Entrepreneurs are simply those who understand that there is little difference between obstacle and opportunity and are able to turn both to their advantage.Victor Kiam
Many years ago I visited a museum on one of my trips throughout Europe.
Impressive artwork surrounded me, but one painting called out to me specifically: The image of a lone man on a ladder, with both arms outstretched, and who looked undeniably deflated. It was as if he’d reached the pinnacle of his journey halfway, and could neither move back nor forward.
Years later, as I mentor people at different stages of their professional development who come to me saying they’re feeling stuck in a career rut, I picture that image.
Whether their interests and values have changed, or they find that they don’t have the creative freedom they long for — the same question surfaces time and time again: But what else can I do?
Here’s what I realized after leaving the museum that day long ago: Unlike that painting etched on the wall, none of us are static.
We can choose to leave a dead-end job and venture into the unknown. We can also choose to stay where we are and begin side projects that give us a greater sense of fulfillment.
And never has the decision to try something new been made easier than with the onset of the no-code movement, which allows anyone to build their own websites or mobile applications without knowing a line of code.
With no-code , you can take a beat to rethink the path you’ve taken and the options you have available to you.
First, here’s how to know it’s time to take action
“The consequences of staying stuck in a career rut will have a lasting effect on your health and happiness,” contributor Caroline Castrillon, writes in her illuminating story for Forbes. “Ask yourself: what is it costing you to stay in the job you’re in now? If the status quo is worse than the thought of change, it’s time to take action and commit to changing your circumstances for the better.”
Sometimes stagnation comes from being in the wrong environment, and leaving can be the absolute right answer for getting unstuck.
And sometimes it comes down to a lack of exploring our full potential. As author Ben Renshaw explains in his book Purpose: The Extraordinary Benefits of Focusing on What Matters Most. “A primary human need is to learn and grow.”
Wherever we find ourselves on that spectrum, I believe the no-code revolution is here to offer a way to get us moving.
No-Code Opens New Doors
A fear that often shows up when people come to me about being stuck is that they don’t have the skills or resources to pursue a business or creative idea. I can’t blame them for this line of thinking. We’ve long heard the rallying cry that in order to build anything online, we first have to be proficient in tech, or count on thousands of dollars to invest. But thankfully, that’s no longer the case.
As Head of Growth of Voiceflow, Emily Lonetto, writes:
What really keeps me motivated, is hearing a lot of stories of people who felt stuck in their current jobs or were waiting for that opportunity to transition into a PM or a technical role for years at a company and then discovered one of these tools and started to build these things. And actually, were able to make the move where they were able to support themselves full time and even build a team around no-code tools.
Take the SaaS platform, FollowUp Edge, as an example. Co-founder Scottie Schneider bootstrapped and grew the business with zero seed funds raised — all by using no-code. It’s an impressive project which takes inbound leads through an automated sequence of text messages, emails, and ringless voicemails that stop when the lead responds. And it was built with Bubble and Zapier.
Zapier’s co-founder and CEO, Wade Foster speaks to this new sense of empowerment his product is setting in motion. People don’t have to wait for engineering to make this stuff happen anymore, he says. “They can use tools like Adalo, or Zapier, or a Webflow, or an Airtable, or what have you, to build the thing that works and solves the problem that they have.”
“To me, no code is all about helping that set of people make that happen,” Foster notes. “It’s the sort of this democratization of building things that is really useful.”
2 Ways to turn this movement to your advantage
1. Dip your toes before leaping in
When I first started my company, Jotform, back in 2006, I was still fully employed. I didn’t leave my job right away to go after my dream, and I’ve written extensively about why I don’t believe you have to do so in order to chart a new course.
You can hold onto your paycheck while taking the time to explore your options. If you’ve always dreamt of building a web app, a platform like Bubble can be an excellent way to build a prototype without having to invest in technical resources.
2. Give yourself permission to start
What’s insidious about the question “But what else can I do?” is that it rests upon a scarcity mindset. I believe no-code hands us the reins to finally go after our passions and curiosities — if only we grant ourselves the opportunity.
After over fifteen years as an entrepreneur, what I’ve learned is this:
The ladder in the painting is an illusion. The truth is that there is no up or down, there is only wide open space.
Pursuing ideas that genuinely excite us, and using the tools at our disposal to turn them into reality — that’s what will ultimately leapfrog us forward.