Do you feel that life is an adventure? Sometimes, you need to make a quick decision and sometimes you need to take a risk. Let me share with you a couple of my stories.
When I was in high school, I read a book written by a Taiwanese writer about her love story with her Spanish husband and their adventure in the Sahara Desert. I was so touched by her stories. I dreamed that one day I could have such an exciting and adventurous life with my loved one in a foreign country.
To make my dream come true, I started to prepare studying in US after I graduated from the university. It was not too hard to pass the exams for applying American schools. But it was just not so easy to find my prince charming. I had a couple of blind dates but none of them worked.
Almost miraculously, in the summer of 1995, several big changes happened in my life. . .
In just three months, I got a scholarship to study in the US. I married to a guy whom I only dated for one month. 2 weeks after my wedding, I was on a plane to Boston by myself.
When my friends and colleagues received my wedding invitation, they were very shocked. Most of them didn’t know what happened.
So here is what happened. . . My father and father-in-law knew each other. They set up a blind date for me and Oliver in June. Oliver was handsome, gentlemanlike and full of energy. We liked each other and started to date. Because I had to leave for the US in September, we decided to get married before I left. Otherwise, it would be very hard for us to get together. That was a really quick decision!
My husband Oliver joined me in Boston 6 months later. After he settled down, we wanted to buy a car. My friend had a car. He said he could sell it to us for $500 but the car did not have heater. You know that the winter in New English is very cold. As we had never had a car in China, we naively thought driving in a car without heater in the cold winter was still a lot better than walking on the street. So we bought our first car – 1983 Chevy Cavalier hatch back.
Later Oliver was accepted by Michigan State University. He took the car with him to Michigan.
During the Christmas holiday, I flew to Michigan to join my husband. Oliver cheerfully drove the car to the airport to pick me up. When I got into the car, I felt very cold. “Oh yeah, this car doesn’t have a heater!” I reminded myself.
Oliver handed me a piece of cloth and a spray.
“What is this for?” I asked.
“You use them to clean the windshield.” He said.
I saw the frost started to build up on the front windshield. So I quickly cleaned the frost away using the spray and cloth. It worked pretty well.
The next evening, we went to a nearby theater to watch the movie Independence Day. After the movie, it was around 12:00am. It was freezing cold with snow flurries falling from the sky. We went home driving our old Chevy. I sat in the front seat beside my husband. My job was to use the spray and the cloth to clear the front windshield. The ice on the windshield was very thick. I sprayed and mopped. I tried very hard but could only clear a part as big as a person’s face for Oliver to see the road.
“Oh no! We drive to the opposite lane!” I warned my husband.
Two seconds later, a police car with flashing lights all over and a loud sound of “WheeeoooooweeeeoooooWeeeeoooooWeeeeooooo…” stopped us and asked us to pull over.
The police officer walked out of his car. He knocked on the window of our car and asked us to roll down the window. “Did we do anything wrong?” we were so scared.
He said “You have all windows blocked with ice. I can easily give you 4 tickets!”
4 tickets?! That must be a lot of money! We begged the officer telling him we were foreign students and we did not mean to do this. It was because the heater of our car did not work. We planned to fix it the next day.
The officer was empathetic. He did not issue any ticket. He ordered a towing truck to tow our car home. He even drove us home.
What an adventure! If the police officer had not stopped us, we could have hit a car from the opposite direction.
The next day, we had the heater fixed. Though it cost us a little fortune, it was warm and cozy to sit in a car with heater. Of course, the windshield was clear! In those years, Oliver and I did not have much money but we were very happy to be together.
This year is going to be our 19th anniversary. Oliver jokes that our marriage is a kind of “arranged marriage”. But he says arranged marriage is good. To me, it was a bit of risky to make such a quick decision. I tell my daughter not to follow suit
I never think of myself as a risk taker. However, reflecting what we’ve gone through during the past 20 years, I have to admit that sometimes I do take risks. Maybe I was influenced by that Taiwanese writer?!
Life is an adventure. As an entrepreneur or an entrepreneur to be, you have to have the boldness to make a committed decision that changes your life. Make a quick decision and stick to it until you succeed. What kind of adventure you have? I would love to hear from you.