We can’t go at this alone.
The journey to the top, personally and professionally, is long. It’s taxing. To get there, we need help. A lot of it. And the sooner we admit we don’t know everything, the better off we’ll be.
Google is great. Books and videos and podcasts are, too.
But other people are the best resources we have.
Identify people you wish to emulate. Find those who once walked the same path you’re on. Get out of your comfort zone and send an introductory email asking to set up a Zoom. Or when it’s safe, get together and offer to buy that person a coffee.
And when you meet, pepper him or her with questions. Check your ego at the door and focus only on that person. Show a genuine curiosity in that person’s story. It’s not annoying, trust me -- people love talking about themselves.
Those same questions we wrestle with every day? The self-doubt and the worrying and the confusion? Our role models have dealt with those for years. They’ve made the mistakes you’re afraid to make. And guess what? They’ve emerged relatively unscathed, just like all of us will, no matter what we tell ourselves.
A few weeks ago, I wrote a letter to the older generation, asking them to try to understand us better. I said that with love and no disrespect; I admire those older than me because of the years of wisdom they possess. They’ve been through the ringer; they’ve made the tough decisions. So ask for one person’s advice. Or even better, ask 10. Gather all the information you can so that you can make an informed decision.
Because in this time in our lives, we constantly face tough decisions. Should I buy a house or keep renting? Should I get married or keep dating? I really don’t know the answers to those questions.
But I know the right people to ask. If they turned out OK, I know that I will, too.