The above quote was spoken into existence by grizzled football lifer and Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians when his Tom Brady-led NFL squad won the Super Bowl back in February. And it’s also the title of his autobiography.
Arians has long been one of my all-time favorite coaches and inspirational figures. And it even goes beyond that now famous throw-caution-to-the-wind quote. The West Virginia native grew up substantially below the poverty line in rural Appalachia at a time when few who were raised there ever realized an opportunity to leave.
Arians is also renowned for having coached four potential hall-of-fame quarterbacks during his career. For some context, the coach widely regarded by NFL fans as the undisputed greatest of all time — Bill Belicheck — will likely leave the game having coached only one.
And yet, it’s always that same quote that brings me back to Coach Arians. I thought about my favorite NFL coach and his pro-risk in all walks of life ethos again this month when chatting with the executive team at Kalera (see the story on page 6).
The leafy greens innovator is in the midst of a daunting nationwide farm network expansion strategy, made all the more daunting by the fact that it is occurring smack-dab in the middle of a global pandemic. Supply chain issues, labor woes, rising material costs and local regulations that change by the day — these guys have pretty much seen, and overcome, it all in positioning six new vertical farms to come online this year.
They’ve risked it –— and now, with the first lettuce harvest at its Atlanta-area vertical farm under its belt, Kalera appears more than poised to reach out and grab that biscuit.
I think there’s inspiration for any grower to be had there. Taking substantial risks — even when life itself is seemingly stuffing every play you call — in any situation can be scary, but it’s often these big risks that pay us back with the biggest rewards.
Just some food for thought as we move into the summer months.
Until next time, happy growing!