You’re waiting for what? It’s amazing how much of our energy is NOT spent by waiting for someone else to do something, waiting for something to happen, waiting for someone to start something. You are waiting for…
The thing is, you can start. Really.
When I worked for the phone company, I started a new version of the customer service newsletter and became publisher. After a while, I talked my way into a supervisory role. After that, I figured out how to become management. And then I jumped with an old boss (Hi, Dave Johnson!) to join a wireless company.
When I worked for a wireless telecommunications company, I started a conference with Christopher S. Penn. On the last day of the conference, Jeff Pulver gave me an amazing job and opportunity. I quit my other job and went for it. I also started taking paid speaking gigs (very very small ones at first. Thanks, Guy Kawasaki for changing that for me).
A year later, when I realized that I had to move on (the Internet video world wasn’t ready for what we had in mind), I moved into CrossTech and started something new. A year after that, I went from being an employee to starting New Marketing Labs with CrossTech as the core backer and funder. A year or so after that, I started Human Business Works and convinced Rob Hatch to join me.
The thing is, in all those cases, I made the opportunity happen. In all those cases, I figured out a way to keep my family fed while moving between roles. In all those cases, I had to realize that waiting is rarely the right path, unless it’s part of an active plan.
The Right Kind of Waiting
I’m terrified when people send me an email that says, “Well, I followed your lead and quit my job. I put out my consulting shingle today, and I’m going to make a go of it.” I’m terrified because that’s not what I did. I had a move planned every step of the way. When I was at the phone company, I interviewed and got the job at the wireless place. When I left the wireless place, I had a role with Jeff Pulver. And so on. Every move I’ve made has had financial and timing-related preparation (sometimes precious little).
There is a “right kind” of waiting. For instance, if you’re miserable at your job, it’d be a good idea to start cutting expenses, canceling excesses, and packing away months of extra rent/mortgage/food/living money. Three to six would be idea, but sometimes, you can scrape bottom a little on the way out. So, wait until you can afford 3 months of money.
Chuck Norris Doesn’t Sleep
He waits. The point being, if you’re ready to take action, put a plan together, but don’t wait around for things to be just right, and don’t wait for others to come and rescue you from reality. Plan.
And then go for it. And if you screw up (which is what most people seem to fear), correct. Figure out another plan. Don’t actually have a giant planning contingency. Just execute and then adapt. It’s more fun.