Everyone Needs Rails

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I try to write about three times per week. Most of it is pretty good and will probably help you grow your business. If it doesn't, then I probably can't help you.

You can use a traditional RSS Feedreader with this fancy-dancy link. I think this approach is harder but if you want to do it the hard way, who am I to say otherwise?

You can use a traditional RSS Feedreader with this fancy-dancy link. I think this approach is harder but if you want to do it the hard way, who am I to say otherwise?

posted this on Tuesday, July 19, 2011 at about 10am.
Train Track Rails

Autonomy is spectacular.

I love to do my own thing. Be a free spirit. Not conform to what other people want.

Most people want that as well. They long for the day they can go and do their own thing. They want to "fly and be free" (Mork and Mindy reference).

The problem is that most people do not function well left to their own devices. Oh sure, there are lots of people that can do that. Those entrepreneurs and creatives that can focus for hours on something and see it through to completion.

Now, I don't think that it's about whether it's hard work or not. I don't think that is what matters. I know of plenty of people that really want to learn something new (language, sport, etc). I know of plenty of people that want to accomplish something big, create something amazing or go climb their mountain.

The problem is that with too much freedom comes too many options to consider... too many ways that you can go.

People need rails. People need constraints to guide them.

Now, the problem with the rail metaphor is that rails seem to limiting, so constricting. People think that if we are attached to rails that we can't go anywhere at all.

Not true.

When you think of a train, sure, the train is secured to one path unless it meets a switch. However, trains go where the engineer tells it to go. A train stays focused on it's task at hand.

The truly inspired build their own tracks and make their own way. It's up to you to build your own tracks... your own rails to keep you focused on what you are to do.

When you get off the rails, you run the risk of not getting anywhere. So, rather than trying to jump the track and go your own way -- running the risk of running ground -- create new rails that will guide you. Create means of staying confined to an area that makes sense. If you can't do that, find someone who can help you.

One rail that I have given myself is to go to an office every morning at the same time. I force myself to leave my house and go to the office. I'm the boss, I don't have to. I could roll in at noon and leave at 2 if I wanted and the work would still get done. But, I've found that the structure for me not only helps me but it helps set the guidelines for my employees.

You may need an example of some rails for your own life. Consider the following examples of how other people rail themselves:

  • Personal trainer
  • Life coach
  • Mentor
  • Boss
  • Mother
  • Father
  • Friend

Every successful person I know has rails. The most successful are those that set their own rails. They build their own routines. They blaze their own trail.

Corey Smith and his wife are the proud parents of five wonderful children and live in Meridian, Idaho. He is the president of Tribute Media, a Meridian based Web Consulting firm.

He is the author of two books, "Do It Right: A CEO's Guide to Web Strategy" and "Tweet It Right: A CEO's Guide to Twitter." You can learn more about his books here.

Interested in having Corey speak for your organization? Need help building or marketing your organization? Want to tell Corey how cool you think he is?