You don’t get paid to pave the way

The idea of paving the way is quite interesting and also amazing.

However, one thing that I’ve noticed is often the trailblazers do not receive as much financially in comparison to those that come after. I think in some ways that is one of the reasons that people are afraid to go first.

Paving the way is almost always difficult and comes with many challenges. It’s much easier to simply wait for someone else and then jump on the band wagon.

If you decide to carve out a new path, you do that with the knowledge that as much as you may gain success and be known for the work you’ve done, it’s the ones that follow that often end up getting paid more, even though you’ve worked so much harder.

In order to pave the way, you don’t need to be the best or the most talented. But you do need to have passion, commitment and dedication. You need to be able to create and hold a vision for long enough for it to come to life. You have to have the resilence to keep going even when you experience knock backs.

After doing all of that work, it can be difficult to then hold the door open for others, that’s why trailblazing and pioneering might be considered to be for the selfless. However, holding the door open for others is not a requirement, it’s a choice. Some people decide not to do it because they don’t want others to have it any easier than they did, whilst others do it gladly.

Some focus on they themselves ‘winning’ (as in earning the most money) whilst others will just ensure they get what they need to be comfortable. For some it is about being known and revered for what they have done whilst for others it is about doing the work to make a change.


Wanting the credit

If you were someone who led or pioneered in a particular sector or topic, how would you feel if you weren’t recognised for it.

Is getting credit more important than the work being noticed or the voices being heard?

For a lot of people they may tirelessly work towards a cause and receive little attention for it but they keep at it because they care. They keep on because it’s something that matters.

Then sometimes that thing becomes popular, the sector grows and may even reach a point of saturation. People in other areas get involved and if they’re already more established or more well known than you, they’ll receive more attention.

They may be praised as heroic for their contribution to those who have only just started to pay attention. But if you’re the one that was in it from the start, that can be a difficult thing to handle.

You might have to admit to yourself that you wanted the credit just as much as you wanted the change.

Once you do that, find a conclusion, something to bring you solace. Perhaps that it is more important to work on something you care about and be truly committed than it is to simply show up when it’s the cool thing to do.