Everyone hits a roadblock from time to time. But whether it is professional or personal, a roadblock, and the inevitable detours that come with it, can lead to greater success. Doers realize that roadblocks are necessary for growth. The roadblock itself may not even be the real issue, but the way you handle it most definitely is.

I want you to think about your career path––all the obstacles that you have run into over the years. Now, think about the ones that you would consider a true roadblock. What did you do when faced with a seemingly insurmountable obstacle? Did you immediately do an end run around it? Did you follow a detour sign? Or did you just freeze?

Have I got your attention yet?

Doers don’t look at traditional roadblocks, such as financing, logistics, and personality issues, as negatives. They accept roadblocks as the opportunities that they are. They don’t panic or jump to conclusions. Instead, they step back, look at the obstruction, and make a course correction. Doers detour around a roadblock, and find the glorious path to success.

Last week, I was on the road, and in multiple meetings. I met a lot of people, which is normal, but what wasn’t normal was the feeling I got when introduced to several of them. Don’t ask me why, but out of the clear blue I thought, This person hit a road block that they could not overcome.

I wondered how many of people I had met had hit a roadblock that completely derailed them? I wondered how many had taken a detour and succeeded?

[tweetthis]The beauty of a real business detour is that it makes you stronger. You reassess and adjust.[/tweetthis]

All this started me thinking about the word detour, which for some reason filled me with issues that felt like taking a detour! Ohhh, myyy! I’ll have to go around. This will take more time. I would deplore any detour in my life right now.

I’m sure you get it.

We have all probably thought these same things, and maybe even said a few choice words as we rolled up on a giant boulder in the road, especially when we were ready to press on. But Doers who succeed quickly realize the detour might be the path to success. They realize that the detour is designed to get in your way––it’s nature forcing you to slow down, stop running so hard, and think about how you’re going to get around the obstacle. It’s literally “the pause that refreshes.” (Do you remember that old commercial?) Hitting a roadblock makes you pause and think. It makes you refresh your perspective and figure out what is best to do next.

The beauty of a real detour is that these bumps make us stronger. These pauses force us to come to terms with the idea that we might be wrong, or that we might need to pivot or change direction all together. So we reassess and adjust.

A roadblock can also be good for the team as a whole. When we pause and rethink our direction, it’s a natural time to get input from other members of the team. It’s an opportunity to come together in a more meaningful way, redefine roles and hone ideas.

In my own personal experience, running a fresh seafood business, I just didn’t want to recognize all the roadblocks and detours that kept getting in my way. When I finally did, I discovered that the business model was much more successful with herbs and flowers than it was with fish. But I would never have realized it without a few of the detours and one major roadblock, like funding, getting in my way. This change resulted in a successful business model for a major produce distributor headquartered in London, but operating in the U.S., called collectively Pro Act.

Almost every successful business I have been involved with was based on a detour after a roadblock. In fact, roadblocks where the key to success, as long as everyone working on the project, including myself, realized it was just a detour that we needed to work around.

I will tell you that a roadblock can be a blessing when you pay attention and understand that it is just a course adjustment. Later, further on down the road (so to speak,) you will realize that the detours and roadblocks where perfectly located, so that you could find your place for growth and success.

When I talk with incredible, successful folks, it always blows me away how the detours and roadblocks shaped their life and success. It’s never the easy or breezy way many of us think it is for famous actors or entertainers, or even CEOs and entrepreneurs. It’s usually the opposite. It wasn’t until they had a real life detour or roadblock that they found success.

Which brings me back to my meetings last week. It was very clear that the spirited people had all been hit over the head with the reality of life––the roadblocks and detours. So, let’s toast to all the inconvenient, messy, and difficult roadblocks and detours. What would we do without them?

Detour on––