One thing I learned early on was that if I had a goal, I needed to create a plan to achieve that goal. It didn't matter how small the goal was, a plan was crucial to attaining that goal. Mapping out a plan is not always easy, and it's usually not that fun. However, it needs to be done.
Now for lesson two; goals change. Even with a well-thought-out plan, you might wake up one morning and change the goal you're working towards. This means tossing your plan into the trash, and starting all over again. And there's nothing stopping you from changing your mind a third or fourth time.
If this sounds like something you've done, then you know that the whole process is time consuming and labor intensive. And there's no forgetting all the sideways comments about you being temperamental and indecisive. After all, you should be able to choose one goal, create a plan to accomplish it, stick to that plan, and eventually bask in success.
So where exactly does that leave you? Should you stick to one goal even when your gut tells you to change direction? Or should you make the jump to a new goal even when it means that your hard work is going to waste?
Well, speaking for myself, I believe option 2 is a pretty great decision. When I started my blog, I had a vision to provide resources to small businesses competing in a challenging and saturated online marketplace. However, over the course of a few months, I've felt the need to switch directions and focus on entrepreneurship.
To you, this might not seem like a big difference. Business, entrepreneurship, aren't they basically the same thing? In a sense they are quite similar, but when you get down to the intricate details, there's a huge divergence.
Any blogs that I've followed to get information and inspiration will now be useless to me. Any progress I have made with social media followers and blog subscribers might go to waste as I plan on producing new content. Any old content that I've produced will not fit the direction I am headed in. Any marketing that I've done for my blog will need to change.
As you can see, changing direction is not easy. There's a lot to consider before you make the jump. Luckily for me, I'm a relatively new blogger and so the impact of my decision should be minimal. But what if I had been building my blog for 5 years? What happens when you need to change direction from a business or career path that you have poured blood and sweat into for a long time?
My advice would be for you to consider the emotional and financial impact of your decision. If you change direction, will you:
1. Be happier?
2. Feel less stressed?
3. Spend more time doing something you love?
4. Be able to support yourself and your family on the income you are making?
5. Lose money?
6. Earn money? If so, how long will it take to turn a profit?
These are just a few of the questions that you need to ask yourself before you make your final decision. If your answers show that a change in direction will have a positive impact emotionally and financially, then have courage and take the leap. If not, it might be best to stay put in the meantime.
Whatever decision you make you will find that you are constantly question the wisdom of your choice; the road not taken versus losing what you had for a pipe dream.
Luckily for you, no decision is permanent, and you can always change direction (again). So take time to think over your decision and plan your next move; you do not want to throw away what you have worked for on a whim.
In the same breath, do not be afraid of change. Sometimes the first path that we choose is not the right one, or perhaps it's the right one but just for a while.