The Voyage of a Hundred Tacks

Looking out the window near my workstation at Oneupweb, the beautiful Northern Michigan autumn reminds me of change. Change. The simple word conjures many thoughts and images. Seasons change and so does life. Both remind us to prepare and encourage us to adapt.

How do we prepare and adapt? How do we know which direction to go in order to reach our goals?

This past summer, after I was laid off from my job, the reality of being unemployed in today’s economy threatened to bury me under the weight of financial and emotional debris. Instead of sinking, I took the opportunity to assess where did I want to be in 5 years or 10? Ever since first visiting Traverse City 20 years ago, I dreamed of moving here after retirement. Happily, this dream became reality earlier than expected, but only as a result of being laid off in June. What seemed like the end was really the open door of opportunity allowing me to transform my life in an unexpected way. A year ago, I was working on the helpdesk in a stressful call center. Today, I’m actively and creatively engaged with a dynamic and wonderful company, surrounded by like-minded talented individuals who have a passion to make a difference.

What is my point? My point is this: Whether in life or business, we have to be willing to explore options, be ready to adapt and be willing to change course at a moment’s notice. One of my favorite quotes is by Ralph Waldo Emerson, “The voyage of the best ship is a zigzag line of a hundred tacks.” We can stay the course in familiar waters, or we can embark in new directions to seek new horizons. The voyage is not always the straightest course, but the destination is always reached if we are diligent and flexible.

The internet moves at the speed of electrons and with it, businesses stretch to keep pace. Discovering what works or doesn’t and developing new ways of thinking, allows us to reach our destinations successfully. Thinking outside the box, being willing to try new things, considering different possibilities, brainstorming — all tacks allowing us to move ever forward toward the direction of success.