Let’s say you’re faced with a choice between the thing you’ve always done and some new thing you might considering doing. It could be anything, so long as it represents change — shifting more of your marketing spend into digital, ramping up your social media presence, adding a new retail location, launching a new product or service, expanding into an adjacent territory or market. If you weigh the options, sigh, and lament that you quite simply don’t have the “resources”, you’re using one of the most common excuses in business. And like just about every other executive who’s used it, you’re actually placing blame where it doesn’t belong.
When you say you don’t have the resources to accomplish something — the money, the people, the time — what you’re really saying is, you won’t make it a priority.
You see, in just about every area of business, we’ve moved beyond the state of haves vs have nots and into a state of wills and will nots. Where there’s a will, as they say, there is a way. The challenge is that for many executives, there’s not a will – there’s a won’t. And that won’t stands in the way of real progress.
Resources are rarely the issue. Priorities are.
I appreciate that there are, indeed, some practical real world constraints. But for any business above a certain size, the money is there; you’re just choosing to invest it in other things. The people are there; you’ve just chosen to allocate them to other tasks. You’ve simply chosen not to invest in developing the skills they’d need to take on new responsibilities. The time is there; you’re just using it for other things. Lack of money, lack of time, lack of people all boil down to just one thing: Lack of priorities. And — left too long — lack of priorities results in lack of growth.
What is it about business that drives us to forgo prioritization for mere allocation? It is fear? Complacency? Outmoded beliefs?
At the end of the day, it’s not the things that you have that define your business or career. It’s the things you do. It’s not really the lack of resources that hold us back. It’s the poor choices we make about how to invest those resources. If you want to move your business forward, to seize the opportunity to do new things, to say you “will” and find a way to make it happen, then you need to start with one simple step: Get your priorities straight.