Have you ever wanted to start something new and stopped yourself just short of taking that crucial step? Were you left wondering what the tools are that you need to make the change happen? My wife recently took the opportunity to start something new by make a significant change in her career. Her choice to make this change did not come easily. It took some serious soul searching, a lot of conversation and many months of negotiation before she was able to take the final leap. Those were the tools she chose.
It’s funny how things seem to align. I happened to be reading Practically Radical at the time. William Taylor, founder of Fast Company, was writing about a variety of topics to motivate and inspire businesses to take the steps to challenge themselves in new ways; from entrepreneurship, to shaking up the way you do things in your current business environment. One of the chapters resonated with me deeply because of the career change my wife was considering.
Whether your business is to improve what already exists or you are charged to step outside of your comfort zone to attempt something that you have never tried before, we are all challenged with what the future might hold. I am sure we have all asked ourselves the question ”what will my future hold?” many times and have taken comfort in the route our careers and lives have lead us.
How do you approach the unknown? Do you think you can predict the future and thus control it? It is possible through extensive analysis, benchmarking and exhaustive market research to gain the knowledge of what the future looks like in order to predict events that may drive your approach to business. An alternative approach is to predict the future without the need to control it. If you can replace the need for exhaustive research and instead focus on preset goals which respond organically to change, the future does need to be controlled. It is simply invented. What better way is there to predict the future than by inventing it? If we allow ourselves to respond quickly to setbacks and surprises we can shape outcomes without being paralysed by extensive analysis.
As my wife navigated through her need to make a shift in her career it was interesting to watch the parallels between what I was reading in Practically Radical being played out in real terms around me. She realized that her focus on being the best at her skills required her to seek out another opportunity in her field. She is not starting something new per se, but shifting her position to build on the skills that she finds critical to her career path. Focussing on being the best at something and not just simply good at many things helped her to see the opportunity and to drive the change she needed.
Through conversation about her career choices it is clear that she cares deeply about what she does. She will certainly take that caring for her success and the success of her colleagues, co-workers and business with her as she continues to drive toward the position of excellence in her field that she so deserves. Her long term successes are being realized through her focussed approach to her career along with celebrating her colleagues and clients successes through her passion for excellence. Her new career choice will benefit immensely from that gift.
With that caring comes the emotional connection to her clients and to her business. It is clear that the connection she has developed with her clients and industry colleagues will continue to grow regardless of the position she seeks. It is apparent that if our clients and industry colleagues can live without us they will. If we show them we care, we are emotionally connected to them and we treat them with respect and dignity, change and progress becomes second nature. My wife has shown me that this is possible and I surely will continue to see her flourish.
Her choice to adapt to her business environment by making a choice to change her position shows real courage and resolve. Clearly she has chosen to invent her future by recognizing the shifting landscape of her business opportunities and the need to respond to her deep desire for personal and professional growth.
Thank you to William Taylor for writing it down and thank you to my wife for showing me it is real.
Where will your future take you?