Whenever we face life or career change, making mental shifts are necessary. The same is true when we seek greater financial security for ourselves or our family, a better work-life balance, or just more of the little pleasures in life. But turning skills and talent into opportunity starts with tapping potential.
The digital revolution brings tectonic change, both positive and negative, to most industries and all levels of society. Opportunity abounds but change of any kind means shifting thinking, and making hard decisions. This starts with believing in the possibility that you can, and having a vision of what that change looks like.
Think Big But Have a Plan
New directions and ideas abound; you are able to consider them all. You can (and usually should) start with simple targets and modest goals. But you can go broad and big. It’s good to have ‘reach goals’. The exploding digital economy creates options that never before existed, to turn skills and experiences into revenue opportunities.
Whether you keep it simple or dream big, you must start with a vision. And then you must formulate a plan that defines the actions required to realize that vision. A clear picture of success is essential but a plan is nothing without clear steps and the ability to take them.
Many people are in underrepresented or historically disadvantaged groups. Others come from countries or cultures that simply don’t offer the same opportunities. But these challenges are, themselves, part of our identity and overcoming problems helps us grow stronger…
Disadvantage is Fuel For Your Fire
The first thing many people do when they start to make their plan is to think about all of the things that can hold them back. We all have disadvantages and weaknesses.
Many people are in underrepresented or historically disadvantaged groups. Others come from countries or cultures that simply don’t offer the same opportunities. But these challenges are, themselves, part of our identity and overcoming problems helps us grow stronger, like adding fuel to a fire.
We all know or have heard of people who emerged from very difficult circumstances to achieve great success. We all must play the hand we are dealt but some people seem propelled by their disadvantages to accomplish incredible things.
Fortunately, despite our many challenges, the digital transformation all around us has reshaped how we work and interact. More than ever, it enables us to transcend economic, social, cultural and geographic limitations.
Start Tapping Potential and Stop Stressing About Maybe
Whatever your doubts, it’s best to stop stressing about what may happen, and just take action. I have already started my second half and, like most folks at my age, I am cautious about the money, business and life moves I make. I don’t want to take undue risks. And that is not the right default setting for a successful life. I should be taking more (not fewer) risks.
For younger post-grads and professionals, stop waiting and worrying. Don’t spend so much time stressing about what to do with your life that you never get around to actually doing it. You have an advantage over people my age. You have the benefit of more time and (usually) less to lose. You can, therefore, take on more risk.
Don’t fall victim to analysis paralysis. Remember that, as with investing, there is no reward without taking some risk. And there is usually an inverse correlation between the two.
The digital winds at our back make this a golden age of opportunity. So, get going. Think big, and form a plan. Make your disadvantages into fuel, to power you forward. And don’t let your concerns about potential mistakes stop you from making them. It’s part of the learning process, which you will only realize if you just start.