How to Cultivate Resourcefulness

everything is figureoutable marie forleo

I have a little obsession with the concept of resourcefulness. I knew I valued it as a trait in myself and others, but I didn't realize quite how much until I mentioned it in interviews with Allyssa Barnes, AP Loves Design, Art in the Find, AND Pen & Peplum.

Forgive me for getting all academic, but I thought a few definitions would be helpful:

Able to act effectively or imaginatively, especially in difficult situations - The Free Dictionary

Ingenious, capable, and full of initiative, especially in dealing with difficult situations -

Able to deal well with new or difficult situations and to find solutions to problems - Merriam Webster

In my mind, proactivity and resourcefulness go hand in hand and are absolutely essential if you want to succeed as a business owner. One really important point I want to clarify: resourcefulness doesn't mean that you need all the answers; it means that you need to be able to find all of the answers you need.

A few times resourcefulness would serve you well:

  • When you're trying to build your client base and throwing up social media status updates isn't cutting it.

A possible solution: Find individuals on LinkedIn who are in your target market and reach out to them directly asking them to join your email list; join in on a Twitter chat, do a series of guest posts related to your service or product

  • When you realize that a huge percent of people are exiting your website on a particular page that draws tons of traffic.

A possible solution: Review your page and see if you can make it more informative/useful/funny; ask several others in your target market to review it and implement their suggestions; set up an exit-intent pop-up plugin that encourages people to join your list whenever it looks like they're leaving your site

  • When you realize you need a Virtual Assistant right now but don't know where to look.

A possible solution: Ask fellow solo business owners for recommendations; look at One Woman Shop's list of Virtual Assistants; search for relevant VAs on FollowerWonk

So, how do you actively cultivate resourcefulness in your everyday life?

  • Next time you're stuck on something, think of 3 possible solutions for your problem (maybe it's Googling it in-depth, emailing someone, posting in a forum, or tweeting the question out).
  • Anytime you're working on something, ask yourself, "Is there a better way?"
  • Make an effort to cut down on saying things like "I can't find a solution" or "I don't know how to handle this." Some individuals wear a bracelet that they switch from arm to arm when they complain; you might try doing this anytime you find yourself being anything less than solution-oriented.
  • Seek out others who you consider resourceful and ask them to walk you through their thought processes when solving business problems. Pay attention to the questions they ask and the resources they utilize.

And keep in mind what Marie Forleo says:

everything is figureoutable marie forleo

A few quick resources for you:

Here's to cultivating resourcefulness in every aspect of your business!

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Cristina Roman is the Founder and Co-Head Honcho of One Woman Shop (the awesome site you're on right now). When she’s not working on One Woman Shop, she takes salsa classes, listens to NPR podcasts, drinks too much coffee, and explores her stomping grounds of Antigua, Guatemala. Find her on and over on her coaching website.
  1. Love this! I also value resourcefulness a lot. It took a lot of resourcefulness as a Romanian high school student to figure out how to go to college in the US (I actually wrote about it in my last blog post), and now it’s taking a lot of resourcefulness to figure out how to run two businesses successfully. I think the key to being resourceful is not giving yourself the option to be comfortable – the best resourcefulness happens when you hit rock bottom and don’t have a choice but to get yourself out of the crap you fell in. That’s when creativity and courage blend to really make magic happen.

  2. Jamie says:

    What a great all-around problem solving hack! It’s encouraging and suuuuper valuable. Thank you so much! Totally bookmarking for when I feel the “that’s impossible voices” creeping in… 🙂

  3. Danielle says:

    Yes! Being resourceful is so important, and one of the traits I’ve always been complimented on. Really, with the internet so easily accessible, sometimes all you need is a few creative ideas and Google.

    • True! A post on advanced Google searching is on our to do list 🙂 Thanks for taking the time to comment and for including this post in your Sunday Link Love post!

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