We live in an era where all of the information, resources, collaborations and possibilities are at our fingertips. Seriously. Have you ever put something in to the search bar of Google and it been returned with a “Sorry, we haven’t yet figured that out.”
No, of course not! Now, there’s certainly some nonsense out there. There’s noise. But we both know a little concentration can drown out the noise.
The irony is that with all this information we still have the old adage that our circumstances or financial resources are somehow hindering what we’re capable of learning, discovering, creating or pulling off. I’m calling B.S. on it right now. I didn’t grow up in a privileged household, nor did I have parents with any connections to help me get started in my career. Yet, anything I’ve ever wanted for in life, I’ve still tried for. I’ve put in the long hours, I’ve failed, I’ve triumphed and I’ve continued to dream bigger. If you’re hearing a tale of woes, or telling yourself that life didn’t have it in store for you to yolive beyond a mediocre life then you’re being fooled.
You are in control of where you are right now. You are in control of where you are in a year. You are in control of where you ultimately end up. Am I saying that it’ll manifest exactly as you dream it up? Certainly not. Nothing truly worth having will come easy. Your grit and patience will be tested, and ultimately you’re going to come upon things that you have to figure out along the way.
The further we get in our journey, the more risk and opportunity that will available to us. We’re going to come upon unchartered waters and we’re going to feel like a fish out of water. Here’s what I want you to tell yourself in that moment when you feel as though you’re out of your comfort zone and have finally reached the point where you’re no longer in control: Ignorance is a choice.
Ignorance is a choice.
If you spend a life time preparing, you’ll never reach your destination. Learn to adapt, and learn to seek out the answers to the things you don’t know. To get you started, I want to share my top 5 go-to’s for figuring out my next step (with anything):
- Internet. Yes, the internet. You knew that would have to be on the list, right? Forbes published an article in 2018 that stated over 90% of the information available to us today was created and added within the last two years. Isn’t that mind blowing? We can research topics on search engines, watch video tutorials on YouTube, and read studies published by major universities.
- Ask an expert. Ok, truth be told, you don’t have to find an expert every time you have a question. Pose a question to someone who might know or that might get you a step further. If you’re at work, ask a colleague or your boss. Swallow that pride. If you’re an entrepreneur, reach out to the first person that comes to mind for the particular topic. Don’t discount going to an expert, though, or paying for their expertise. Just as you are an expert in your field (and compensated as such), respect them for their craft or knowledge as well. If they’re going to get you further along your journey, then why waste time instead of investing in yourself and your business by bringing in the necessary expert?
- Network. Don’t show up to the event, collect cards and then throw them away. Meet people, find out what they do. Share the business issues you’re stumped with and see what resource they might be able to connect you with. It’s amazing how many dots I’ve been able to connect through the most unlikely of people simply because we struck up a conversation at a networking event. My speaking career moved from an idea to fruition because of a woman that worked in a podiatry office. Be open, have real conversations and move the needle.
- Read (or listen to an audible or podcast). The reason books, podcasts, and YouTube exist is for the sharing of information. It’s also for kids to watch other kids open toy packages, but I digress. These platforms are designed to help people get to a next step by those that have walked the same path before and decided to share what they’ve learned. My less-than-super-tech-savvy self has figured out how to use certain software programs not by being technically-inclined (much the contrary), but by watching videos or reading step-by-step blogs on how to navigate certain programs.
- Quit making excuses. You might think this isn’t a relevant one to add to the list, but I have to. If you’re ultimately going to give up as soon as you come across something clunky, or have to take time to stop and learn something new then you are the actual hindrance, my friend.
I could list obstacle after obstacle that I’ve encountered in any job or business I’ve ever had. I’ll face countless more as I go along. You will too. The difference is that I now expect it and face it head-on. Refuse to choose ignorance, and watch yourself flourish. The more you learn, the more you try, and the more experiences you embrace… the more resourceful you become. Challenges become easier to face. You’ll be indispensable to an employer or in a partnership because you don’t get sidelined by barriers, but you instead pivot. It’s an attribute that every one of us strives for, and it all begins with dropping the excuses and refusing to choose ignorance.