I never had a long-term ambition or goal, or a career plan. I just needed a place to start. And every opportunity that I got, I immersed myself intensely and learned as much as I could. Other opportunities somehow found me when the work today starts to speak for itself.
Twenty years ago, I never could have imagined that I would have opportunities to work at a steel mill, a nuclear power plant, a stock exchange, or be given the privilege of building an airline from scratch and growing it until its IPO, or starting a global internet video-on-demand service. I didn't seek these opportunities out. I focused my time on learning, hanging around people who were uplifting and willing to share their knowledge and experience, and giving 110% effort to every opportunity that came my way.
Interestingly, that's been my philosophy of how to run businesses. I've stopped worrying about crafting the perfect 3-5 year long-term strategic plan, or even worry about details of a 12-month budget. The world today moves at a much faster rate of change. There is no way to anticipate what will happen around the corner, and no 12-month budget or annual plan has stayed constant without being re-written every couple of months. Instead, focus on having the courage to take that first step to launch, collect lots of feedback, listen to the market, and keep adapting and improving every day - at a faster rate than your competition.