THE PAIN OF THE PIONEER

That pain of “we already talked about this and missed the window.”
The “You hated that idea 2 weeks ago but now you love it?”
The “OMG, what [he] said at that [staff event] was so amazing” even though you said it and had it shot down a few months ago.

The pain of the pioneer is a real thing.

I’m sure we’ve all experienced something like this to an extent. For me it happens too often. Even now I see old friends making the same mistakes I warned them about before. Or traveling round and round in circles saying “but this time it’ll be different.” Or doing the same meetings and strategies they complained about in a different role. Or jumping on an old hype idea way after the wave has passed then being shocked when it doesn’t pan out.

But … what I’ve learned over the years is the pain of the pioneer proves the potency of the pioneering.
Sure it may sound like cheesy alliteration but it’s true.

When I see an opportunity for an “I told you so” I have to reframe it in the mirror as a “You still got it.”

We all know the people who say “Well it’s different now.” That’s a good indication that you need to connect to someone different now.

Remember that if you weren’t frustrated with being overlooked it’s probably because you weren’t the innovator.

For the most part you can’t have it both ways. You innovate and are appreciated by the few or you’re widely accepted.
And maybe that’s the most painful sting of all … the ever-changing faces you serve with. Think about the pioneers of the 1800’s U.S. westward expansion. They left their cool east coast friends, went west alone on a horse, and met new people all the time, most of whom couldn’t keep up either.

If you want the same friends and coworkers for life, pick a broad road, ask vague questions, never say “no“, and change your stance weekly. If you want to be responsible for keeping the bleeding edge sharp, get excited about the sting and get good at making new friends.