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Blaze Your Own Trail… or Take a Hike!

You step out of your car on a bright 70-degree afternoon at a local park. Now, standing at the base of the trails, a tactical move would be to take a peek at its map.

Often, numerous paths are staring back at you. With all the options on the table, you have to consider what your goals are and where your mission lies. What did you have in mind? A short trek to a pretty waterfall or a 15 miler out into the depths of the woods? Before beginning any journey, it is essential to take your desired destination into account so as not to find yourself wandering without aim or a sense of direction. This is especially true in business.

One of the hardest questions to answer, yet one of the most crucial for success is, “Who am I?” The reason this question is so complicated is because of the many factors to take into account. When answering, one must consider:

”What is my mission?”

“What is my purpose?”

”Who are my stakeholders?”

“What are my goals?”

These questions are critical to answer, as they are foundational for your organization. They will push you in the direction you wish to begin. Your answers create a sense of self and position you at the start of your path. As with any journey, you're bound to encounter forks in the road, and choices need to be made. Never fear, for you have pondered the tough questions. When you are standing at these crossroads, your foundational reasoning point you back to your desired destination.

However, what do you do when the path you envisioned has a fallen tree blocking the way?

In order to succeed, sometimes you’ll have to blaze a new trail. In these turbulent times, organizational missions may no longer seem to be as attainable or important. With the sense of uncertainty comes the re-emergence of the question, “Who am I?”

Take Custom Ink for example. Custom Ink is an American-based online retail company that makes custom apparel such as T-shirts and sweatshirts. However, with the current COVID-19 crisis, Custom Ink has transformed into a cloth face mask creating and selling machine in hopes to help slow the spread of the coronavirus. While masks were not part of the initial business plan for Custom Ink, they considered the circumstances and found a new way to promote safety for the community, which seems to be a growing goal in the current world.

For many organizations, this is the time to reconsider “Who am I?” It is vital to contemplate who you are, what you care about, and how to get there by blazing your own trail or two.

Happy hiking!


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