hit by the former Quarry Men, by then called the Beatles.” 

This is an amazing story, because it shows how one person’s life could have gone much differently if they could have just held on to “the dream” for a little while longer. Eric Griffith and his widowed mother (his father had died in air combat during World War II) were poor and could not afford to buy a bass guitar. So he gave up on his dream of being in a band, and did the “practical” thing of joining the British Merchant Navy.

How many people would love to start a business, but are afraid to take the chance? Afraid to invest some time or reluctant to invest some money? Afraid to work really hard, harder than they have ever worked before?

Eric Griffiths missed out on being one of the Beatles, just by a twist of fate and timing. What are you missing out on by not starting a business? What are you afraid of? Can you dig a little deeper, work a little harder, sacrifice now in exchange for a better life in the future?

Hopefully, Eric Griffiths didn’t regret how his life turned out. Even though he wasn’t one of the Beatles, he went on to have a good career and raise a family. But how many people are living lives that aren’t quite what they want – when they could potentially get everything they want by starting a business.