Why you shouldn’t be afraid to take risks

John Smerdon and Daniel Vankov prepare sausages for the homeless.

John Smerdon and Daniel Vankov prepare sausage sizzle for the homeless in Brisbane.

By Daniel Vankov, Immediate Past President, Rotary Club of Brisbane, Australia

Rotary’s secret is cooperation. Alone we are useless. Together we are powerful. And together in a million we are unstoppable.

I had the honor of serving as president of the Rotary Club of Brisbane in 2017-18. It was a task that was not only challenging, but highly rewarding. My desire had been to make a difference, which also happened to be the theme 2017-18 Rotary President Ian Riseley put forward for the year.

Rotary Donations in Kind event

Club members Carolyn Tate, left, and James Delahunty do some heavy lifting during a working bee at Rotary Donations in Kind.

Reflecting back, I realize that at that point of time, I was unprepared in many ways for the enormity of it, given my limited exposure to both Rotary and the club. But I embraced the opportunity I was given with a passion and desire to learn and grow as a person and as a Rotarian. And I had many great former presidents to learn from.

One thing in particular I learned, and it would be my advice to those that follow, is to take risks. We would not have achieved anything as a club had we not been willing to try new things and assume the risks that entails. When you change nothing, nothing changes. One should not fear failing, one should fear not trying.

My favorite quote from Mark Twain is this:

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

If you would like further insights into how my club was able to innovate, download our annual report from our club website. I am also happy to respond to inquiries through my LinkedIn profile.

 

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