How Do We Know the Destination if No One Has Given Us the Map?

It’s a Puzzle to Solve, not a Predetermined Destination

As self-employed entrepreneurs this is the hardest question to answer. We constantly struggle with questions like –

  • Where am I going?
  • What should I do first?
  • How do I build a customer base?
  • What’s the most important thing?
  • How do I know if this is the right thing?

We know there is a destination, but we don’t know what it is or where it’s located. We don’t know which direction to turn.

We’re looking for a map, we expect one, but there isn’t any.

This is the biggest challenge for entrepreneurs. We know there’s a need for which we have to offer. There’s something that we’re supposed to do, we can feel it…but what is it EXACTLY?

What if I’m wrong? This sense of uncertainty keeps us from doing anything or incentivizes us to do less important things. Things that do nothing to move us toward our destination.

The question of “Every time I start to do something, it feels like something derails me. What should I do to move forward?”, came up in our mastermind this week. As we talked, it became glaringly clear that all of us in the group are looking for the answer to that question. We were looking for what to do and how to do it. We’re looking for a “map”.

We just want a map so that we know where we’re going and how to get there.

Everyone in the group is working hard to reach their business destination. And every one of us has the same questions. (See examples above)

As we discussed, it occurred to me…we knew the answers…we were all answering each other’s questions that are the same as our own. So, if we know the right answers, why are we still asking the questions?

The problem isn’t the questions or the answers…it’s a lack of movement.

We’re approaching our businesses as if there’s a map ready for us to follow…there’s not. As entrepreneurs, we’re going places where few or maybe no one has been before.  

Imagine explorers like Lewis and Clark heading to places unknown. They had no map or GPS to tell them where to go. They had no specific destination, just find a way to the Pacific Ocean. They were commissioned to explore and map the new territory and find a practical route across the western half of the continent.

If they had continually questioned themselves, they would still be in St. Louis.

Instead, they took the information that they had, made a decision based on that information and started moving. Granted, along the way they ran into obstacles that they had to go over, around or through.  

We are our own roadblocks.

The most important thing is to do something. Take that first step and move forward. You can make adjustments and recalculate as you go.


“Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.”

Will Rogers


“The most productive people start with purpose and use it like a compass. They allow purpose to be the guiding force in determining the priority that drives their actions.”

Keller, Gary; Papasan, Jay. The ONE Thing (p. 105). Bard Press. Kindle Edition.


The first step to reaching your destination is determining your purpose. It’s that thing you feel deep down in your core but have trouble figuring out.

You’ll never get to your destination if you don’t start moving.

How Do I Get from Here to There?

With a Clear Understanding of Your Life’s GPS

A friend and I were recently discussing the sense of out-of-control overwhelm that we were both experiencing. There are so many important, valuable, worthwhile things to do. How will I ever get them all done?

My to-do-list is so long there’s not enough time to read it…let alone do it.

I’m tired of being stuck in this rut and am looking for a way out. Some of the things on our lists were classes and trainings. These should be something to help, but too often just becomes another thing on the list.

Most of us want a clearer direction, but don’t know what that is.

I’ve been thinking about this since our discussion…not to mention studying about it. As I was researching ways to better achieve goals it became clear that there isn’t any real difference in any of them. Sure, there are small nuanced differences but they’re really all the same.

Sometimes the same thing we heard several times before resonates with us this time. Who knows why? It may be the presenter, or the form of presentation, or maybe it’s just timing, who knows? An example of this recently is when I was going through Mark Shinnerer’s, Vision Building course and his comparison of a GPS to a life plan. There really are a lot of similarities in life planning and a GPS.

One thing that’s critical to achieving goals is in prioritization.

This is one of the places I struggle most. When looking at that huge long list of all those important, valuable, worthwhile things to do. Where do I start? This is where accomplishment gets lost. Too much time spent trying to decide.

