I am sure it's happened to you too?
You know exactly where you want to get to—you even have the map—then something unexpected happens... the road is closed.
Happened to me this week. What should have been a 2½ hour journey turned into 4 hours+. We had not one but two road closures (both motorways) on our trip and ended up heading in the 'wrong' direction more than once. Always disconcerting to be heading east when you want to be going west...whilst the sat nav is busy 're-calculating' at you (even though you're following the diversion signs!).
But we got there in the end.
Yes it took longer, and cost us more in fuel, and we ended up coming in from an entirely different direction BUT we still got there. And we didn't give up. We might have ignored 'official' advice after a while (the diversion signs put out by someone else we weren't convinced by) and switched to our own intuition (with the help of Google maps!) and made it there in the end.
And that's what happens in business—a lot. You know where you want to go, you have a plan, but something unexpected comes up. You get diverted. It might be a technical detour, it might be a timing detour, it might be a team detour, it might be a marketing detour... but it is just a detour—you're still headed the same way.
That's the point at which you need some help, of course. You might want to get a guide who's been there before (who has already handled all the diversions and road closures), you might want a coach who can help you 'see' your own intuition and help you make up your new route that works best for you. But whatever you do, don't give up on getting to your destination—your destination hasn't changed,it's just waiting for you to get there a different way.
The difference between a diversion and a distraction...
Now, there is something very different between a diversion and a distraction! One of those will NOT get you where you want to go. Yup, you know very well that's the distraction. It may be that someone has told you about a fantastical sparkly new town you MUST visit TODAY as your life will never be the same if you don't. And even though it's totally in the opposite direction of where you want to get to, you can't help yourself (well, it is sparkly after all) and so you start to turn around and head over there instead. And this might 'look' like a new business idea—some crazy marketing you want to try out, a new niche you could adapt your Thing for, a brand new market that looks exciting, or a new shiny anything at all that wasn't on your radar before. BUT beware, this is only a diversion if the sat nav is still programmed to your destination. If you abandon the sat nav and head off boldly in a totally different direction, then it's a distraction. And this might be stopping you from getting to your destination.
If you're not sure that you can take the 'scenic' route past Sparkly Town without it being a distraction, this is when not having a guide—or at least being accountable—can mean a diversion becomes a distraction. There's absolutely nothing wrong with taking a detour—I know mine were far more scenic that the views from the motorway—but don't lose sight of where you're going. There is no 'right' way to get there, but you need to get there if that's where you can do your Thing.
Hope I didn't lose you with this metaphor... :)
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