"I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I need to be" - Douglass Adams
If you ask any successful person if their career has gone exactly as they planned it and I doubt you would get one affirmative answer. Careers (and life in general) are really hard to plan out and structure to our liking. There are too many variables that are out of our control.
My theory is that successful people succeed, in large part, because they are able to react and respond well when something unexpected happens. When something doesn't go according to plans, they don't give up. They evaluate their new options and then pick another road to take.
Those who fail are often just guilty of giving up when the plan fell through. They let a bump in the road become a barrier that stops them altogether.
I'm a big believer in making plans. I always like to have a plan for where I want to go next with my career and with my life. But, I've learned not to count on the plan going exactly as I have laid it out. I follow my plan until it falls apart or until I discover a better road to take along the way.
Looking back on my career, there are not many elements of my original plan in place. I didn't know enough at the beginning to make a plan that would get me where I am today. I did the best I could at the time, and that first plan got me started down the road. Those plans falling through actually led to the successful roads I found.
Those moments when the plan fell through were often frightening and stress producing, but they were ALWAYS catalysts for growth. I learned and became better every time my plans fell through.
So, I encourage everyone to plan, but to make sure you don't get married to your plan. Always stay ready to adapt and adjust the plan as you learn and grow. That way, if (or when) your plan falls through, you aren't devastated. You're primed and ready to build on what you have learned and go another direction.
Even if you don’t know how to get where you want to go, make a plan that gets you pointed in that direction. Head down that road. And trust that you will wind up where you need to be, even if it’s not were you originally set out to go. Learning to adapt and change your plan is crucial if you want to succeed!
Marty Dodson is a songwriter, corporate trainer and entrepreneur. His songs have been recorded by artists such as Rascal Flatts, Carrie Underwood, Kenny Chesney, Joe Cocker, Leon Russell and The Plain White T’s. He once bumped Psy out of the #1 spot on the K-Pop charts but that’s another story for another day. Marty plays Taylor and Batson guitars. Follow him here: www.facebook.com/songtownusa, at www.facebook.com/martydodsonsongwriter and at Twitter @SongTownUSA or visit