Climb the ladder. Then build your own.

Sometimes you have to climb the corporate ladder. Don’t get me wrong, taking the non-traditional route is great. But growing with a company is much more than just “listening to the man.” It’s not about falling into a trap. It’s about developing the skills that will allow you to escape traps in your career. It’s about building a lasting relationship that could leave you with the ability to build a ladder for others to climb.

A ladder can be portrayed as many things. But in its simplicity; it is a vision. When you buy into a company, you are buying into their vision.

How can you develop a vision without following another vision first? Whether it’s getting your career started, or a transition into another stage in life, we all buy into a vision for the future.

Steve jobs had a vision. Bill gates has a vision. Nikolas tesla has a vision. But they all started somewhere, and until you find your vision; follow a different one.

Sometimes following a vision will help you to build your own. You can take industry knowledge and apply it to a different concept. We often see this when people start a business that is directly related to their previous job. They climbed the ladder in order to break it off and create their own.

It’s important to recognize that not everyone starts a business like a fairytale, with love at first sight. It can be difficult. Fundraising, hiring new employees, and dealing with clients are just the beginning of the story.

Before you start your story and create a vision, make sure you know where that vision will take you. Why climb the ladder to the wrong destination? Think about where your company is taking you.

There are many benefits to a corporate job, but for entrepreneurs, it’s to follow a vision. To lay the foundation for leading a business of their own. To learn how the ladder is made, and how to climb it.

So don’t be afraid to follow another person’s vision. Be afraid of not having your own.