I was sitting in my son’s high school psychology classroom on back to school night. I was listening to the teacher talk about what the kids would be learning. He asked if there were any questions. One of the parents asked, “What’s with the map?” I looked at the wall and realized the map was upside down. The South Pole was up at the top and the North Pole at the bottom.

Wow that was a new look.

I thought back to when I was in college and spent my junior year studying at the University of York in England. Over winter break I traveled around Europe. I traveled to Germany and into Berlin. It was January 1985, before the Berlin Wall came down. I went through Checkpoint Charlie, through the Berlin Wall and into East Berlin.

I was in East Berlin for one day. I went into a museum. Everything was in German. I didn’t understand what was written, but I sure understood the pictures. One thing that caught my eye was a series of maps all with the USSR in the middle.

I was 20 years old. I was a naïve girl from the United States who “knew” what a map is supposed to look like. The United States is supposed to be in the center and everything else is off to either side. Right?

Now almost 30-years later I found myself faced with another map that was obviously completely wrong.
But was it really wrong? Was the map that I looked at in East Berlin wrong? And it hit me. Both of those maps are true representations of the world, they are just from different perspectives.

Who said that North is up and South is down? Who said the United States is supposed to be at the center of the map? Who said the USSR is supposed to be at the center?

It’s all about perspective.

As entrepreneurs we are taught “truisms”. We are told that we have to put more energy into our business if we want profitability. We are told that to take on projects and do things that we don’t necessarily want to do all in the name of getting clients. We are told that we must sacrifice to have a successful and profitable business.

Well I have to ask you… whose map are you looking at? Is it your map or someone else’s?

We have a tendency to look at situations with the information that we believe to be true. With information that we learned over the years, that someone has told us is right. What would happen if you shifted your perspective? What would happen if you took the rules that you automatically apply and toss them out and flip them North to South or East to West?

It’s not that the map you’re looking at is wrong; it’s just that it’s the wrong map for you.

So here’s my challenge to you. Take a look at the map that you’re following. Is it right for you? What is working? What isn’t working? Where can you shift your perspective?

Author's Bio: 

Carrie Greene is a speaker, author and business coach. Carrie helps entrepreneurs create the business and income they desire, through clear and actionable planning, that eliminates procrastination. For free resources and to learn more please visit www.CarrieGreeneCoaching.com.