The first way is to start by imagining the possibilities – the future that you could create – and then work back to map out how you could achieve it. Along the way you think about what kind of resources you would need to buy, beg, borrow or adapt to make it happen. This is how entrepreneurs think.
The second way involves approaching things the other way round. You look at what resources you have today, and then decide what you will be able to do with those current and limited resources. Do things this way and you’ll spend most of your life on a little hamster wheel not really getting anywhere.
I think many people have the potential to fall into the trap of thinking the second way, especially when they’ve been in a tough situation for a long time or are over-worked. That’s when help is needed to define a new goal and be more imaginative in marking out the most promising routes to the finish line.
Prof Howard Stevenson at Harvard Business School was thinking about all this when he defined entrepreneurship:
“Entrepreneurship is the relentless pursuit of opportunity without regard to resources currently controlled.”
Next time you’re thinking about how your world could change, ask yourself if you’re thinking like an entrepreneur – or perfecting your hamster impression.
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