Years ago, I was invited to a networking event that was taking place at Willis (forever in my mind “Sears”) Tower. Back then, we had flip phones instead of GPS. And having grown up in the Chicago suburbs, I was confident that my map-less self could navigate along the Dan Ryan and through the city streets to reach my destination. After all, how can you miss the Sears Tower?? Until 1998, it was the tallest building in the world.
I set out with the eagerness and excitement of a young professional, heading along 94-West and taking in the skyline as it lit up among a dark sky. It didn’t take long to realize I had no idea which exit to take, which roads to turn down. My confidence dropped as quickly as Chicago’s winter temperatures.
After a couple of turnarounds, and one pullover to ask for directions, I finally reached my destination. While the embarrassment of this experience has diminished, the lesson I learned has stayed with me. How many times have you had to take an unexpected turn and re-route? Regardless of your destination, chances are at some point in your life you have realized that while it’s important to set a goal and keep your eyes on the prize, it’s just as important to spend time revealing and understanding the steps it takes to get there.
1. Where is your starting line? Stay focused on your experience and your skill set. It can be discouraging to compare your accomplishments to someone else’s. Let the success of others inspire you and help provide the framework for what is uniquely yours.
2. Where do you want to be? Stay unique. Self development will create self awareness, which then allows you to become your best self. Being your best self creates the foundation for everything you’re trying to build–for yourself and for others.
3. Plan for roadblocks and detours. There will be potholes, red flags and slow moving traffic along the road to success. Use your resources! Some of my favorite resources for self development are podcasts, books, and professionals in the industry.
4. Small steps. If your biggest dreams scare you, break them down into smaller, more manageable plans of action.
5. Go with the flow. Unsure where you’re going? Focus on your hobbies and your passions. Network with likeminded individuals. A lot of the most successful people didn’t start off with a business plan. Their business developed because of their plan to make progress one day at a time.
Comments? Feedback? Let me know! I’d love to hear what your goals are and how you are accomplishing them.