Decision-making has always been a core part of conversation within the Unreal Collective Accelerator – and that’s only become more evident over the last several weeks.
During uncertain times, each decision comes with more weight.
The stakes feel higher, we ask more questions, and we waffle a lot more.
I think we assign too much weight to decisions.
We tell ourselves that there must be a right answer and a wrong answer.
And when everything feels so intense already – it’s unbearable to imagine picking a wrong answer.
But there’s a lot more nuance than that.
I shake my head when people advocate for “dropping out of school” to pursue your dreams or a business as if it’s a permanent decision.
Most decisions don’t come at a hard fork in the road.
Most decisions are more like a detour that you can take, and continue following, or return to the original path.
Most decisions aren’t irreversible or irrevocable.
Actually, there isn’t “dropping out” of school – there’s taking a leave of absence. You can return later if you’d like.
Here, choose your own adventure: Take a quick detour with me, or jump forward and follow this road below…
I recently spoke with an Ohio State student nearing graduation. He had gotten a taste of entrepreneurship with a project he was involved in, but he had been following a path that would surely lead to a well-paid engineering role.
He asked me why I had taken an entrepreneurial path and he asked me about job security.
I told him the truth: in the beginning, I was bull-headed and overconfident.
But I see things differently now – and I’m thankful for veering off the road I was following.
More than 26 million Americans have filed for unemployment in the wake of COVID-19. If you’re one of those people, I am truly, truly sorry that this has happened.
It’s, by far, the highest rate of unemployment since we started tracking the metric in 1967.
Obviously this is an unprecedented situation we find ourselves in – but I look at it as an accelerant that is exposing what was already true.
Corporations aren’t operating responsibly.
Our leaders are unprepared to appreciate or even move at the speed of reality.
And job security is a thing of the past.
Yes, there’s nuance to that too – and some of those who are employed are so essential and irreplaceable (mostly due to soft skills) that they have more security than others.
But, unfortunately, there are 26+ million Americans who weren’t that person.
Even the government-backed financial programs we thought were being passed to relieve small businesses mostly went to the large businesses who were acting irresponsibly!
We can’t depend on the government to bail us out.
We can’t depend on our company to provide job security.
We have to be able to depend on ourselves.
The best job security is being skilled, known, and in-demand. Communication and soft skills are valued now more than ever. There will always be opportunities for those people.
I’ve never been more thankful for my decision to make my own path.
…back to the road.
Most decisions aren’t a permanent, binary, “yes/no” or “right/wrong.”
Most decisions are just tradeoffs.
If every decision clearly presented one path with everything you wanted and another path with nothing that you wanted, it’d be cut and dry.
But that’s almost never the case – usually, you’re making some sort of tradeoff.
One path may give you more flexibility, but less stable income.
One path may give you more upward mobility, but less time with your kids.
Don’t give yourself a “right or wrong” narrative. It doesn’t serve you.
Instead, consider the tradeoffs. Write them down if it helps. Recognize that there ARE tradeoffs and compromises.
…and then decide which tradeoff you’d be most comfortable with.
It’s a question of priorities, not righteousness.
And, if that detour doesn’t go where you wanted, find your way back to the road.
But your detour may lead to a new, previously unmarked path.
That’s the thing about roads – they already have their course and destination set.
When you’re following your own sense of direction, you blaze a new trail.
But, detours aren’t for everyone.
And they’re usually slower.