Sometimes there isn’t a blueprint.

Being comfortable with being uncomfortable has become a state I have had to embrace over the last decade. Especially more recently as I am pursuing unchartered professional paths forward with little to no precedents to draw knowledge or inspiration from. Embarking on this journey isn’t for everyone, but I have come to realize and accept that it suits me perfectly.

When I think about strategically planning my own career path forward, I finally came to accept the notion that there are not many others I can look to for guidance. Sure, I can obtain advice on a variety of topics to help support me day to day, but the reality is that my path is completely open to both exploration, and interpretation of which options forward will serve me best. Becoming comfortable with this has taken me time to both embrace and experience the freedom of creating my own blueprint forward because of this.

The fact that my professional blueprint is flexible, is what offers me the most motivation, and I had not considered this would be an outcome I would enjoy. This has to do with the fact that several decades of my career were on a particular trajectory, and deviations off it would have potentially jeopardized where I was heading. During that time, I wasn’t personally or professionally satisfied with what I was doing, but I was good at what I was doing, so this served the purpose of responsibly being a parent and helping to take care of my family financially.

After following the professional path I had been on for decades, I eventually reached a point where I couldn’t imagine continuing forward any further. The tipping point to reach this place had to do with a combination of factors. One of them was a serious back pain which required surgery to address, and the other factor had to do with my soul feeling like it was drifting away the longer I remained in a career I didn’t enjoy. I did enjoy the people I worked with, but not the type of work or the cultures of hyper growth and daily extreme competition to perform. Stating this was a grind would be a complete understatement. What was worse was that I felt that I was losing the essence of who I was as a thriving and happy person by remaining in my former profession, and the day came when I had to do something about this.

When I finally reached the day I could no longer remain on the path I had been on, I thought about the aspects of what I did enjoy doing. My list included some amazing ones for me to pursue, but this is where not having a blueprint came into play. I also had to factor in could I in fact make a living doing exactly what I wanted to pursue? This wasn’t clear at the time, as I was in an unchartered territory with limited information to support knowing this. The reality was also that I would be entering into the entrepreneurship realm, and there was plenty of information to support learning how to become one, but certainly no guarantees of success. Contributing to this was the fact that I still had family responsibilities that I would have to figure out how I was going to be able to continue supporting when my income was going to be unknown. The good news is that I was able to sort this out, but I had not considered how I was going to have to spend a large majority of my time with a sales hat on. Fortunately, my marketing career had exposed me to many successful salespeople, so I was indirectly learning from them for decades, and was now able to put what I had learned into practice. Was this easy to do? Absolutely not, and I have talked many aspiring entrepreneurs out of pursuing this path for this reason alone.

If you are contemplating making a career move into an unchartered industry or area, here are some suggestions to help you think moving forward a reality, or to realize it’s just a pipedream.

  • Having a heightened awareness of your talents is going to be imperative. Make sure you know yourself well enough to know what you will be able to do well or must partner with someone on.
  • Not everyone is comfortable with being adaptable, so consider what your tolerance level is for this.
  • The unknown can be both simultaneously exhilarating and terrifying. Are you willing to experience this on a regular basis?
  • How open minded are you to trying and failing? Perhaps repeatedly for a period of time until you sort out what does and doesn’t work?
  • Set a time length for how long you can comfortably remain on course without a blueprint, and factor in what financial or other types of support you will need during this time.
  • Are you willing to risk not ending up where you think you expect to be in “x” time?
  • Are you willing to try your patience and test your persistence levels that will be potentially uncomfortable as you are growing and moving forward without a blueprint?

Had I known that not having a blueprint would provide me with the leadership and professional opportunities I have experienced over the last seven years, I probably wouldn’t have thought they were possible. To some extent, the single contributing factor which has served me well has been my core belief in myself to attain whatever I set out to pursue. So far, so good, and I can’t wait to experience and see what the road ahead looks like.

TAGS: #Leadership #Leader #Motivation #Strategy #Personaldevelopment #Entrepreneur #Entreprenurship #Business #Confidence #Teams #Teamdynamics #Coach #Sportscoach

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