Step by Step Instructions

Step by Step Instructions

As we grow up, we are used to having structure. School is structured. K-12, we are given a step-by-step of what we need to do, what test we need to take, what grades we need to get, and where we will go next. We may complain all the way through, but we find comfort in the structure and lack of surprise. Most of childhood is structured. We go to after-school extracurricular activities or may come straight home. We then do our homework, get out of our school clothes, wash up, eat, and enjoy whatever time remains before bed. It could be summer school, summer camp, or visiting a family member when school is out. Our early adulthood is structured. College or entry-level jobs have a little more slack than early childhood but are still very organized. If we choose or allow it, our entire professional life will be too. A few of us may choose to break away from the norm and pursue entrepreneurial ventures. Here, we have no step-by-step. We have more slack than we want. No formal instruction. No wonder this is the road less traveled. The good news is you don’t need step-by-step instructions.

You don’t need instructions which is great because you will not get them. Think about it. How will someone supply you with instructions for something that has never been completed? Yes, you may be pursuing something that others have accomplished, but no journey is the same. To take it a step further, if the successful person started over their journey would also differ. If you are jumping into something entrepreneurial, be careful when people attempt to sell you a step-by-step method to success. It is impossible to know what will work for each person. We should keep our money if we desire to buy the structure and guarantee of non-entrepreneurial aspirations. We will be sadly mistaken. We are buying a happy path at best. Likely it is an outline of 75% of what worked. They never sell the whole story. Unless, we are receiving a story from a loved one, who is no longer in the industry or has no fear of us surpassing them expect you are only getting enough of the story to sound like the full one. Whatever the case, it falls short of any guaranteed success or replication of it.

Again, the good news is you don’t need it. We seek the comfort that our entire upbringing gave us. We sit and think to ourselves, why is it taking so long for me to give my aspirations a shot? It is because you are going against a lifetime of “do this to get that.” We study a chapter in a book and do the homework to pass a quiz in high school or college. We do that for the year, we get good grades and get promoted. We get good grades and get promoted enough, we graduate. If we graduate, we get to start a little further along than a person who didn’t in your chosen non-entrepreneurial career. This system repeats in your career. We find comfort and normalcy in this system. This structure is the answer to what is taking so long. The contentment and guarantees of this system slowly rips away the want and fearlessness of taking a shot at something outside of it. This arrangement is not a coincidence.

In closing, you don’t get a step-by-step in entrepreneurship. There is no consistent recipe. Step forward. We only need to know the step we are on. The next step will reveal itself and, it will be an unknown required step. We may not think of that need, but the journey will make it clear that is what needs to be done. A quick example will drive this home. Let’s say we are newly unemployed (laid off or fired). We didn’t like how powerless we were in that situation. We promised ourselves to never be in that position again. Say we are known as the inspirational type and have a desire to write books in the future. We decide to start social media accounts marketing ourselves as a lifestyle coach. We have just given ourselves a goal and a couple of steps. The first step will be to create social media accounts. The second step is one of those unknown requirements. We’ll need to solidify ourselves as professionals. We’ll need to get a certification. Two steps are enough. That is plenty. We’ll have to get used to being comfortable in only seeing a little of the picture. We know where we want to go. That is good enough. Start moving.

Food for thought…You do the dishes!