I’m guessing that you didn’t choose to work for yourself, only to confine yourself to a set career path out of obligation. Well, then why do so many of us do that very thing?
There’s no rule that says that once you’ve decided on something, you must stick it out until the bitter end. Even if you’ve invested money in it, or you’ve put in some time studying for the cause. That’s the sunk cost fallacy at work, and it doesn’t bode well for anyone.
Of course, that’s not to say that you should flit from one half-arsed idea to the other; commitment and persistence are keys to success in any field. However, if your gut and the surrounding factors are telling you that might be on the wrong path, then it’s on you to pay attention to your inner “nudge”.
So what happens next when you finally have the courage to change direction? Here are 3 simple steps that will get you from where you are, to where you want to be.
Step 1: Decide where you want to go
The first step in any adventure is that there’s an aim to reach a specific destination at the end of the journey (even if it’s only an imprecise idea of one!) Can you imagine opening your front door and jumping into the driver’s seat of your car without an idea of where you’re going?
Would you start the car? Probably not.
This concept isn’t any different for setting the goal of changing your business direction – if you don’t know where you’re going, then you won’t get anywhere!
So many of us find it hard to decide on a destination because we’re afraid of investing our time and energy into something that might not work out.
But, newsflash: you’re not wedded to your initial plan – life happens, and it’s inevitable that there will be unexpected obstacles and diversions along the way.
Give yourself permission to do what you choose to do, not what you feel you have to. There are no guarantees the journey will be easy, but doing what you enjoy will help you keep that energy for when you face those inevitable snags.
Step 2: Make a plan of how you’re going to get there
Once you’ve established where you’re going, the next step is to make a plan.
To continue the driving analogy: this would be the point where you program your navigation app of choice and inspect your route overview so you have a vague idea of what to expect on your journey.
Just like driving, you could wing it – but it will be much faster (and much less frustrating) to have a roadmap with the clearest possible route planned.
Think about working backwards from your destination to avoid unnecessary diversions. Or, in other words: only do your research with the end in mind.
And be wary of the charlatans who promise you a shortcut. There’s no substitute for action!
Step 3: Just go!
So now you have your destination and your planned route in hand, what are you waiting for?
It’s time to start the car and get going!
Doing endless research about your destination, what to expect along the way, what you need to prepare, etc. won’t get you any closer to where you want to be. You’ll never be fully prepared for every eventuality – and even the best laid plans can go awry.
Move forward with the confidence that your inner navigation system (i.e. your skills, abilities and intuition) will help you get past any obstructions on your path.
And remember: it’s unlikely that you’ll go backwards if things don’t work out in the way you expect them to. You’ll only go back to where you started, which is where you are right now.