Here are some GPS similarities:

When going from here to there, using a Global Positioning System, we put in the destination we want to go, and it gives us optional routes to get there. When planning to go from here to there in life’s journey we need to use a Goal Prioritization System. This system will help us determine the path we will take to reach our purpose destination.

  • Determine where you want to go before you start – Knowing where you want to go will make the trip more productive. This doesn’t mean that you can’t change the destination later, but it takes away from forward progress.
  • Choose which of the routes you’re going to take – There are options of shorter and more direct or longer and more scenic. There’s no right or wrong, just choose one and get started. As you are on your way you can change your mind and the GPS will reroute you.
  • Unexpected things out of your control happen – You may encounter road work or a flat tire. These things require some adjustment to your schedule and/or possibly your route. Remember these things happening are out of your control, but how you react to them isn’t.
  • Unplanned things that are in your control – When in route you may encounter scenic stops. You can choose whether to take the time to slow down and smell the roses. You might also come across someone who has had trouble. Stopping or not is also a choice you get to make.

Once you have a clear vision of your destination it’s up to you to get in gear and step on the gas, otherwise you will just sit there thinking about what might have been.

If you don’t move forward you will never reach your destination.

What Does It Mean to Have Clarity?

Really, I Just Want to Know!

What is “the thing” that I’m supposed to be doing? How do I know if that’s “the thing”? Maybe I should be doing “that other thing” instead? Where should I go from here? How do I know if that’s the right way? Am I the only one who feels this lost? What’s wrong with me?

So many questions, this is making my head hurt!

When I was growing up, I knew exactly what I was going to do for the rest of my life. I was going to farm with my Dad, just like he was farming with his. This was a great plan and it was going well until those plans got changed. When I was in my early thirties my Dad died, at fifty, of cancer.

We were farming together, he owned some of the equipment and I, using borrowed money, owned some. The problem at this point was, I couldn’t afford to buy his part so…I got out of farming.

In addition to farming I had been doing construction for most of the previous ten years as well. I liked doing it, was good at it, so this seemed like the logical thing to do, and it was.  

As life went on, I again began to give up on dreams, those unachievable fantasies. Who was I kidding? I wasn’t ever going to achieve anything more than mediocrity. It’s not that life wasn’t good; it was just…unfulfilled.

Then God got my attention with a board upside my head.

I survived an accident and was still alive…God wasn’t done with me yet. It was at this point I began dreaming again and believing anything was possible. I had new dreams and plans. I was excited about the possibilities…but now seven years later, I’m still trying to figure out how to turn those dreams into reality. Maybe there isn’t anything more.

I better be careful; God may do something to get my attention again.

Over the past seven years I’ve been searching for clarity and direction. I’ve prayed, read, studied, researched, listened, watched, multiple different things from a lot of different people. All good advice and very inspiring. Why is nothing changing? What am I doing wrong?

It’s been said that a rut is just a grave with both ends kicked out and here I am stuck in a rut of my own making. Walking back and forth looking for a way out isn’t working; it’s just making the rut deeper.

If I want to get out of this rut, I need to stop doing the same things hoping for different results.

God has big plans for us, and He will move mountains to create opportunities for us to achieve them. It’s up to us to move ourselves. I believe it’s Satan that causes us to stop short of those big God plans. It’s much better for him if we don’t achieve those successes. He’s the one who plants the doubt and fear. Telling us that we don’t have what it takes to do that big thing…who are we kidding.

Over the last seven years I knew my purpose and what I was supposed to be doing. This website and these weekly solutions are all part of that. At the same time, I felt as though I was just pretending…It really wasn’t going to happen. Look at the small number of follower’s that I have. No one cares about what I have to say.

Stop this, you’re being ridiculous.

In an effort to get different results, over the last few months I’ve done some “different”, some really big “different”. Big commitments of both time and money. Doing things that are way outside of my comfort zone. One of these things was joining Ray Edward’s Kingdom Builder mastermind group. This involves a weekly virtual meeting with a group of twelve specifically chosen people from around the country.

