Most people fall into the category of being an “Also Ran” in their careers. A small percentage of them will start on the road to distinction. It is a work in progress for a long time. Exceptions exist like in anything in life and work.
Just like a trapeze artist who has just let go of the previous rung and is on his or her way to catch the next rung, people on the road to distinction will find themselves in a spot that is not very comfortable. This is the chasm that they HAVE to cross if their quest is serious.
First, “Work in Progress” is an unfamiliar territory as there are no clear rules to become distinct. If they did, then lots of people would follow them and everyone would try to become distinct leading to nobody becoming distinct. That doesn’t work well.
Second, “Work in Progress” is a place where there is little support. Not everyone who have made it have the time to help someone who is trying to make it. Help from someone who has not made it may be no help or bad help.
Third, “Work in Progress” takes a long time to produce any serious results. Nobody gives a premium for marginal improvements and serious improvements take serious time.
Fourth, “Work in Progress” has no guarantees. In fact, that road is fraught with failures. It is easier to fall in the chasm and get lost.
Fifth, “Work in Progress”, if not planned well can be lonely. How can you expect “also rans” to be in your journey or how can you expect yourself to be in the company of “also rans” if both of you are heading towards different destinations?
I can go on but I also know that you can identity some more characteristics of the “Work in Progress” stage by yourself.
The typical path for most people on this journey is to just return back to the “Also Ran” category after a while.
Out of the few who do cross the chasm, there is a tendency for some to get complacent and return back again to be in the category of “Also Ran”.
The ideal path ( I think) is to be distinct for a very short while but heading back into the “Work in Progress” mode as soon as possible to re-invent yourself. The marketplace is always changing… so how can you expect to be distinct forever?
Enjoy your week and all the best to everyone of you who are on the road to distinction.