It's a Matter of Degrees

by Christine Unterthiner

Imagine you're standing outside, facing your home. Your desired destination, the front door, is straight ahead of you. You know how to get there; it's easy, walk forward in a straight line. Well, today you decide to have some fun. You take a step one degree to the left, then another, and a third, and so on. A few minutes later, you're in a completely different location than the front door. Is that good or bad?

Several years back I took a sales course with the highly regarded and generous coach John Smithman. His story of degrees had a big impact on me: if we change our course by just one degree, we end up somewhere completely different than originally planned.

At the time I thought this was a brilliant analogy for staying on track – all I need to do is course correct and get back on the path. And, if you look, there are many articles written on the subject saying the same thing: stay on the path, don't get sidetracked, going off course means failure, etc.

While I understand, appreciate and have used course correction, for those entrepreneurs who hit the ground running, sometimes veering off by one degree is just the thing they need.
Several clients I've worked with allowed themselves to explore and play, purposefully taking new and sometimes uncharted routes. Turns out that ending up in a different place than originally planned was a good thing! In fact, they found they were more clear and true to their authentic expression than when they started.

I'm not saying to go off in a thousand different directions, exploring willy nilly. I'm saying take time to enjoy your journey, poke your head out of the cockpit once in a while, see if there's an island you need to explore or a mountain to climb. Going with the flow rather than resisting or forcing something may be just what you need. You can still stay true to your brand while you do this. If you're grounded in your "why", you can't help but delve into things that are a match for who you are.

Another way "one degree" John's story affected me – and I'm sure you've heard this before – is that we can significantly change our lives by making small (one degree) shifts! I won't go into detail here either because there's lots of good stuff available on this subject as well. Instead, I'd like to share some sites on Small Changes Big Results that you may enjoy visiting:

Oprah - Small Changes Big Results

Huffington Post - Small Changes Big Results

15 Small Changes That Leave A Big Impact In Your Life

Why DO small changes have big impact?

So, is the one degree shift good or bad? That depends – do you want to true up to the course you've set or do you want to adventure off and explore? Either way, it's up to you. Please let me know in the comments below if this made a difference for you, if you veered off course and ended up in an amazing new place or if you realized in the end, you just needed to course correct back that one degree.