I once had a job where the only constant was change. You would show up on Monday morning and find out we had a brand new strategy. We’d be told to switch directions days after launching a big campaign. There was no regard for anything that had already been created if the CEO decided it should be scrapped.
I was at a point in my career where change was something that happened around me, to me, despite me. Sometimes, the pace of change felt exhilarating. Other times it felt like a war zone.
Which is why it’s a little surprising how much I value change these days. A couple of years since making the jump to entrepreneurship, I’ve not only gotten used to it – I’ve actually come to appreciate it! I love having the flexibility to react to new information quickly and effectively. I’ve discovered that even though it’s hard, change is empowering when you feel ownership, and when you’ve experienced how it drives towards results.
When you’re in the early stages of a new endeavor, you don’t know what you don’t know. There’s no data about how your product performs, or whether the audience will adopt it. It exists entirely in your head – it’s the idea of what you’re building that you imagine before you build it. And as long as it’s in your head, your idea is perfect, because you haven’t tried it out and learned the thousand or million things that are wrong with it.
"I’ve discovered that even when it’s hard, change is empowering when you feel ownership, and when you’ve experienced how it drives towards results."
That’s why execution is so important. As an entrepreneur, every step you take towards launching your idea into the world is going to yield new insights. Bad entrepreneurs reject the feedback and stick to what’s in their head. Good entrepreneurs take the new insights and change. They understand that their idea is just a north star to guide decision making, not a precise roadmap to be followed blindly.
A former Connecticut State Legislator and Board Director of the Girls Scouts, Pauline R. Kezer, wisely said, “Continuity gives us roots; change gives us branches, letting us stretch and grow and reach new heights.”
“Continuity gives us roots; change gives us branches, letting us stretch and grow and reach new heights.”
As entrepreneurs, we need to be deeply rooted, like a tree, into our company’s north star, but malleable to change to serve our mission like branches. Mastering this balance will make you proactive instead of reactive, and turn challenges into rewards.