When I set out for my walk today, I had several specific goals in mind. I wanted to walk for about an hour, cover about 4 miles, and get some inspiration along with fresh air. Based on my goals, I created a plan. I would drive to a large wooded "reservation" near my home. I plotted the path I would take. I would start by walking through the woods toward a paved path, do the loop on that path, and finally circle back along the road to my car.
I parked my car and headed to the path that would take me through the wooded area. It's right next to a dog park. There were five people walking with their dogs along the path that I was about to turn onto. I don't have a dog and frankly, didn't want the company. How was it that, before I even began, my plan wasn't working out right?
Entrepreneurs and goal setting
The reason I'm sharing this story is because I see this happening every day to the entrepreneurs I speak with. Goals are set, plans are made, and then something goes wrong. They don't get the results they expected. They hit a roadblock They realize that an assumption they made was wrong. How does my experience today relate?
When I realized that my plan wasn't going the way I wanted it to, I had a choice. I needed to decide which was more important to me, my plan, or my goal. Since my goal was more important to me, I needed to find another way.
I decided to continue along a different path through the woods. This meant that I would not meet up with the paved path, and I wasn't exactly sure where the path I chose would take me. I gave myself permission to be comfortable in knowing that I would still get what I needed, even though my path had changed.
As I walked, I saw things I didn't expect to see, and these unexpected sights generated ideas I didn't anticipate having (including this article). The route through the woods was much rockier than the path I had initially mapped out. I lost my footing a few times and quickly regained my balance without falling.
As I continued, I kept thinking about how different the walk I was taking was from the walk I had planned. When I got back to my car I had walked for about an hour, covered approximately 4 miles, and I got inspiration along with fresh air. In other words, I accomplished exactly what I set out to do - I just did it in a different way, using an unexpected path to get there.
One thing that I know is that as a business owner you set many goals and make plans to get you there. Some are long-term, others short-term. What all of these plans have in common is that they never seem to go as you expect them to.
The important part of your plan is the goal you set, not the route you take to reach that goal. Along the way you are likely going to run into obstacles. You may find yourself lost, or not really sure where you're going or what you are doing. You may make a mistake or slip and fall. The important thing is to keep going, because that's the only way you'll get there.
To wrap this up I'd like to share something my dad and I always said. "All roads lead to where you're going."
It really doesn't matter if you make a right or a left turn along the way; at the end, as long as you keep going, you will get where you wanted to go.
What are you doing to keep yourself moving along the road that you're on?