You’ve Got to Start Somewhere

By Alan Olsen

How do you get to where you want to be? Should you plan out your course from start to finish and calculate every step of the way before you begin? Should you know exactly where your path is going to lead before you begin your journey? The answer might depend on where you’re going, but in most cases, you have to start somewhere. There could be a lot of uncertainty and a lot of unanswered questions, but the fact is you have to head in a direction if you want to get somewhere. It’s also true that at some point you’ll figure it out. That’s not to say that you should just head blindly down a path with no plan, but you do have to take the first step at some point even if you can’t decipher the end from the beginning.


Start By Doing Something

Jeff Hayzlett, the CEO of Hayzlett Group, shared some insight on this subject with me when we spoke on my radio program American Dreams. Jeff said you have to start by going somewhere. “Someone once asked me what’s my greatest achievement or what’s my biggest failure. I said ‘I don’t know, I haven’t done it yet.’ And that’s really the way in which I think you should do it. I don’t think the leaders of these major, major companies – I happen to know who they are, a lot of them – they didn’t start off with that in mind. They started off doing something.” Jeff said it doesn’t really matter what it is you want to do, you have to take the first step and start by going somewhere.


Mistakes Are Part of the Process

Speaking about these leaders at some of the most successful companies Jeff said it’s possible they were working at a fast food chain, or at a local saddle shop at some point, but they all started somewhere. However, where they started isn’t important, what mattered was they started. So it really doesn’t matter who you are and where you are, you have to start and then you’ll figure it out along the way. “The most important thing with business we’re going to learn…is that unless you’re operating heavy machinery or you’re operating on someone, if you make a mistake no one is going to die. And that’s really what it’s about.”


Try, Try Again

It might sound kind of extreme, but as Jeff pointed out, in almost all situations no one’s life is on the line. So if you make a mistake it isn’t going to kill anyone. With that idea in mind Jeff says it’s important to go out and give things a try. “You’ll find something that works for you. If it doesn’t work for you then try something else.” No one wants to fail, but sometimes it takes several tries before we find success. So the bottom line is you have to start somewhere.

To see my interview with Jeff Hayzlett, click here