Follow the Yellow Brick Road

In Chronicles of a CEO by Rebecca Liston


I love the moment in the Wizard of Oz where Dorothy turns to her wee dog and says the classic line, “Gee, Toto. I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore.” Do you ever find yourself thinking the same thing with regards to your business? Do you make your way to your office, sit down at your computer, pause and wonder, “How the heck did I get HERE?”

You see, many people just muddle along when it comes to their businesses. They dabble in marketing a bit over here, then go network for a moment over there. A pretty little shop catches their attention so they stop and have a gander…they get the munchies and take a pit stop somewhere (who knows where?) along the highway…and then wake up one morning and wonder, as Dorothy did, just where they heck they are and how the frig they got there.

Well, folks, just in case you didn’t realize it yet, that method simply does not work. It may make for an exciting adventure, yes, but in the end, if you want to create the business of your dreams, you need a plan. And you need to follow the Yellow Brick Road.

You have to have a plan, and more importantly, you need to stick to it. In spite of fear (and sometimes because of it), in spite of panic-struck husbands who are watching you write another cheque to your web designer, in spite of the sideways glances you get from your cousin Martha as she discusses her high-flying, big-paying corporate gig, you have to Follow the Yellow Brick Road.

I mean, if Dorothy and her crew – a scarecrow in need of brains, the tin man in need of heart, and the lion in need of courage – can manage it, so, too, can you!

Here’s a few tips and tricks to keep you on course, no matter what!

  • Keep your plan in front of you at all times. If ever you question an opportunity that has presented, or a new idea comes to mind, consult your plan. Does it fit? If so, great…and if not, let it go!
  • Don’t talk to all of your friends and family about your business and how you are doing (or not doing) financially. It’s no one’s business and it just opens you up to criticism, critique, and suggestions from people who really have no clue what they are talking about. Surround yourself, as Dorothy did, with people who are on the same Road. Share with them. Support each other. And enjoy a few songs and dances together along the way.
  • Have a mantra to use in times of doubt and panic. Mine is a quote from Finding Nemo: “Just keep swimming,” as Dori would say. You could choose to sing the song, “Follow the yellow brick road.” Or simply remind yourself to, “Stay the course.” Whatever the words you choose, embrace them often and repeat, repeat, repeat as necessary.
  • Read books that support the mindset required for the growth of a small business. The Power of Focus. Think and Grow Rich. Delivering Happiness. Feel the Fear and Do It Anyways. These are all personal favourites of mine and they are like old friends.

At the end of the day, just remember that you have a plan and the execution of this plan requires action. Don’t let fear stand in the way of your action! Just keep moving, one step at a time, in the direction of your goals! You can do it! It’s your time.

With your happiness in mind,



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Rebecca Liston helps her clients predict, pivot, and compete in an increasingly complex global marketplace. Her clients quickly uncover the root of their challenges and know the actions to take to overcome them. A six-time nominee for the RBC Canadian Woman Entrepreneur Award, Rebecca combines business strategy with intuition, giving her clients the edge on forward-thinking, elegant answers to their most complicated problems. Her clients are entrepreneurs with CEO-mindsets and executives with entrepreneurial instincts. She is based in London, Ontario. What if you could get the answer to your biggest business challenge, in one sitting? Visit to find out more.