Are You Drowning In a Vortex of Information Gathering?
Are you drowning in a vortex of information gathering?
You want to do something—like compete in a triathlon—so you research the types of triathlons,
what triathletes are supposed to eat,
what to wear in a triathlon,
what kind of bike to buy,
what shoes to wear,
what to do if you have to pee during the swim,
how many people died last year in triathlons,
etc. etc. etc.?
Before you know it, you’ve talked yourself out of doing a triathlon.
So, how do you get yourself out of the vortex of information gathering?
You take action.
That doesn’t mean you have to sign up for an Ironman right away.
Taking on such a huge challenge can be paralyzing.
Instead, start small by crafting an experiment.
Herminia Ibarra, an organization behavior professor at London Business School, suggests crafting experiments as part of a “test and learn” approach to career change.
Whether you want to compete in your first triathlon, start your own business or write a book, here are three tips to crafting an experiment that will allow you to dip your toe in the water.
#1 KEEP IT SMALL
Don’t craft an experiment that will take you two years to complete or take up all of your free time. Keep it small. Don’t commit to learning to swim, biking 50 miles and running three times a week. Choose one and focus on it for a specified period of time. When that time is up, evaluate if you want to add another activity or go in a different direction.
#2 CREATE A SMART GOAL FOR YOUR EXPERIMENT
Create a goal of your experiment, like going on three bike rides a week for a month. Remember, make your goal SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-based).
#3 ADOPT A BEGINNER’S MIND
Starting something new can be hard, especially when we let our ego drive the bus. Channel your inner 5 year old and adopt a beginner’s mind. Approach your experiment with wonder, like your only job is to learn. Embrace the art of asking “stupid” questions. It’s freeing. Trust me.
Now, you may be thinking, I thought Kirsten focused on mid-career reinventions, why is she talking about triathlons?
Because taking on a bold challenge that is unrelated to your career is often the fuel you need to shift your perspective about your future career.
I’ll talk more about that next week.