I am afraid that as I write this I am a mass of frustration. You see, I can’t find my damn map. You know… the map to tell me what I am supposed to do next to make my business successful? The map to show me who to talk to and how to prioritize my ideas? The one that shows me how to navigate not just the creative and strategic but the bureaucratic and tactical? I can’t seem to find that map.
When I worked for others, I could always find the map. The map was given to me by my boss. He got the map from his boss. Don’t get me wrong… he didn’t give me specific directions, that was my call. But, he did give me the map that showed me where I needed to be and we discussed in broad strokes how to get there.
As a small business owner I find myself waking up every morning thinking about the safety of that map. It isn’t that I would trade the independence of working for myself for having the map (which I usually disagreed with in whole or part anyway). It is just that when someone else gives you a map, you are secure that right or wrong, you aren’t responsible.
A favorite quote of mine is from the Cheshire cat in Alice in Wonderland “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.” So the thing about being given the map is that you always know where you are going. You might not agree, but you know. When you create your own business, you set your direction, you can remain inflexible, you can bend with the wind or you can find your place in between.
Today, that in between place is a bit tougher than usual.