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 - Dictionary.com
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:
A few quick resources for you:
- How to be relentlessly resourceful via Jason Shen
- Being resourceful means... via Paid to Exist
- What would MacGyver do? via Lorie Marrero on LifeHack
Here's to cultivating resourcefulness in every aspect of your business!
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