I hate flying.
The requirement of flying for business was the one reason I didn’t pursue consulting coming out of undergrad. Instead, I thought I wanted to go into audit. Auditors had to visit client sites, but my sense was most of their travel was by car. And that was good enough with me (After showing up for an interview without my pants, that plan didn’t work out, which you can read about at your convenience.)
So what’s my issue with flying?
On top of the long lines, small seats, and constant delays, soaring 30,000 feet above ground makes me a tad uneasy (read: afraid).
But that didn’t stop me from feeling the way I did.
I know a lot of people who have walked away from car accidents. The probability of surviving the impact of plummeting to the ground from several miles high doesn’t seem quite as good… (I also don’t know anyone who’s been in a plane crash, but that’s beside the point.)
As irrational as my fear was, it carried real weight in my mind, and at some point I had to get over it, or I had to be ok with leaving opportunities on the table. Putting flying for business in that perspective made the choice (hypothetical at the time) clear for me.
With a little luck my mentor helped me create, I found myself in the position of actually needing to decide if I was willing to travel for my job. I could step out of my comfort zone – and change industries and become a road warrior (albeit with more pay) – or I could keep doing what I was doing, slowly climbing the corporate ladder one rung at a time.
I took the risk and haven’t looked back, even after a year of traveling 45 weeks.
If you’re waiting to start working towards a goal, what’s your biggest obstacle?
I’m guessing your answer to that question is less “reason” and more “excuse”. I’ve been getting a lot of emails lately about why people have put off taking the GMAT or started studying for the CPA exam.
Maybe you like the idea of your goal more than doing what it takes to make a reality. At some point, you have to stop thinking and start doing and make adjustments along your way if things don’t go as planned.
I’m not saying fear and hesitation is a bad thing. In fact, I think the opposite. It’s a perfectly normal response to drastic change. What I’m saying is you being able to put that fear aside and do what needs to be done anyway is part of what separates top performers from the ordinary.
For the record, I still hate flying, but it’s the cost of doing business.