Derek Sivers

from the book “”:

Switch strategies


Driving directions include a few turns: Go straight until that intersection. Turn left until it ends. Turn right, up the hill, and through the last gate.

The same is true in life. You need to change directions a few times to get where you want to go.

“Stay the course” is bad advice. If you don’t turn at one of those intersections you’ll carry on forever in the wrong direction, and it takes a long time to reverse.

Early in your career, the best strategy is to say yes to everything. Do it all. The more things you try, and the more people you meet, the better. Each one might lead to your lucky break.

Then when something is extra-rewarding, it’s time to switch strategies. Focus all of your energy on this one thing. Don’t be leisurely. Strike while it’s hot. Be a freak. Give it everything you’ve got.

If by chance it was a dead-end road, then switch strategies back to saying yes.

Eventually your focus on something will pay off. Because you’re successful, you’ll be overwhelmed with opportunities and offers in your field. Because they’re all so rewarding, you’ll want to do them all. But this is where you need to switch strategies again. This is where you learn to say “hell yeah or no”, to prevent drowning.

Now you admit you’ve arrived at your first destination. This is where you stop following old directions, and decide where you’re going next. The new path means you’ll need to switch strategies again.

“Sharp Turns” photo by David Hepburn

P.S. When you’ve arrived at your first destination, I highly recommend the great book “What Got You Here Won’t Get You There”.