Is Your Business Headed in the Right Direction?

Years ago, when I was a college student in San Diego, my bestie and I decided to drive up to Westwood one Saturday night to “hang out with the cool kids.” He drove and I was in charge of navigation in those pre-GPS days.

Its time to check your business map

We studied out the route ahead of time and marked it on our map. By the time we got to L.A. it was dark and as we cruised Hollywood Boulevard, I began to have the sense that something wasn’t right. We finally stopped to consult the map and realized that I had inadvertently turned the map upside down. Instead of heading toward our destination, we were traveling away from it. We quickly turned both ourselves and the map around and, within a short time, we were enjoying the wonders of Westwood on the weekend.

Recently, I was offered a business opportunity. Even as I accepted, I had that same sense that maybe something wasn’t quite right. This time around, being older and slightly wiser, I stopped right away to check my “map.” And sure enough, I realized my decision was actually taking me away from my goal.

I made the choice to reverse my decision immediately, even though it was somewhat inconvenient and cost me my initial investment (which thankfully wasn’t huge). But, it was better to suffer a little inconvenience and financial reversal, then to continue in the wrong direction and possibly completely lose my way. I look back at it as a small investment to avoid a costly mistake.

It is good for us to stop from time to time to “check our maps” and determine whether we are heading toward our goals or away from them. Sometimes our destination needs to change; sometimes we do. In today’s world, if we are not diligent and focused on our goals, it is easy to end up on the wrong road and lose our way. Whether it’s a business goal, or a personal one, you need to make sure your goals are clear and make sure it’s the right goal for you.

which way is your business headed

As the Cheshire Cat told Alice in Wonderland, “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there.”

It might be as simple as refocusing or it might be more involved, even evaluating and considering whether you are in the right business. Wherever you fall on the spectrum, periodic review, and if needed redirection, is critical to our success in business and in life.

Do you regularly review your business goals? Have you checked your map lately? Is your business headed in the right direction? Do you need some redirection? How do you make sure you are aligned with your goals and still headed in the direction you need to go to be successful?

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  1. Loved this easy, well written & smart article. I tried keeping my business simple with just a website & my product but since taking on applying social media marketing, I floundered on my own taking wrong turns. Then, I turned to some ‘professionals’ & by following too many, went into cul de sacs, driveways & ditches. I just hooked up with someone who will put me on the right course. I didn’t even know I needed course correction & map building skills, but found it out & your article hit home. Thanks.

  2. This is a great analogy – and I couldn’t agree more! We all need to know where we’re going first and foremost – that way you can make course corrections wherever necessary. I am constantly analyzing my choices and making sure they are getting me closer to my goals, but I do know this isn’t always the case with entrepreneurs, so this is a fabulous message you’re sending out, and much needed!

  3. Oh my gosh – such a great analogy and so very important to do – “check our maps.” I’ve been doing this, myself, (finally!), and it’s so freeing to say no when I would have said yes believing I had to squeeze one more thing in because “it” might just be the thing that would be the key. Thanks for a great post!

    1. So glad you enjoyed it, Lisa. I’ve always been a bit of a map lover–and so I find maps a great metaphor for so many things in our lives.

  4. I sure do review! As a matter of fact last week I had the flu…lots of time to lay around and rethink where I am heading. It was the only positive part of the experience 🙂

    1. So sorry you were sick, Anita. That is never any fun–but it doesn’t surprise me at all that you found a way to gain something positive from it.

  5. Great post, Marie! I absolutely agree that we need to check out “maps” from time to time to make sure we are on the right path.

  6. I love your map analogy Marie! I agree, checking the map every once in awhile is a good thing to do. I’ve done that a few times already this year just to make sure I’m heading in the right direction. Thanks!

  7. Yes, I learned to review my business goals periodically, and I also use to analyze everything I’m doing and re-direct my plans if I notice that they aren’t work the way I wanted. But I can complete related with your post, I already got excited about some stuff and realized that weren’t for me, at least at that moment!

