Are you thinking of breaking into a new, unfamiliar industry? Are you looking to change your path, but you’re wary of how your inexperience may hinder your success? Do you have people telling you, “but you know nothing about working with ____!”

Changing course in life and trying your hand in an industry you “know nothing about” doesn’t have to spell disaster.

How many times have you been stuck on a problem, only to have someone completely unfamiliar with what you’re working on blurt out the correct answer without missing a beat? There are benefits to being a newcomer and a novice.

This is no reason you can’t be successful in whichever industry you’re considering. It will be difficult and it will require a lot out of you, but as long as you’ve fully considered your decision and have confidence in yourself, it is possible to achieve the unthinkable.

That’s not all it takes, of course, but it will go a long way to assisting your first steps down a road you’ve never traveled by.

Be ready to absorb vast amounts of information, poise yourself to best adjust to the shock of a new industry and heed these useful tips. It will be no small feat to succeed in a new industry, but here are some things to remember, should you decide to take the leap.

Being a dreamer was never, in itself, was never a bad thing to be.

Don’t let your small successes go to your head.

You’re bound to surprise yourself and those around you with how naturally certain aspects of your new industry may come to you. It is vitally important to never forget that no matter how often your fresh eyes prove to be an advantage as you feel your way through your new tasks, you must always be learning.

It’s easy to get caught up in that feeling of being “a natural” or nailing a few of your objectives on the first go and forgetting that you’re still stumbling relatively blind through an industry full of seasoned professionals.

Tricking yourself into thinking, “I got this no problem” when a few aspects come naturally to you can be a deadly deception to allow yourself. Confidence is key, of course, but it’s no substitute for educated and skilled work.

While your inexperience is not a death sentence in your new industry, letting your ego get the best of you just may be. Accept the things you don’t understand and work your best to change that fact.

Let that blissful feeling of surprising yourself drive you to excel in your industry, but don’t let it get in your head and take the wheel.

Take advantage of your blank slate.

The benefit you have as a novice is your lack of preconceived notions. You’re not confronting a problem with the assumption of the most likely solution. You have no idea where your work might take you as you flesh out each new problem.

This frees you from the tendency to hinder your own progress by attempting to justify your hypothesis as you work through each scenario.

You are tabula rasa, a blank slate. You’re exercising different parts of your brain and you’re paving new pathways there. When it comes to creative problem solving and arranging concepts, you are not stuck in the rut of well-worn territory.

Use this to your advantage by aiming for big things. You don’t know what is and isn’t possible, so you don’t have your own invented limitations preventing you from reaching for heights a seasoned pro might assume impossible.

Of course, this means you are running the risk of going down a dead-end path that sees you retracing your steps. But this is how innovation is born and, alongside determination, it is how most great things have been achieved.

Research diligently.

Accept the fact that you’re no expert. While you have fresh hands and a fresh vision working to your advantage, doing your best to understand the industry you’re venturing into is vitally important.

Talk at length with customers and fully understand what they are looking for in a prospective company. Go to trade shows and gauge the field you’re taking part in. Survey your surroundings, take stock of your abilities and know your personal limitations.

Research successful businesses in the industry and research failed businesses. Learn everything you possibly can about each, taking note of what may have gone wrong in the latter. Most successful businesses will have running themes that string them together. Everything you can learn about them will make sense and may even seem obvious.

It’s the unsuccessful ventures that you want to go over with a fine-toothed comb, calculating their steps and their missteps to be certain that you don’t follow in their path. Understanding where others went wrong can serve as a mental “do not enter” sign that guides you back into territory known not to be deadly.

The path you follow doesn’t have to mirror those of the successful businesses. In fact, if it did, you’d be doing yourself a disservice by working right into the ruts your fresh take frees you from.

Emulating successful businesses is not a sure-fired route to success. But avoiding the path forged by unsuccessful businesses will stop you from repeating their mistakes.

Protect yourself and your investment meticulously.

It can’t be stressed enough or understood too thoroughly that you are going half-blind into unfamiliar territory. Acknowledging this fact and preparing yourself for the surprises is paramount.

Get a good lawyer that will be a guiding light as you venture into the unknown. You will be making deals with people far more knowledgeable in the industry than you. Having an experienced, trustworthy lawyer could be your saving grace, steering you away from situations you wouldn’t be able to get yourself out of.

Work closely with your lawyer. Follow their advice. Their understanding of the minutia beyond your depth is not something you would be likely to attain on your own.

Make absolutely sure you understand what you’re getting yourself into.

Talk with everyone you can that may possess industry experience that could prove valuable to you. Do your best to grasp the size of the task you’re facing and don’t run headlong into something you may not be suited for.

It may serve you to take on a mentor. Someone with whom you can build a relationship personal enough that they could advise whether you are capable of what you have planned.

Take a long look at the industry you’re thinking of joining. Make note of the trends and the success rate among businesses who have taken your proposed path. Gauge whether the market is saturated or failing or becoming obsolete. Finding the right moment is key.

There is a reason experience is valued so highly, no matter the industry. Simply put, there are aspects of any field you might venture into that require an expert touch. Be honest with yourself about what lies ahead. Be aware of your likelihood of success.

It is paramount to realize that the amount of work you will have to put in, as someone unfamiliar with the industry, is massive. What you have working to your advantage is dwarfed by what you have yet to learn.

While your inexperience may free you from the weight of preconceived notions, it also binds you to a mountainous pile of extra hours necessary to fully comprehend what it is you have ahead of you.

Be honest with yourself and if you decide you’re going in, go all in.