Which Road Will You Take?

2363258975_4c1a659c4bJet ski’s, a tornado protruding from the sky, kids covering me in wet sand, barbecues and family fun.  The 4th of July weekend lives up to it’s promises once again.  We have made the near four hour family excursion to my families lake house countless times for many occasions.  And history could not have repeated itself more perfect when my Dad said “we better hit the road early because we’re going to hit the holiday traffic.”

My dad and I hop in his car with my pup and head back to the land of never ending construction and plentiful tollways.  About and hour in, as expected, we come to a dead halt.  The ever-so slow moving holiday parking lot, otherwise known as I-90, was flooded with it’s northbound weekend warrior Chicagoans.

So, I said to my pops, “why don’t you hop off here and we can take highway-12 and bypass some of this traffic.”

“The traffic is just as bad.”

My dad responded back immediately after checking his “instant internal traffic radar.”  We absolutely knew that this 3.5 hour trek would take 6-7 hours this time around.  I could care less about being right.  I just did not want to sit in a vehicle that crawls the whole way back to Chicago.  He is the commander of this vehicle, so I bet you know how this story plays out.

I sat back after this conversation absorbed in my thoughts wondering why my dad was so against trying something different.  This conflict happens every single year.  What I realized is that we were literally caught in a “rat race.”  What felt comfortable to my father, completely aggravated me.  It was like everyone was little drones and there was only one path to get them to where they were going.  And I was trapped.  I rid my extreme anxiousness by directing my attention at the book I was reading, “Good to Great.”

I am the type of guy who would rather go with my gut instinct and get lost and take even an hour longer, than to throw up my hands in surrender and say “that’s just the way it is.”  Maybe it’s just the entrepreneur in me.  Whatever the case may be, the chances are slim that you come from a family of born entrepreneurs.  About 95% of the people on this earth will be forced  into the “rat race.”  My choice may be different.  Our choice may be different.  Neither is right or wrong.

There are always multiple roads to take you to where you want to be.  Some paths’ will feel comfortable to you and others’ not so much.  If you are comfortable, you are not growing.  If you are not growing, you are dying.  To become a successful leader, you will be expected to navigate the waters which are uncomfortable for you.  Don’t bother attempting to change everyone arround you.  Most people are “comfortable” with where they are at.  You are free to choose the road that will move you closer to where you want to be.

“The safest road to hell is the gradual one – the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts. ~C. S. Lewis

  • Bradley, Well said! As a career and small biz start-up coach, I find the biggest barrier for people to tread the entrepreneurial path is their own reluctance to change-to travel a different road. Great post will pass it along.

    • Thank you Dee.

      It is hard for young entrepreneurs to travel a different road than everyone who you are surrounded by. In high school, everyone migrated out of the neighborhood to go to work. The bus drivers were employees, the teachers, the principal and the soccer coach were all employees. So where in all of this do we learn to become an entrepreneur. We are who we surround ourselves with.

      Go to networking events, entrepreneurship clubs or go out and meet local business owners. It is important to have other like minded influences in our lives. If you take your 5 closest friends and add up their incomes and divide by 5, you are most likely within $5-10k of what they make. Is it time to find some new friends?

      Thanks again for the comment Dee. You sparked an idea for my next blog post.

      Cheers

      bradley

  • Sounds like a grand old time on the 4th. Nothing like being around family, friends and water activities.

    Regarding the actual content – I am that guy who gets lost, stuck in worse jams and sometimes a few minutes late by trying the new roads. Traveling different paths sometimes gets you ahead and sometimes puts you behind, but the journey is what matters.

    • Hey G-Ro

      Hanging out with the fam is always a blast. Sounds like you are the typical entrepreneur. You hit the head on the nail. By removing our focus on the destination and becoming more present in the journey allows us to live a more fufilled life. I want to connect with you by phone maybe next week. Thanks for the comment G-Ro.

      -bw

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