In December 2011, I was the Managing Partner of Peak Advisor Alliance and had been running the company for 11 years. To prepare for the year ahead, I had a call with a top business coach. He asked me a simple question, “On a scale of 1 to 10, how enthusiastic are you about what you’re doing?”
There were a few seconds of silence.
The coach picked up on my hesitation in answering and he said we have to get to the root of that before we do anything else.
Over the next few weeks, I did some serious self-reflection. I projected myself 10 years forward and looking back. I envisioned two scenarios for the previous decade. One was leaving my job and blazing a new path and the second was staying at Peak.
I leaned on two of my favorite quotes that clearly laid out my dilemma.
- “Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore” by Andre Gide.
- “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes” by Marcel Proust.
The first quote argues for leaving the safety of the known while the second quote says reframe your current situation and make it better.
In my case, after six weeks of soul searching, the first won. I decided it was time to blaze a new path and lose sight of the shore. So, I quit.
It took about 18 months of flopping around until I finally “discovered a new ocean.”
With the New Year approaching, these two quotes are a great way to frame your 2021 strategy.
Ask yourself, “What new shores do you want to sail toward, and which existing strategies do you want to reframe and double down on?” It’s a dual strategy of trying some new things while also doubling down on what’s currently working.