My friend recently switched from a small nonprofit job to a corporate philanthropy position.
When asked what the biggest difference was, she said:
It’s so refreshing to actually have resources. At my last job, people would yell at me for printing something in color.
If you’ve ever worked for a startup before, you can relate. Words like scrappiness and ownership aren’t clichés, they’re necessities.
Because in any bootstrapped environment, you don’t really have a choice. Everybody has to do everything, whether they want to or not, whether they’re busy or not, whether they’re expert or not. Otherwise it won’t get done and then the whole team suffers.
But the upside to this ethos is, you learn how to do a lot with a little. Startups put a constant wall in front of you that only ingenuity will allow you to figure out how to get around it.
Belsky, who founded the world’s most successful online portfolio software for creative professionals, summarized it fittingly during a recent interview.
Resources are like carbs, but resourcefulness is like muscle. When you develop it, it actually stays with you and impacts everything you do going forward. If you’re forced to develop that muscle, that serves you forever.
And it’s not that we don’t long for the day when some organization gives us an unlimited budget to execute our work. Perhaps some of us will have the good fortune of such prosperity.
But let’s not hold our breath here.
In the meantime, it’s best that we focus on developing our muscles. It’s like the transition from street performing to studio performing. When artists get their start playing in public without a net and without amplification, by the time they can finally afford to plug into that twelve thousand dollar microphone, their songs sound that much better.
Don’t underestimate your resourcefulness. Trust that in any given startup situation, you and your team will figure out how to tame the beast before it triggers the collapse of the organization.
LET ME ASK YA THIS…
How are you getting in touch with your own resourcefulness?