Finding your way in business is as clear as mud.
If you were faced with this path; which way would you go?
The ground is sodden to the point there are small streams flowing between footprints and every step would leave your foot encased in mud – probably up to your shin.
You have two options.
You can do what everyone else has done, and that is to walk around the mud trying to avoid the slippery squelching mud. However, it will involve making a slightly new route, just expanding on what a previous person has created by following their guide, but walking ever so slightly wider.
Or, you can walk through the middle. You can take a leap of faith and just go for it, wellies on and just go.
You see, this situation is similar to what we face in business, marketing, and everyday life. Are you someone who goes for it and gets to the point quickly, or do you skirt around the situation, thinking that you are getting somewhere, when in fact, you’re actually making it bigger?
What you have been doing is avoiding what needs to be done.
Most likely you’ve not stopped to actually think the issue/problem or situation through. You have seen what others have done and where they have been so you do the same – you tread cautiously around the edge taking longer to get to the end resolve.
Take a moment
But what if you take a moment to stop and think; to remember back to being stood in the same spot but in brighter times when the sun was shining. If you were stood by that path, what would you see?
You would see, and you would find that the path is concrete. That it is solid because there is actually a pretty strong foundation underneath.
Now come back to the muddy, wet, problem-ridden path. Yes it is under a decent amount of water and yes, there is a good foot of sticky mud but it has a strong base and one that you can walk over without too much worry. You may not be able to go at speed, but you will be keeping on top of the path that you were meant to be on and you will get to the end destination quicker, safer and with a lot less crap on your shoulders!
In business, we do the same. Instead of sticking to our objectives, the aim and what we are meant to be doing, we try to cheat our way out of getting stuck and the fear that we are going to potentially fall flat on our face in the mud, or worse sink in a hole (think Vicar of Dibly!) We try one new option, then another, perhaps we blame the first one for taking us off track – the point is, we are skirting around the issue and the problem and making it worse – and not always for us. We have potentially ‘muddied’ the way for those behind us and instead of helping and adding value, we’ve made it worse for them – and they aren’t going to thank us for it!
The point is that if you have made strong foundations AND you ensure that you are always following some foundational work – whether that be in business, marketing, finance, HR; if you have the base strong enough you will be able to ‘walk’ through the situation with a clear direction and strategy. It may still take some steady footing but you won’t be making the situation any worse.
So next time you get to a muddy path – stop and think about the foundations below before following what everyone else as done.