Startup founder members of our community have most likely asked themselves this common question over and over thousand times: "Should I plan my career, or is it enough to just be adaptive and flexible to change?"
When I sat down with Ben Casnocha, co-author with Reid Hoffman of the "The Startup of You," and Co-founder and Partner at Village Capital, to talk about this question he said there are always people giving you advice from both sides, because at first glance these two approaches contradict each other.
But if you want to find balance in your life and have a successful career, then you definitely need to do both. Why? In the startup world, you need to plan to adapt. As a founder, you have to understand that it is important to set plans in your life but at the same time, you also need to ready to change them if it is necessary. This is a core entrepreneurial strategy.
Most people think that entrepreneurs are brilliant idea people who have these eureka moments that propel them to change the world with their business, nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, if you look at some of the world's most successful businesses, you'll notice that they had an initial business plan which they changed to adapt as their competition and the world changed as well. For example, Pixar started with selling mainframe computers and some back-office equipment and after that, it transformed into a traditional Hollywood movie studio.
So, when you look at your plan for Day 1 or Day 1000 or even later, they look pretty different. Therefore, the most important thing to remember is that as a founder you need to have a clear plan while at the same time continually monitoring the changes taking place in the world and being ready to adapt this plan over and over again when the world changes.
Starting and scaling a company in an ever-changing world requires great focus and adaptability, and a strong network to help you receive and interpret the signals of change and develop an optimal response.