by Ashley Mady
The road to startup success is long and winding. But if you look carefully you can often find a few handy loopholes.
Whatever your destination may be, if you look hard enough and travel smart, you can discover a way to get there faster. They’re called loopholes and they are usually right in front of you. You need only to take your blinders off to see them.
Here are 5 tips that are sure to help you accomplish your dreams with more ease than you ever thought possible.
1. Know Your Destination
Before you become a master of identifying loopholes, you have to make sure you clearly define your end goals. The first step you take before embarking on a cross-country road trip is to punch in your destination’s coordinates into your GPS. The same concept applies before tackling any objective. You should begin with your desired end point in mind.
2. Map Out Possible Solutions
There will always be alternate routes available when traveling to your destination. It is being able to identify which path is most worth traveling. If you want to go places and get there in record time, you need to think beyond the immediate and obvious contributing variables. You can’t simply consider approximate miles and estimated arrival time and call it a day. You need to account for traffic, unexpected accidents and possible road blocks.
Cover all of your bases. Begin by asking yourself, “How can I accomplish my goal in the quickest and most effective way possible?” Then map out at least 20 ways to make that happen. Don’t shorten your list when you hit a creative block — sometimes it’s the last answer that renders the best solution.
3. Identify Your Vehicle
Once you’ve selected the most efficient course, consider the mode of transportation you’ll need to take that ride. What compromises are you willing to make to get there faster? Do you need a career change or will your current vehicle get you to the same intersection without taking up too much time? Are you willing to risk financial security, even temporarily? Do you need space for others? Most importantly, decide if you have what it takes to be the driver and be able to recognize when it’s time to hand over the wheel to another passenger.
4. Use Your Mirrors
Loopholes are like potholes; you often don’t see them until it’s too late and you’re stuck with a flat tire and headache. Keep your eyes open and proactively be on the lookout for when the next one might arise. Talk to others, share your ideas, reflect on your past and ensure you are staying true to why you started in the first place. It’s easy to get off-course and miss the exit if you’re too busy checking your rearview for what you’ve left behind. Maintain your focus, follow the signs (and your gut)…and yes, U-turns are okay! Mistakes are bound to happen. Learn from them and keep moving forward, only this time put the pedal to the metal.
5. Put the Top Down
What’s the point of a road trip if you’re not going to enjoy the ride? Roll down the windows, lower that top and embrace the winds of change whipping across your face. If you’re excited about where you’re heading, you’ll travel faster — it’s that simple.
Ashley Mady, president of Brandberry, is a brand builder with a proven track record in design, marketing, licensing and merchandising.
A version of this post originally appeared on the author’s blog.