Make a Dent in the World (Post-Startup & Pre-Success)
I admire people who DO something. People who decide that it’s time to put on some goggles and start swimming a new direction…rather than just going with wherever the stream of life takes them. I admire people who make a decision, even if it’s not popular, have an opinion and are willing to sacrifice, sweat and work to see it through. I’m not talking about mindless rebellion here, just simply making a dent in the world for the good of the world.
Because of this admiration of others actually doing something, I do my best to support people who dare to take the first step into the unknown of doing something special. It seems like there could be alot of supporters in the beginning of their journey, but after all the hype of it being new dies down, many times people quit or give up. I don’t think it happens all at once or that they actually decide to just quit, but it just happens slowly, little by little. After a few days or weeks of not really trying as hard as they did on their first day, I can only imagine these would-be pioneers whispering to themselves, “If I quit doing what I’m doing, would anybody even notice?”. It may sound like a pity-party question, but these people aren’t just trying to feel sorry for themselves, they are simply trying to see if all of the effort they put in so far has been in vain. Have they made a dent in the world? And if they haven’t, what’s the point in going on?
It may sound like I’m advocating to just keep trying and moving forward with whatever it is you’re doing when you ask this question, but I’m not. I’ve been there and asked this question to myself before many times. A few times I quit when I should have and when I shouldn’t have. A few times I just kept moving forward when I should have and when I shouldn’t have. But then there was most of time that I shouldn’t have done either of those. I think most of the time the answer isn’t as easy as we hoped, black and white, should I quit or not. The answer could very well be just a little tweak or course correction. The right answer could be a new perspective, new goals or a new way of doing things. This should bring some hope or glimpse of life to those who are asking themselves these questions right now. This faith that there are other answers you haven’t thought of yet should bring a fresh perspective.
So if there are alternatives and things you haven’t thought of, how are you supposed to know what they are? Well, every situation is different but I can give a few suggestions from the research I’ve done. A good start is to review where you started and where you are going, almost like putting pins on a map of these two places. Looking at the pin on where you are now, are you closer to your destination and further from your starting point? Did you even have a destination point? (right now would be a good time to get one because you can’t really measure your progress or feel good about your progress without one). What does your mentor think? Again, if you don’t have one (and it doesn’t have to be a formal mentor, just a wiser council who is semi knowledgeable and agrees with your pursuit), it would be a good idea to find one at this point. Are you making progress or just not the progress you like to see? Sometimes you may have set unreasonable expectations of yourself (maybe subconsciously if not literally). Making some progress is sometimes enough because often times these things will snowball bigger and faster with time. Have you been making progress in something other than your goal, like you’re education, experience, other peoples benefit or happiness?
I hope this helps those who are in this situation of post-startup and pre-success. And those of you who aren’t in this situation, I hope this helps you encourage and help people who are.
Please let me know what you think! If you don’t see a comment box below, click here to leave a comment.