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Frugal Resourcefulness

Resourcefulness is the ability to find a way to achieve your goal or to make one. This is especially true when the goal is difficult to achieve and when little or no direction is given. Resourcefulness is the ability to think creatively, to generate ideas, and to identify alternatives. Resourcefulness is also imagination, the ability to visualize how something could be achieved when there is nothing there but the vision.

To be resourceful takes self-discipline and an iron will. First, self-discipline enables the belief that there is a way to achieve the outcome. Second, it takes an iron will to ignore the naysayers, the devil’s advocates, and those who simply lack resourcefulness themselves and so have no interest in seeing you succeed.

Resourcefulness in Sales
  • Great salespeople are resourceful. They use their resourcefulness to find ways into prospects that others fail to uncover. Once inside, they work with their prospects to generate ideas that create a vision of how a problem may be solved or a competitive advantage might be gained—for them and for their prospect.
  • They find away to overcome obstacles to a deal that would otherwise be a roadblock. They identify the resources within their own company, their prospect’s company, and within their networks, and then they bring these resources to bear on the obstacles or challenges that would otherwise prevent their success.
  • These salespeople bring their resourcefulness to bear on their own company’s challenges, and they work with management to create the innovative solutions that win deals, grow their sales, and move their company forward.
When Resourcefulness is Missing
  • When resourcefulness is missing, salespeople accept defeat. They believe that obstacles are actually roadblocks that cannot be overcome. Even though they possess the ability to imagine and to create, they don’t exercise their ability to do so. And without exercising their resourcefulness, it atrophies.
  • As sales has become more and more competitive, and as the rules of business are continually being rewritten to keep pace with the changing business climate, this lack of resourcefulness is a liability to the salesperson—and their company.
  • The lack of imagination, the lack of creativity, and the lack of the ability to identify resources that may move a deal forward results in losing deals that may have been won. Deals that will be won by someone else, often someone more resourceful.

People who attain their vision are resourceful not simply rich in resources. Did many of the early tech start-ups have significant funding, support, encouragement, or any at all? There is truth to the two guys in a garage image. Though they may have had a lack of resources — what many of these individuals did have was resourcefulness.

Resourcefulness is the ability to use creativity, intelligence, courage, determination, and other attributes, to overcome obstacles using what you have inside. Vision and passion fall into this category. It’s not something you allocate or put in next year’s budget, it’s the ability to see the opportunity and the belief you have the wherewithal to succeed. Resourcefulness sees the end goal and expects some hurdles. In fact, a resourceful person knows some mistakes lead to even better outcomes. It is all taken in stride. Resourcefulness makes you dig deeper to your essence and talents, rather than settle for conventional wisdom or the easy answer.

Too many people on staff. The easy response to many problems is hire more people. It generally isn’t the answer. More participants mean additional people to manage and they bring their own set of needs and demands. Hiring en masse is not selective. Now you have a large group of average individuals who fill you census number. Are they the right people? If you calculated by contribution, you probably would have done better with fewer, dedicated and smart employees, possibly higher paid talent, than another average worker.

Too many choices. Watch people at a buffet table. They pile on the food, not because they are hungry but because they don’t need to make a choice. On the other hand, take a person on a limited budget who plans the menus, shops within their means, wastes little, and you’re more likely to see nutrition balance, inventiveness, and greater satisfaction in a job well-done. You see this type of resourcefulness in developing nations where nothing is tossed and everything has multiple purposes. People with more resources rely on things rather than ideas.

Lack of vision. It’s hard to muster up passion when you don’t know what you want or where you want to go. Resourceful people are curious and see options in everything. Think about artists using found objects, such as steel drummers, and street performers. They don’t run to the finish line to get the race over, they actively participate in all aspects of the event, keenly aware opportunity could appear at any time. Their clarity eliminates the static and the useless distractions, and allows for ideas to flow.

Understanding resourcefulness is a resource. The easy question to ask is, “What resources do we already have and how can we use them better?” The more pointed question is, “What do we, as individuals and teams, bring to the table that comes from who we are and what we are capable of regardless of resources?” Your ultimate resource is your resourcefulness.


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