Do you have the ability to lay the tracks?

Dec 15, 2018Stories, Video


Hey there, it's Monica, happy Saturday, December 15th. Wow! December 15th, 10 days before Christmas. 🎄🎁✨

We went to our house today and on the way back we went to Starbucks to get a snack. I did not grow up near Starbucks. We live so far out of town. We didn't go to town to get a snack. That wasn't a thing. We just didn't because it was too far. We'll eat inside the house, which is fine.

So, Colson were out running around, and while he's doing that, I was sitting there thinking, “There's going to be so many opportunities for him.” 

When I was his age, the internet didn't exist so I didn't have the opportunities I have now. And you know, there's so many opportunities that the internet has created and I know you know that.

I was just sitting there thinking, “What is the world gonna look like when he's my age?” 

“In 40 years, what is it going to look like for my little dude?”

I want him to grow up to be a really solid human. And I was thinking, “What can I teach him?” And then I realized that the thing he has to learn that they don't teach you in school is how to lay your own tracks in front of you.

And what I mean by that is when you're in school, they teach you what to do. Your track is very clear. If you were in a train, you would know you were going to point A, to point B to point C. You get grades along the way so you know if you're doing good or bad. You know if you're growing fast enough.

You know all these things. All these markers happen.

And then you leave for college because if you're on that track, generally you're going to college too. But actually, you don't have to go to college. At the moment, for some professions, I definitely think you don't need to go to college and I don't think that college is for everyone. And so I think this mindset that everyone has to go to college is crazy, but that's a different story.

So, the ability to lay the tracks in front of you and just do it on demand, and just figure it out as you go, is really what it's going to take to succeed anytime, in any place, anywhere.

If you can figure stuff out on the fly as you go, then you are going to be equipped to handle anything.

I have now traveled so much that I literally will sometimes not book my car if I'm renting a car until I'm on the plane to the destination. I have it so down, I know how to lay traveled tracks in front of myself very quickly.

But I also expect the tracks to get derailed. I think that even if you get good at laying the track, you need to expect them to be derailed because it's going to happen.

I started my career as a traveling consultant. I was on an airplane twice a week. I was really good friends with the one gate agent for TWA Airlines in Detroit. I was 22. She'll  book me for my flight and give me free miles and free trips elsewhere. My whole goal was to travel. So when you travel as much as I've traveled,  you'll get really good at expecting interruptions and things to happen.

I think that in entrepreneurship you need to expect to do that. You need to be able to lay your own tracks and expect them to get derailed every once in a while. And when that happens, it's a learning. It's not really a failure.

So, I was thinking, “How can I lay the tracks out and teach Colson to do that and teach other people to do that because I just think it's like the most critical skill?”

Having that ability to see the road in front of you and get there even when there's not a path. Because I feel like that's what happens after you leave school. It's like, “Oh, well you get a job and then there's no more path except for maybe get married and have kids.”

But I feel like that's sort of degrading in our society today, but there's just really no path, so you have to make your own and to do that. You got to figure out where you want to go. 

Like, if you're trying to travel, so say I want to go from Tennessee to New York City, there's like 50 ways to get there.  I could take a car, could take a train, I can take a plane, I can take all of those things combined and can take the scenic route. I take the direct route. I can do whatever I wanted to do. But knowing how to do that and knowing how to make that happen, can be a little confusing.

And so one of the ways that I do that is I think about all those different things. “How fast do I need to get there? What's the most direct path?”

And you can do this with your goals too. And then I've noticed that I've been getting derailed by still what I think other people expect me to do. And that's a really tough one. You would think that by now I'd be over it, but I'm really not. 

I remember, nobody ever asked me if I was going to college. They said “Where.” The question was never, “Are you going to college?” It was, “Where are you going to college?”

So the question now that I'm an entrepreneur, is like “When are you going to make your first million dollars?”

And I was like, well, “My company's already done that.”

“Well, when are you going to generate your first 10 million” 

These markers of money; and I don't think they're bad markers. It's just that I'm not really sure that's the kind of company I want to run right now in this phase of my life. That's why I'm trying to push back against that pressure, and lay the tracks that I want to lay.

I encourage you to do the same. Think about what you really want. Think about the tracks that you're laying in front of you, where they're headed, and how they may possibly get derailed because they will.

There's one thing I learned is that your plans will always get derailed somehow. So just expect it and don't get too upset by it and keep going.