Bumps (ramps) along the way

When starting to do something new, the seemingly obvious problem is never the real problem. It’s always the extra step, the extra coordination, the extra red tape that becomes the last frontier to getting a project off the ground.

The reason is that when we venture into something, we always tell ourselves “the reason no one has done this before is because they don’t want to deal with X.” X in this case being the obvious roadblock that seemingly prevents competition from entering the fray. Then we convince ourselves that we know how to maneuver around this, and resolve to soldier on whenever we eventually get to this threshold.

Little do we know that the original problem is only a small bump right in front of a more sophisticated and dangerous problem ahead. And very often this NEW problem is actually the step that presents the most promise for learning and growth. This is where 80% of people give up. Before tackling this seemingly unrelated and annoying wall. In reality, we need to acknowledge this large bump in the road for what it really is. It’s actually more of a ramp. A ramp with which if we gain enough momentum on the approach, we can use to propel ourselves and our business into a more exciting, lucrative path.

When talking about this I usually refer to Kanye West’s career story since it’s a perfect example. Mr. West himself has said that as a youth his original career aspiration was to design video games. Shortly after starting to pursue this venture, he realized that video games needed to have a soundtrack. As annoying as this setback was, he didn’t let it deter him and he acquired a music sampler he could use to program music for the game. Needless to say he soon became enamored with making music, and the video game industry no longer had the same appeal. He used a small roadblock as a ramp to catapult him into something that offered even more glory and riches.

Now imagine if we all took this approach when starting a new venture. If we sped up before an unexpected roadblock, as opposed to slowing down. This would practically banish each and every roadblock in the future. Life would be just a derby course full of ramps.

3 Comments

  1. I love this perspective, I’ve never thought of it this way. It kind of ties into this ‘path-finding’ phase that myself and so many others are going through. You find something that you think is a perfect fit for you, then it inevitably evolves into something you would’ve never thought you’d be doing from the beginning of your journey. Great post.

    • Exactly, Brandon. No one ever truly knows where their path might lead them. But as long as you give those ramps your best shot you’re guaranteed success sooner or later.

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