Back when I was in college, I met one of the best professors I’ve ever had. She had an excellent eye for graphic design, but her approach to unlock her student’s creativity was torturous.
In a nutshell, the process worked like this: Students had to create the design for a poster with a challenging topic, and for the next week, we had to bring 20 sketches of different ideas to every class, which was five days a week. So yes, 100 in total for the same topic.
Then at the end of the week, we would pick just one idea from the bunch and repeat the process for next week, 20 sketches for different variations of that same idea every day.
It felt like torture, but by the end of the process our creativity muscle had a fantastic workout, and we were ready to tackle the challenges we would face during college life and well into our work life.
Of course, I didn’t notice how valuable that exercise was until I was out of college and working for myself. I had to solve a ton of different challenges with different conditions and limits, be it time constraints, budget constraints or a small specialized audience.
I used to think it was crazy, but embracing those limits lead to a massive spike in my creativity to solve problems, not only when creating a design, but when running a business.
When you are first starting your business, it’s easy to focus on all the things you don’t have or the tools that others are using to achieve their success. This is especially reinforced by all “the experts” trying to push you to buy tools or courses.
But in reality, not having all those tools forces you to be more creative and to simplify your ideas to achieve success. It’s a blessing in disguise because you are not dependant on them and especially you are not paying the upkeep cost of those technologies.
And focusing on what you don’t have at this initial stage of your business only creates unnecessary stress that will just make the challenges you are facing worse.
Instead, I propose you focus on what you have right now. And start asking yourself: How can I achieve my goals with what I have?
Part of being a business owner is to solve this kind of puzzle, where you need to create simple and efficient solutions that help you keep your business running.
By asking yourself for a solution, you are letting your inner creativity help you work out the problem without relying on the blueprints or cookie cutter solutions.
That simple question will help you develop the resilience that you need to push your business to the next level. It’s forcing you to think through a problem and create a tailored solution
Also, since you are not adding new tools or expenses, you will have less overhead, and in turn, it’s easier to reach profitability. That profit will allow you to reinvest in your business to make it grow.
Taking the time to think through and solve the challenge with the tools you already have will help you create a defined process, and that’s the key ingredient when looking for tools to automate your business.
Instead of trying to afford tools right away, focus on getting things done with everything you have on hand, even if you need to push the boundaries a little bit. It’s more important to have a process that works every time than the latest shiny marketing tool.
So, don’t shy away from embracing the challenges and limits that you are facing. They are what will make you a better business owner and will lead to your success.