Dan Waldschmidt

by Dan Waldschmidt

July 6, 2012

When The Experts Lead You Down The Wrong Path.

According to the “pros”, there is always a right way you should be doing things.  Just pick up the business section of the newspaper or enroll in an executive MBA program.  You’ll be presented with a series of strategic “right moves” that should lead to certain success.

In business.  In sports. In relationships.

If you listen to the world’s top experts in sales, marketing, and business growth, you’ll get a steady stream of powerful ideas about “best practices” for steering your business, generating revenue, and creating unique messages that captivate your audience and propel your business to the top of your industry.

It is hard to deny that these business experts have ideas that make a difference. But that’s not the point, is it?  Not for you right now.

Why aren’t their ideas working for you?

You’re not dumb.  In fact, you have the guts to try to push the limits.  You’re not sitting back on your laurels waiting for success to be handed to you on a silver platter.  You’re burning the candle at both ends.

But, the results you’re getting aren’t exactly the results that you were promised.  They aren’t what you were told to expect.

Frankly, you’ve been at this place before.  It’s a confused and frustrating crossroad.  On one hand, you desperately want to believe that experts smarter than you have it all figured out.  That you can just listen to the “wise old men on the hill” and take advantage of years of success and experience without having to make mistakes along the way or learn from your own bad experience.

But let’s be honest.

There’s a part of you that knows you’re being delusional.

Just about the time you become an expert, the rules change. What drove success in previous decades is no longer relevant. The advice of those experts along with it.

Which is perhaps what Ralph Waldo Emerson meant when he admonished us to: “Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”

The fundamental problem with following blindly in the path of experts is that you’re just a rat, following a Pied Piper. Along the way you’re enchanted by the sound you’re hearing, but the end result isn’t what you expected — at all.

Success starts by screwing up.

That’s where your mettle is tested. Where your sense of purpose is defined. Burned deeply into your soul. That’s where you know if you’re really willing to live as big as the dreams you share with those around you.

It’s not talk. It’s honesty. It’s candor. Man-to-man. Woman-to-woman. In the quietness of your bathroom mirror, you look into your soul and know very truly if you’re going to make it. If you have the guts to stick it out.

And that quiet resolve is what enables you to take the first step. Not down the path others have created. But into the jungle.

Into the darkness of the unexplored.

And as you find the strength and courage to continue on, your footprints leave a trail. A memento of the difference one person can make when resolved to abandon convention, ease, and emotional laziness and pursue that which has not yet been accomplished.

So when you’re tired and confused, and can’t see the path in front of you, perhaps that is a simple sign that you are a trailblazer. Leaving as trophies, your fatigue and endurance as an inspiration to all those who doubt their ability to join you on routes untraveled.


About the author

Dan Waldschmidt

Dan Waldschmidt doesn’t just talk about leveling up. He’s obsessed with it. He's set records as an ultra-runner and been the personal strategist for the leading business leaders of our time. He wrote a book, called EDGY Conversations that accidentally became a worldwide bestseller and continues to share his insights from the stage as a keynote speaker and on the blogs and podcasts you will find here. Most days, you'll find Dan heads-down, working on breakthrough strategies for his clients at EDGY Inc, a highly-focused, invite-only, business strategy execution company based out of Silicon Valley.