I’m fascinated by the paths we think we need to follow to achieve something.
When I thought about getting in to ski coaching, I had this thinking that I’d start coaching beginners, then work my up through intermediates, experts and finally ski instructors and competitors. What happened instead was I was in a bar in resort, saw the director of the local ski school, went across the room and introduced myself. As a result of that brief conversation within a month I was coaching a group of ski instructors get through their exams! Straight to end point!
In business, companies advertise their services thinking it will attract new business. Oddly, all the marketers I know who have left a company to set up their own consultancy never use advertising? Why? They tell me it rarely works! But when they were employed, they thought that’s what they were expected to do, so did that.
In skiing, people usually go from ‘pizza’ to ‘chips’: starting at snow plough (think making a pizza wedge with your skis), then near parallel, then parallel skiing (think ‘chips’), like you see skiing on the TV. It’s not necessary to go through that process – and it can be a very slow and painful and frustrating learning experience – but it’s the one that’s taught because most people think that’s the way that works, and so end up following that path.
Now, I’m not saying that the linear mapped out process might achieve the results you desire and get you to your goal. Following someone else’s tracks often looks like a great idea, but you’ll probably have a slightly bumpy ride as you can never follow their path exactly. So carve your own path.