I recently launched a product site for natural and organic consumers. The site is called Sprout Guild and it’s a place to discover the hippest new natural foods, products and brands (think Product Hunt for organic products). Since launching it, I’ve been asked a number of times why I built it. I realized that my answer parallels what people experience when they wonder if they should change jobs or careers.
At the crux of why I launched the site is the belief that doing is so much more powerful than wondering ‘what if.’ Sometimes you don’t know if something is a good or bad idea until you test out the concept, until you put a sample in front of someone. That requires doing, not wondering. For Sprout Guild, I felt like I needed to have a basic website to test the concept.
So I built one.
In a career, it’s easy to think about changing jobs or wonder if a different career path would be a good idea (just as I wondered if Sprout Guild would be a good idea). Why not test out the concept first? What is the easiest, most direct way to figure out if changing careers/jobs is a good idea? Can you get out there and talk to people who work in the type of role you want, or the type of company you want to be part of, or the industry you want to work in? I bet you can. Oftentimes talking with the right people will test if the grass really is greener.
Go test. Stop wondering.
In launching Sprout Guild, I also wanted to develop my skill set around building and cultivating a passionate community of users. I’ve done some of that in the past, but I wanted to get better at it. I have this curious fascination with the concepts of virality, word-of-mouth, user adoption, and creating passionate communities. I knew that the best way to learn was by doing.
So I did.
Similarly, skill development and experience-gaining is part of advancing to where you want to be in your career. Some of that can be done by reading and observing others. Usually more impactful learning, though, can be done by taking it upon yourself to go gain the skills or experience that would help your career. Are there industry groups you can get involved in to surround yourself with people in that industry/field? Are there people you can meet through LinkedIn, or referrals who can advise you? Have you built your Personal Board of Advisors?
Take action. Stop wondering.
I’ve had a lot of “Hey, I can do that too” moments during my career. Most of them don’t end up leading to anything, because I don’t end up “doing that too.” But I don’t want to be a Wantrapreneur. Anyone can be a Wantrapreneur. But not everyone can be an Entrepreneur. Not everyone can turn ideas into action.
So I acted.
I’m sure you’ve met or observed other people in their careers and thought to yourself, “Hey, I can do that too. I can excel like that person. I can be a superstar." I’m here to tell you that yes, you can—but it all comes down to will you? Will you make it happen? Will you turn ideas into action?
Do more. Wonder less.
I don’t know if Sprout Guild will go anywhere. Maybe you don’t know where your career will go from here. But I know if we both take action, we’ll figure it out much faster than if we sit here wondering.
Oh, and if you’re curious about Sprout Guild or want to help build it, come take a look around. I’d love to have you as part of the community. My hope is that it becomes the go-to place for consumers to learn about and try the hippest new natural foods, products and brands. My other hope is that it becomes the go-to place for up-and-coming brands to get seen.