Feb 22, 2016 | Posted by etc
Part 3- Love What You Do • Do What You Love
“I love not having enough resources to do the things I want to do.” Said no entrepreneur ever.
Unless your uncle is a billionaire, entrepreneurs must endure limitations every single day. Energy, girlpower, manpower, cash, and hard assets, are always in limited supply.
But I wonder if I could convince you that limitations are not a handicap? I wonder if I could convince you that limitations can be an advantage in disguise?(Probably not. We would love the chance, if only for a day, to experience money falling from the sky, yes?)
But I would love it if I could teach you to see limitations from a different angle, because limitations are the matrix of creativity and innovation. It is rather the abundance of resources that can short circuit adaptation to challenging environments. Have you ever looked at that thorn in your side as the best thing that has happened to you all year? Did you die? No. You are still here and growing stronger every day.
We humans naturally crave sunshine and rainbows, yet this environment is notorious for producing weak root systems. (Just ask your local gardener.) Think about it. Anyone can make anything with endless resources. It takes very little skill. Endless resources mean you can take as long as you want, and be as inefficient and as wasteful as you want on any given project. When has wastefulness and inefficiency been coveted characteristics? Nor has any such project won any awards for good design.
The pressure of limitations becomes the crucible of genius. Creativity hides under the challenges, problems, and surprises. Creativity is the ability to see solutions that others are missing. This wrestling with common things is the matrix of innovation.
Here are a few classic thought patterns of how we commonly think about our limitations, and how we might think about them instead:
I do not have enough cash. Cash flow never works like the accounting textbook say it will. No one ever says hallelujah. Yet poor cash flow will teach you more about your own business and more about money management than the finest schools of business. It helps you to learn the seasons unique to our own business, even as we are forced to learn it. So you have to bootstrap! Far from being a handicap, bootstrapping is the strongest start-up position. It teaches skills right out of the gate that borrowed money will never teach you. When storms hit, as they surely will, the bootstrapper already knows how to batten down the hatches. We applaud you.
I do not have enough education.A university degree does indicate you have the pluck and the follow through to achieve a big goal. But even an Ivy League diploma does not mean you how to dream. It does not mean you know how to make something from nothing. It does not provide the chutzpah to try something that no one has ever tried before. It does not mean you know how to maximize your creativity and skill. It does not mean you are doing the work that matters. Stop using your lack of letters as an excuse. Engage.
I have so little resources and way too many obstacles! Let’s see. Everything with a beginning started from nothing. Just because you cannot see something does not mean there is nothing there. It may simply mean you cannot see it from where you are standing. Change your perspective. Can’t budge? Out of space? Use the lack of elbow room to become as lean and mean as an entrepreneur can be. Feeling overwhelmed with your lack? Look at everything you do have and imagine life without it. Thankfulness opens our eyes to new possibilities. Too few customers? It seems counter-intuitive, but stop looking for ways to find more customers. Look for ways to help more people. And you will find more customers.
Do you ever get jealous of how easy other entrepreneurs seem to have it? Some have such an easy road, and your road seems so full of mud. But look who is building up the stamina to go the long haul? Stop looking at your feet. Look up! Look ahead, at where you are going!
Stop looking at your limitations as thorns, and look at them instead as opportunities to improve your business. You will find more meaning packed into each day, and find more joy in your journey.
Why do we at etc!graphics inc, a graphic design company, care about your business strategies? Because no matter how beautiful we make your visuals, your graphics will never make more sense than the clarity of your own vision. The clearer your target, the more lucid your marketing will be, and the better connection your visual graphics will make with your target customer. We want to help you become the best you can be. Join us all this month as we share ways to help your small business sustain and grow in a crowded marketplace. Etc!Graphics is devoted to helping you, the small business owner, think like a marketer.