What is the True Value?
The value of a good guide is actually a subject I have been approaching in my life and business more and more lately as I have been guiding others in starting a side business or pursuing a dream that’s been buried under obligations of a very full life. The priceless value of a good guide was confirmed on a recent trip my husband and I took to Alaska. We stayed in the little coastal town of Seward, which was absolutely picture-perfect gorgeous. As we took several day-trips, we experienced the value of a good guide on multiple occasions. At times that guide was a person, and other times, the guide was in the form of a path.
We would have never known about the secret underground fort that was built during WWII on one of the small stand-alone rock-islands if not for a good guide who told us the story of the Harbor Defense System. Our guide also pointed out the gun mounts, still standing at the top of some of those small islands. She then talked about the wildlife, including the pair of eagles we saw every quarter mile, the sea otters with their babies in tow gracefully swimming just beyond our normal eye’s viewing distance, and the hundreds of tufted puffins, camouflaged while making their nests in craggy rock openings. (listen to the podcast episode below, then subscribe!)
A Clear Path
A clear path can also serve as a good guide. If you have ever ventured out on an early-morning hike in an unfamiliar place as I have, you understand the value of a well-worn trail. When the questions arise, Which way should I go? or Should I go up this little hill?, they are quieted when viewing the clear path ahead, even if there are branches in the way. (Or you've hit a plateau! Here's a good article about What to Do When You Hit a Plateau!)
Much of the importance of finding a good guide applies to life and business. This is confirmed with some of the words I hear from women at the halftime of their life. (age 40 and above- here's a great article about haltime: How Do You Know You're at Halftime?) They communicate feelings of being lost, uncertain, stuck or confused. When facing that reality, one thing I know for sure is it’s much easier to get to your destination if there is a clear path and a good guide. When the trail of life gets a bit rough and you feel like giving up, it’s great to be reassured that there are those who have gone before you and not only survived, but successfully survived!
It is important to use discernment in choosing this guide. There are many who put up a storefront either virtually or physically, touting expertise. Wading through this crowded space can be quite challenging. (Do a Google search on the word expert and you’ll see what I mean!) Do due diligence with references and referrals. Don’t hesitate to trust your intuition. I feel it is a God-given gift.
Conferences are also a great resource for guidance. There are so many good ones out there but if not careful, you can become a conference junkie, going from event to event, with lots of information and not enough application. I have seen this quite a bit, especially in the arts, although part of seeking good guidance is developing significant relationships with other colleagues. So I don’t want to discount the value of meeting together in larger groups as the experience alone can be uplifting and helpful.
Finally, don’t be afraid to take the leap and trust. This is a tough one for many. Because there are so many so-called experts and options, it’s easy to put this off and just save the decision for a later time. I love the saying, If you could get there on your own you would probably be there already. (Click here for FREE Goal Setting Worksheets) When trust is broken in one area, I know it’s difficult to take a step to trust again, but I want to encourage you to not put this off! Let’s sum this up with four takeaways that can apply directly to you.
Four Takeaways for a Good Guide
Good Guide Takeaway One: Understand the worth of a good guide. Evaluate this for your own life and business, no matter what stage.
Good Guide Takeaway Two: Be willing to invest in yourself with a guide that can help you.
Good Guide Takeaway Three: Commit to applying what you learn, with a guide or an event with other like-minded colleagues.
Good Guide Takeaway Four: Trust and take the leap. If you don’t start you’ll never finish! Remember, if you could get there on your own you would probably be there already!
I hope this helps you in your journey and may your future paths lead to happiness and much success!