By Amber Sigg
Where to Start? The secret to success isn’t just one perfectly laid out road map for you to follow. Everyone’s journey is different, looking back, I can tell you with clear certainty where I made mistakes and where I nailed it. After 22 years of owning my own business; going down the path I have traveled I could give you many examples as to what worked and what didn’t. But hindsight as they say.
That being said, again, everyone’s journey is a little different so let me ask you; what do you want your journey to look like?
Now, before you answer me, stop and really think about what I am asking. I am not asking how clients or customers you want to have or how much money you want to make. I am asking what you want your journey to look like. Let me explain.
Growing up, we didn’t have a lot of money, so vacations consisted of my family loading into the car and driving for hours or days to get to whatever destination we set out to see. Back then with zero electronics to keep kids occupied while mom and dad took turns driving the many miles to our destination; kids had to (gasp) look out the window at the world. Oh the horror, how did we survive!
Being a kid who was susceptible to motion sickness, reading, coloring or anything ‘in car’ wasn’t really on my agenda. There was a lot of hours for me of watching out the window, napping and snacking to pass the time. In the moment, it felt like forever. The hours would tick by slowly and I would wonder how much longer as it was sooooo boring. (For those of you who don’t know me well; I by nature am not a patient person, so waiting for the so called “final result” was difficult for me. I will be honest, I still struggle with that as an adult.)
Anyhow, after hours, sometimes days in the car we would reach our destination. Oh, the sense of freedom. Freedom from the car, freedom to explore, to learn, take things in. Did I mention that most of our vacations were to national parks, or historical sites? I truly take after my father in my love of history, so to me, these were amazing vacations.
Jump to present day, I am a mother to an amazing 12 year old daughter, wife of 15 years to a man that is my rock; and as for most people, our journey had taken us through some true heartbreak and tough times, but also some of the most amazing moments I could ever hope to have happen in my life.
As for my business career, in 22 years I have experienced the true highs owning your own business can bring; and I am proud to say, survived the great recession to come out the other side still having my clients, career and company.
Both personally and professionally my journey has many more miles to go, but I don’t want to be so focused on the destination that I/we are trying to reach that we don’t also enjoy the journey. I have made that mistake, and I will strive to not make it again.
So, why am I telling you all of this? Because I want you to remember is it so easy to get lost in focusing on the end result, then to look back on your journey and see so clearly what you should have done differently, what you just nailed and how you ended up where are now are.
Looking back on those road trips with my family something that I didn’t see until just the last couple of years, was how great the journey was. As great as the destination was when we finally reached it. It was truly the journey that was most impactful. So much happened on those journeys, not only did I get to see and experience so much of this country; but the true time I spent with my family in that car getting to do things like play the alphabet game, who am I or 20 questions stuck with me.
I have to admit driving though Nebraska and Kansas could get a little dull, but the point is, the experience of the journey mattered just as much as reaching the destination.
Often times we don’t see how much the journey can mold and shape who we are. So many of us think we know exactly where we want to end up; but either we don’t really know what to to do to get there, or don’t truly appreciate and experience the process of reaching our “destination”, our goals. Most think we have to have this perfect planned out road map, to get us from point A to point B and that if we deviate from that path at all, we failed. We didn’t fail.
If we pay attention to the journey while we are on it; if we allow ourselves to truly experience the journey, everyday, not only can we actively help direct it, but we can learn from our experiences along the way; and just maybe, actually enjoy the journey while we are on it.
The journey matters. Your client and customers journey matters. What they experience with you, and you with them on that journey, matters.
The journey doesn’t have to be perfect, you just have to care about the journey. I promise you, when you look back, when your clients and customers look back, the journey will matter as much as the destination.