Just stumbling along.
I don’t think anyone would argue it’s the best route to success in anything.
Still, it seems to be the path most of us follow whether we plan to or not. In fact, it’s the planners among us — myself included — who are typically most guilty of following a stumbling, meandering path.
I don’t profess to know a solution. If I did, this would be a very different article. I don’t even know that a solution is necessary. Sometimes we discover fantastic things when we wander.
The number of wonderful surprises I’ve come across in my own personal wanderings is far too numerous to count. By way of offering a sample, let me share just a couple…
Just Because an Idea is Good, Doesn’t Mean it’s Viable
I once had an idea for a line of manufactured products. It was a good idea; dare I say, even a great idea. I spent quite a long time working on it. I researched source materials, thought up marketing ideas, built and tested prototypes, calculated cost and pricing, did market analyses…
All went very well. Everything was about as in line as a new venture could expect to get.
Except for one thing.
It was a manufactured product.
Mass producing it would require machinery and equipment. Even used, the equipment needed was prohibitively expensive.
There are No Gods at the Altar of Originality
For most of my life I have worshiped at the altar of originality. That is to say, I prided myself on being a unique and original flower in a sea of common, three-leaf clovers. My love of originality even extended to my entrepreneurial pursuits.
I’ve always had an entrepreneurial bent, but my love of originality meant that whatever I did must be new and unique. No merely running a gas station or buying into a franchise for me. No using someone else’s business model that’s already been perfected and proven to work.
Such thinking was sorely to my own detriment.
Many years passed where I struggled to lift my ambitions to great heights while watching so many others cruise easily past me on their own routes to success. So much time wasted. So much effort squandered.
I still love originality but now realize it can hold a place in my life without being my whole life.
Now I sell stuff on eBay, I am one of thousands of copywriters, one of hundreds of thousands of teachers and one of millions of authors. When I let go of my need to be original was when I finally started seeing some measurable success.