When to Take Your Own Path

Have you ever heard the term, “Children enter school as question marks and leave as periods?” It refers to the process of molding young minds to an extreme – until they stop questioning and start accepting what they’re told. It doesn’t end in school either. Sometimes the pressure to become just like everyone else comes at us from all directions: from our friends, our families, colleagues, and even trusted advisors and mentors.

So, how do you know when to take the road less traveled? Here are a few tips to consider before you make your bolder moves:

1. Weigh the pros and cons of your decisions. Know what you’re getting into before you start out to avoid being sideswiped by the unknown.Take Your Own Path

2. Hedge your bets. Don’t put all your energy or resources in one place, so you’re not devastated if that one thing falls through.

3. Avoid risking more than you’re willing to lose or walk away from.

4. Have back up plans. What if Plan A fails? Plan B? Plan C?

5. Have an exit strategy in mind, in case you have to abort your plan midstream.

6. Make sure your digressions don’t have the potential to hurt other people or cause serious problems that are hard to fix.

7. Learn from the experiences of others. Understand what risks other successful people have taken that have paid off, and what risks didn’t work out so well. Ask yourself “Why?” in each case.

8. Make sure the risk is worth the reward.

9. Once you make a well-informed decision to take your own path, don’t waste time second-guessing your choice. Put your energy into your new project or plan and work like crazy to make it happen.

The most important thing when taking your own unique path is to make sure that you’ve made your decisions carefully and strategically. Big risks can certainly bring tremendous rewards when they work out. Just give yourself and your loved ones the peace of mind knowing that you’ve done your homework before you give it your all.