What’s your north star?

Shutterstock_55358470 I heard this story several years ago…. and a discussion with a client yesterday reminded me of its importance.

A young sailor had been traveling for many days on the  open ocean.  He had the night watch so literally — for over two weeks, he saw nothing.

Finally, the vastness overwhelmed him and he asked his Captain, "how do you know where to head, when darkness is all around you?"

The wise Captain pointed his finger towards the sky and said “Fools watch the waves and make decisions according to ever-changing circumstances, but a wise captain charts his course by a star that does not move.

When your journey is long and the way before you is rough, never take your eyes off the North Star, son. Stay focused on the unwavering constant.”

We can twist ourselves into a knot if we react to everything our competitors do, or the ups and downs of the economy or any other outside factor that shifts and changes on a dime.  Or, we can have a clear understanding of our business' purpose and mission.  That's understanding your brand and living by it every day.

Are you making decisions based on where the waves toss you or have you charted your course according to your brand, your principals and your true north?

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.com

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5 comments on “What’s your north star?

  1. Kneale Mann says:


    Thanks for sharing. It’s a classic that is necessary for all of us to read. We have all been guilty of letting the waves divert us from our strategy!

  2. Beth Norman says:

    Ottstanding. Simply with a tremendous impact. TFS.

  3. Rob says:

    Great share, it’s that “one level up” (but completely clarifying) view that we sometimes forget about entirely when we’re in the trenches trying to figure stuff out. Really appreciate this story while doing my own digging on how attack tech support for online entrepreneurs and my own business. Thanks Drew.

  4. Excellent reminder to focus on what really matters. It’s so easy to be overwhelmed by what is happening around us and being tempted to react to every ripple.

    Pick your destination, break down your journey and map out your approach. Allow yourself to reach your larger goal by first reaching a series of smaller more attainable ones.

    Forget about everybody else, it’s not a race, just stay focused on your desired outcome. Keep your ship on course!

  5. It’s so easy to lose sight of the big picture, when you’re immersed in all the day to day craziness.

    But…having something around (a picture, a “thing” on your desk, a saying on your door — whatever it may be) to keep you focused on the target is a smart business move.

    What could you have in front of you every day to remind you why you do the work you do?


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