  8. Nice article and metaphor. Reminds you to check the map now before having to do a mistake that you’ll greatly regret. Review your plans and keep your eyes on the goal. Thanks for sharing

  9. Love the map metaphor, and this rings true to me. Perhaps I have been reading my map upside down! 🙂 Much to think about. Thank you!

  10. This is a great post Marie! I agree that it’s really important to check you map on a regular basis and be OK with the idea of needing to back track or completely change direction if needs be. Checking in with your intuition is key 🙂

  11. I totally agree. We do have to check our map. I know that every day I have the opportunity to stay on track with my business or get side tracked. Thank you for sharing this point. Looking forward to your next post!

    1. Thank you, Katrina. I think it is a constant exercise for all of us. I appreciate your comments.

  12. How true! It is so important to check our goals map quite regularly. It is so easy to take a side road that leads us totally off track of our real target. Thanks for this reminder.

    1. Oh, yes. The shiny object syndrome. I am so guilty of wandering off on interesting side roads. Thankfully, though, I’ve always found my way back.

  13. Many of us do intuitive gut checks an a regular basis … but a formal assessment of where we are on the path to our goal is also important. Anything to keep us on track and not wandering down interesting little detours! (Of course, this assumes we made one of those bugaboo things called a business plan to start with!)

    1. Oh, yeah. That pesky business plan. It’s amazing how many people find one of those completely unnecessary. That certainly would make business more of an adventure. 🙂

  14. Stopping by from Growin’ N Luvin’ the BIZ! Great article! Goals are so important to have and stay focused on. 😉 I also find that having a schedule and sticking to it has become very beneficial! 😉

  15. So nice that those gut instincts kick in for us now that we are little order, and we are wise enough to pay attention to them! This is a great reminder, with so much noise in our lives constantly that can distract us from our goals! Thanks for sharing!

  16. I enjoyed this article! It always helps to know why we do what we do and really listen to my audience!

    1. Thank you, MarVeena. I appreciate your comments. I am glad you enjoyed the article.

  17. I think I let my map get away from me at times and I make a mistake or two along the way! Thanks for sharing this experience! It really makes you think about your life and your goals!

    1. Don’t we all, Liz? I think it’s just part of life. And thankfully, we can change course when we realize it.

  18. I always make sure that I am keeping my audience in mind when I am blogging. My niche is fairly wide open and I can blog about almost anything family related. My goal is to create useful posts that help others, as long as my posts meet that requirement then I am keeping my ultimate blogging goal.

    1. That sounds great, Christy. I have another blog that has that kind of openness. I can blog about almost anything, so my goal is that it be of interest and use to my readers as well.

  19. Excellent article….great reminder as well! Thanks, Marie. This is really informative. I check my “map” on a regular basis.

  20. This is spot on. Too many times we keep pushing through and ignoring our “sense” that things are not what they are supposed to be. There is something to be said about ‘business intuition’.

    1. I agree, Robert. When I was younger I often doubted that intuition, deferring to “experts” who clearly knew more than I did. I have learned over the years, though, that no one knows my business and my needs better than I.

  21. Marie Leslie, I just had a similar experience like the business opportunity you mentioned. I had to reverse and reduce my input to minimal when I realized that it was detracting me from growing my own business and I was working for someone else for almost nothing, and spending a lot of time in the wrong direction.

    1. I think that happens to all of us. We start out with the best of intentions but soon realize it really isn’t helping either one of us to stay on the wrong road.

  22. Very good post! We absolutely need to check out “maps” periodically to make sure we are on the right path!

      1. I feel that our maps change daily these days, but there is always 1 goal we are after!

  23. Hi Marie,

    I like your metaphor of the “map” to do a “reality” check, to make sure what we are doing is for our highest and greatest good of ourselves and our business. I find this very useful. Thank you so much!