Too Late/Too Soon: The Break.

When do you know that it’s time? The sixth in a month of posts about how I learned to stop worrying, buck up and do the work.

The big break probably came in April 2011, when the University of Missouri decided to award me a fellowship to work on They gave me money to keep working on it, and they gave me time to work on it.

Finally, I felt like I had permission again to work on this big thing. I had the money, I had the time. I had new resources at my disposal. I had no excuses.

The problem, of course, was that I still had no idea what was, or what I wanted out of it. Money? Experience? An opportunity to lead?

So the real break came later, when months of idling had brought me to a better realization: I had the time to do whatever I wanted, but I wasn’t going to do it alone. I wasn’t ready to do it alone.

Looking back, I’m amazed that I went so long without help. I can’t believe I tried to do it alone like that. I can’t believe I was crazy enough to try.

I just didn’t know any better, and I was stubborn enough to believe that I could pull it off by myself.

But eventually, time showed me that I had to have others onboard with If I really wanted to do the work, I had to bring other people on board and chase a single goal.

That realization was a huge, huge break.

I’m so thankful for what happened next. Without my team, I’m not sure where the heck I end up. Not here, I’d bet.

Photo of those two paths comes via.