Am I Doing the Right Thing?
Last year around this same time I left the security of a well-paying marketing job in the telecommunications industry to pursue my passion. At the time, I didn’t know if I was ready. But, with my right foot off the cliff and a gentle push from the organization, I found my courage.
During the first few months—the free-fall period—I read a lot: The Four Hour Work Week, My Evil Plan, even Throwing the Elephant: Zen and the Art of Managing Up. Then while listening to NPR one day and driving to nowhere, I heard a short book review with author Nicholas Carr. That night I downloaded his book, The Big Switch. After a few swipes of the glass with my index finger, BAAM! Clarity. At all cost, I had to be involved with anything Internet. And it was imperative I have a front row seat!
Someday I’ll bore you with the details of how I procured my ticket (through Digett) to the greatest show on earth. But for now, I’ll just share a few lessons that stuck with me during this chapter of the journey.
Turn your fears into life experiences
Dealing with fear has always been at the top of my list throughout my personal and professional life.
But let’s face it: 99% of what we fear is absolutely harmless. Most times after going through it, the feeling is quite rewarding. Like the time I was given the opportunity to present a strategic initiative to the great Dr. John Malone. When it became clear I had no other choice I nearly crapped my pants. After the meeting, not so much. Great experience!
Be passionate and live in the present
You hear this one a lot. Passion is not easy to recognize because passion is not full-on, 100% of the time. So if you find something that’s 80%, take it.
If you’re into anything Internet, you’ve heard of Gary Vaynerchuk. If not, check out his keynote at FOWA 2011 (NSFW language). He’s the most passionate person I know of.
Good enough is good enough
Bill Gates coined the phrase “Good enough is good enough.” Meaning that perfection is the killer of “marketable” innovation. In fact, it’s too often just an excuse for not initiating your plan. Many times it’s just plain “fear.” Don’t wait, get out there. In the marketplace, trial and experimentation are good. This new internet society is forgiving. They expect it.
Have a plan, work hard, and stick with it
Most people are taken out of the game by not doing this, or by not doing all three together. Good plan, gave up too soon. No plan, worked their ass off. This one’s like a BLT: no bacon, no sandwich.
I often talk with friends and colleagues that still work for “the man.” I listen as they talk about wasted time in meetings, quality of life, and uncertainty. I ask myself, “Am I doing the right thing?” Hell yes!
The bigger question is, are you?
[Image: Carla MacNeil]