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Submitted by Liz Elam on Fri, 2010-10-22 09:55
I was recently challenged to take my blog post dated September 20 on “What I’ve Learned: Reflections of a Coworker” and take each of the 5 discussion points and make a separate post on each. I always like a good challenge, so here goes…
That nagging feeling, that instinct, that intuition…your gut is defined by Webster’s as: arising from one’s inmost self: visceral <a gut reaction>.
There are whole books written on following your gut. For example, Blink by Malcom Gladwell states:
- You can learn as much - or more - from one glance at a private space as you can from hours of exposure to a public face.
- It is quite possible for people who have never met us and who have spent only 20 minutes thinking about us to come to a better understanding of who we are than people who have known us for years.
When I started my journey I had some, well, gut instincts. I thought (based on nothing but a feeling) that Link should be less than a mile off of Mopac (the major thoroughfare that runs right through Austin) between 45th Street and Highway 183. I looked at spaces for over a year. I was convinced by real estate agents to look North, South, East, and West of my corridor, none of the spaces worked. I told the agents my requirements and they constantly tried to show me “out of the box solutions.” Those were really “not what you’ve told me you wanted but I want you to look at it.” I spent an exhaustive amount of time looking, however, none of them felt right until I found the one I’m sitting in now typing this blog post. It’s less than a mile off of Mopac and between 45th Street and Highway 183.
I knew a partnership made me nervous (in other words my gut instinct had kicked in), but I started to go down the partnership route with a very close friend. My gut kept telling me not to do it. My family, friends, and mentors told me not to do it and I kept getting a nagging feeling it wasn’t right. I decided to shut everyone up by getting our partnership agreement down on paper (after 8 months). I sent it to my friend and found out in about 10 minutes that there was no possible way we were going to agree to those terms. My gut and all my friends and family had been right.
I have about 10 more examples but you get the picture. I wasted a lot of time, resources, and money by not following my gut. Learn from my mistakes. Listen to your gut, because it is one of the most valuable tools you have. If you can tune into it and learn to trust it, you will find yourself where you need to be.