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Updated 19 Feb 2020

Choose your own adventure: How to take your business to the next step

You may know exactly where you are today, but you don't, can't and shouldn't know where exactly you're headed tomorrow.

Jon Nastor, Entrepreneur, 01 August 2015  Share  0 comments  Print

All the answers to your unique business lifestage questions

Is it possible to move forward in your business when you don’t know where it is you're heading?

Yes, I say.

Related: How to overcome entrepreneurial anxiety

You may know exactly where you are today, but you don’t, can’t and shouldn’t know where exactly you'll be tomorrow.

The path from where you are right now directly to where you want to be doesn’t yet exist. In fact, you couldn’t in your wildest dreams imagine where you'll end up.

So stop trying.

Something always gets in your way and proves your initial thoughts or ideas wrong. You need to accept this and use it to your advantage – or else you'll starve yourself of your true potential. As the late Steve Jobs said, “You can’t connect the dots looking forward. You can only connect them looking backward.”

You have to trust in all that you know today and that the direction you choose to go will work out – even when you don’t know where it is that you're heading. It'll make sense at the end of your journey, when you're looking back over your well-worn path. But not before.

Picture this: You're lost in the middle of a forest. No food, no water and no idea in which direction to go to find these things. If you stay in one spot because you don’t know what your next step should be, you die. If you become paralysed by indecision due to not knowing all the outcomes, you run out of possibilities – fast.

This is the first dot on your journey – but only if you put more dots after it.

Movement and a compassCompass _new -direction

Do you ever feel so lost that you might as well be in the middle of a forest, without water and food? I've known that feeling down in the pit of my stomach, and I work every day to never feel it again.

People naturally walk in circles. When lost in a forest and walking without a compass, people tend to walk in circles and end up back where they started. Although it's essential that you start moving and don’t stop, you need to use a compass as your guide.

Related: How to create a high performance culture

With the help of a compass, you can pick a direction – based on your most educated guess – and head that way without fear of being aimless. If a river or road or mountain crosses – or even blocks – your path, you can take this new information and reassess your journey.

Now, rather than spending time debating whether or not this is the right decision, you know without a doubt that your path needs adjusting.

When directing your life and business, you'll never have all the information, only that which is available to you where you are presently. As you move and gain momentum, more opportunities and information will appear – opportunities and information you didn't have back where you began.

Momentum breeds momentum

Choose today to not slowly die of thirst, as you sit in a quiet forest, deciding which direction is the "right" one. And then get moving. Pick a path, and go.

Jobs said, “You have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.” 

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About the author

Jon Nastor, Entrepreneur

Jon Nastor is the host of Hack the Entrepreneur on Copyblogger’s Rainmaker.FM podcast network, and co-founder at VelocityPage.

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