On a New Path? Step One: Create Your Essential Assets Inventory

When we think about starting a new career, expanding an existing venture (whether for profit or not-for-profit), or embarking on a completely new project, one of our first thoughts often is Can I actually do this? followed by I can never do this or it’s too big or it’s too complex or it’s too risky. Or, all of the above.

The truth is we are often capable of a lot more than we give ourselves credit for. I like the saying “What the mind can conceive, man can achieve.” The fact that you have a new idea means that, in your mind, you have been able to build it; now it is just a matter of making that mind-build a reality.

Another positive fact is that the world is full of so many capable people, just like you, but with different skills, and that nobody is expected to go it alone. So instead of being a one-man show, you need to surround yourself with others and those others are looking for leadership, cooperation, collaboration and a willingness for you to share future successes.

So before you stop dreaming about your project, sit down and make an Essential Assets Inventory of what you think you need to get the project going, which does not mean to overwhelm yourself with the full end product, but rather, look at the first phase, something manageable that can stand on its own and grow.

Then think what assets you alone bring to the table. What do you excel at? What do you do better than most others? What do you love to do? Think of your specific personal characteristics, professional skills and experience. Be realistic, but definitely do not undervalue your talents, and include those you have yet to fully develop but know you have inside you or wish to build.

Then identify the assets you do not possess and need, and think of either people you know or who you need to find to fill in those gaps. Often these include specialized professional contacts and/or third-party vendors for such things as funding.

Put all these thoughts on paper, prioritize and add a time line. If applicable, include dollars and cents. This is your Essential Assets Inventory, which you should use as you take the first steps on your chosen new path. Your inventory will give you the practical and mental support you need as well as highlight the skills and tools you already have to achieve whatever you set out to do.