Fortune doesn't favor the prudent. It favors the bold.

And yet, most of us are waiting for something else to happen before we follow our dreams.

We're waiting for opportunities to present themselves, or for conditions to change--or for the timing to be right. We're waiting for whatever that single factor is that we we think will make us happy, or put us on track, or bring us success.

Guess what? It's probably never coming. And unfortunately, it's often the waiting itself that prevents us from succeeding.

Enter Chris Schultz, a New Orleans-based entrepreneur and investor, who spoke recently at's GrowCo conference. Asked for his guidance for aspiring entrepreneurs, he came up with a simple, 1-sentence summary that I think is some of the best advice you'll ever hear:

"Don't wait for somebody to give you permission."

Almost all of us do it. We don't feel powerful enough to give ourselves permission, and thus we use the lack of external permission as an excuse. You're a rare and lucky person if somebody else is likely to tell you it makes sense to start a business, or that it's the right choice to chase after your long-lost love, or that you're making the right choice by following some other dream.

Almost nobody does that. We all cling to the status quo, and thus we want others to as well. I'm as guilty of this as anyone, despite the fact that I use Grace Hopper's classic line, "It's better to beg for forgiveness than to ask for permission," as my mantra. Heck, the name of this column (if you noticed) is "Action Required," and yet I certainly have my moments.

But even if you live to be 82, that means you only get 30,000 days on this planet. Multiply your current age by 365, and subtract that from 30,000. The number will likely be smaller than you imagine.

You don't have as much time on this planet as you'd hope. Don't waste a moment of it waiting for someone else to say it's okay to pursue your dreams--whatever those dreams might be.