Would you ever go on a cross country journey without a map (or GPS system)? For those adventurous types who have all the time in the world, it might sound like fun. Check out the book Blue Highways to read the true account of a man who did just that after losing his wife and job on the same day. But we are business women, career women, mothers, wives, caregivers who don’t have time to dilly dally. We have an end in mind and want to travel the most efficient, effective way to reach the destination.
Like any new project, I always start by working to understand what is in place today and then outline where am I trying to go. Once I understand these two points, I can identify routes to get from where I am to where I need to go. In efforts to capture my journey to date and highlight other women’s stories, I started with a chart of what I was hoping to gather which I have been working into publishable workbook material.
I am curious what other things you take into account in your life that I have have overlooked in this visual to help you get where you are hoping to go.
We’ve talked, in previous posts, about where we are right now. We’ll read articles in Oprah or Cosmo or Working Mothers that help us think through our lives and help us celebrate our uniqueness but have we started to take the journey from where we are to where we want to be?
If you look at the chart above, working our way up from the bottom of the page, the next row involves taking an inventory of our lives. In just a few months, I will have a thorough inventory workbook that I will be able to share with you but let’s start with some specific actions and see where it goes from here.
Look at two of those items:
1. Sharpening your saw
Sharpening your saw. What does that mean to you? To me, it means reviewing my strengths and looking for ways to be even better. Often we (or our boss) helps us focus on our weak areas. But what if we focused on our strengths and then looked for ways to make them even stronger? So what can you do to enhance your strengths?
- Look to your network for leaders in your industry – invite one or more out for coffee and pick their brain. Ask them what advice they would have to help you excel.
- Make a commitment to read up on trends and current events. So much can be learned from what is going on around us.
- Follow in the footsteps of other women leaders around the globe. Check out the National Association of Female Executives list of top 10 women leaders. Read about them, study their journey, what makes them successful? What have they done that you could emulate?
- Is there a class or webinar or workshop/seminar you could attend that would provide new information or help you better understand something you already know a little bit about?
- Is there an organization or networking group you could join (or at least attend once to see what it is about) that might help to sharpen your saw by exposing you to new people with new knowledge?
Risks: Just how far are you willing to go on this journey? Often there are career women who have a vision of a goal but the thought of actually stepping outside the comfort of the “known” of their current life holds them back from taking the first step. Money.com offers a quiz that determines your comfort level wth risk. Take the risk quiz. That addresses your financial risk level, but in general, how comfortable are you with risk? Are you willing to leave a high paying position in which you feel under valued, used and undetermined to open your own business or work for a non-profit for which you have great passion? What would need to change in your life to allow you to feel comfortable making that change?
They say that a journey begins with the first step. We can analyze who we are and who we wish we were all day long but it isn’t until we take that first step that we begin to make a difference. It is like starting a new diet and exercise regime. We can think about it, talk about, read books about it, watch exercise videos, buy the equipment but it isn’t until we MAKE A CHOICE to do something different that we can begin to travel along the path to success.
So what risks are you willing to take?
What do you need to do to present a more inspired you?
What will you do TODAY to take that first step?