No matter how far you’ve gone down the wrong road, turn back.
This is advice given to me years ago by my friend Jim, and that I’ve used to help me make decisions countless times since.
I’m often amazed at how much time people let lapse between the moment they realize they’re on the wrong road and the time they take action to fix it. And some people don’t make the change, even though they know they should. I once had to fire someone because she wasn’t doing her job, and after I did it the rest of the department descended on me with flowers and gratitude saying “We wanted to fire her for YEARS!”. I was astonished. “Years” is a long time to travel down the wrong road.
Often it’s hard, but often it’s a relief. Are you two years into the law degree you know is a mistake? Turn back. Know in your heart of hearts you took that job in accounting to please your parents, when you really wanted to be a coach? Start on Plan B. Did your startup build the product in PHP when it should have been in Python? Rebuild.
It’s the new year and time for new beginnings. No matter how far you’ve gone down the wrong road, turn back! You’ll be glad you did.