We’re just getting started and in our second meeting this past week, I was feeling overwhelmed. Once again, I asked myself, who am I kidding? I don’t belong in this group. I don’t have what it takes. These people are much better at what they’re doing than I am. I can’t afford this.

It’s happening again…Satan just shut up!

After the meeting…and wallowing a little…I remembered something that Ray said during a podcast, “Clarity starts with making a decision”. Most of us are waiting for clarity to be a simple light bulb moment. We expect it to be a bright shining mansion in the distance with a perfectly clear and straight path to get there and a chauffeur driven limousine to take us. This isn’t the way it works; clarity happens after we decide and do.

In Ray’s podcast, 7 Steps to Getting Clarity he pointed out things that if we decide and do, clarity will follow:

  1. Calling – Our purpose, the thing we are called to do.
  2. Commitment – We need to be all in.
  3. Credibility – Others see our ability in the area.
  4. Congruent – It’s something we love doing, it comes naturally.
  5. Connection – We naturally connect with those we serve.
  6. Competence – We have God given skills in this area.
  7. Consistency – We keep doing it regularly and don’t quit.

As part of my daily journaling I read Proverbs 3:5-6 every morning. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all that you do, and He will show you which path to take.”, New Living Translation.

The day after the meeting last week when I read this, for the first time I realized something that confirmed what Ray was saying. It doesn’t say, trust in the Lord, seek His will and He’ll give you everything that you dreamed. It says trust in Him, seek His will in all that I DO, and He’ll show me the path.

He will show me the path…He’s not going to DO He’s going to SHOW. It’s up to me to DO. It’s good to pray, read, study, research, listen and watch, but none of this is going to DO me any good if I don’t DO something.

Clarity’s not in here…it’s out there. If I want it, I have to decide and then go get it.

What Will the Cost of the Trip Be?

It’s Important to Know the Destination Before You Start Your Journey

Intentional goal setting, including writing them down, is directly connected to the successful outcome of goals. For years we have heard of how often New Year’s resolutions fail. Some statistics show that as much as 60 percent of people abandon them within the first six months. This is due to a lack of commitment.

Jesus’ goal was set from the very beginning. He knew the cost and the destination before He started, He never lost sight or veered from it. Even knowing the cost, He was willing to commit to it. He knew the goal was worth the ultimate cost. We see this in Luke 13:31-35 when He is unwilling to stop doing His work even when confronted by the enemy.

We need to determine where we want to go in this life and beyond and realize it is worth the cost.

Jesus uses the analogy of a hen gathering chicks under her wings in this Scripture. Pastor Lee told a story of a chicken house that was burned down. When looking through the ashes the farmer found a dead hen laying on the floor, her feathers burnt off her back. As he rolled her over chicks came running out, still alive. She put the chicks needs ahead of her own.

We are chicks having had the ultimate price paid for us. We need to repay that gift by being the hen and put other’s ahead of ourselves.

Often, we head off in a direction without thinking it through. We think we have it all figured out. Then when we run into a barricade, we continue bouncing off it, still thinking we know best. Many times, after we have either crashed through or given up, we find there was a better way.

A good example of this barricade banging is when a young boy was sick in the hospital. A doctor who specialized in his illness was called in. While driving to the hospital the doctor was confronted at a stoplight by a man with a gun. The doctor tried to explain the dire emergency, but the man didn’t care. He wanted the doctor’s car, so the doctor gave it to him.

After the doctor finally hailed a cab and caught a train, he made it to the hospital, but it was too late, the boy had died. The doctor was shown to the family in the waiting room. There stood the man who had stolen his car. It was the boy’s father. The father refused to listen to the man who could have saved his son. Too often this is the way we treat the One who can save us. We just keep banging into the barricades over and over and over. Jesus doesn’t want this for us.

The price for our eternal journey has been paid. We just need choose the destination.