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How Constraints Help Grow Your Business

| July 28, 2010 | 7 Comments

business constraintsOne of my favorite books is “A Brief History of Time” by Stephen Hawking.  This best-selling book was written by one of the most brilliant scientists alive, despite the fact that his body is almost completely unusable.

One of the great things that I admire about Stephen Hawking is that he attributes much of his success as an author and as a scientist… to his disease.

Because he can’t use his hands to turn pages in books, he must memorize every paragraph that he reads.  Otherwise, it will be very difficult to reopen a book and browse to that same page again later on.  This has given him an incredible memory, and an ability to resolve complex problems in his head without writing anything down. This is something that I think about a lot in the day to day running of my business.

Oftentimes, entrepreneurs will give them every reason an opportunity to succeed… and STILL fail.

When they first launch their companies, they will rent a nice office, lease a nice car with their logo on it, print all sorts of fancy letterheads, build a gorgeous website… and they still can’t seem to get off the ground.

When faced with a difficult task, we often use crutches as an excuse not to move forward.

  • We’ll tell ourselves that we can’t launch a new product because it isn’t “perfect” yet.
  • Or that we can’t approach the media without launching some sort of big expensive publicity stunt.
  • Or that we can’t call the CEO of the big company because we don’t know anybody in common.

Whenever I hear entrepreneurs complain about the sorts of problems, I think about the power of constraints on creativity, adaptability and survival.  And I also think about this when I run into problems within my own company.

  • If I find myself too busy, it’s probably because I’m wasting a lot of time.  So instead, I will actually force myself to work fewer hours every day so that I can prioritize my time better.
  • Or if my advertising isn’t working as well as it should, I will cut my advertising budgets to force myself to come up with innovative ways of publicizing my company.
  • If quality is not quite up to my standards, I will limit the number of tools at my disposal.

By forcing constraints on myself, I forced myself to do more with less.  This gives a shock to the system and causes me to reevaluate my priorities, become more flexible, and adapt to my new environment. Often, this brings up a new, innovative ways of doing business that improve overall quality, reduce costs, and increase profitability.

If you find yourself struggling for success in your business, despite having all the right tools… or if you mistakenly believe that your business needs MORE money to take off… you may want to consider placing artificial constraints on your business.

About The Author: Paul Rudo is a marketing consultant that helps service companies market themselves more effectively. Some of his customers include Mississauga & Brampton cleaning companies and cleaning directories.

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  • Roy_Roca

    If anyone is interested there is a book out there called “The Power of Less” by. Leo Babauta that goes hand in hand with this article about setting constraints to make us more productive.

    He talks about how “less” is a powerful principle. By setting limits we must choose the essential areas of focus in our life, which allows us to create a greater impact, maximizing our time and energy.

    Everything in the book is pretty much on his website and blog it’s all simple and straight forward but sometimes we need to hear it from someone else..

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  • http://blog.michaelmichelini.com Michael Michelini

    wow, I really love this article. yes – so many people think of EXCUSES why they cannot get something done. Looking for reasons why OTHERS are holding them back.

    but it is ourselves that hold us back…..

    i'm giong to try to create these fake constraints….awesome advice and motivation i need!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jackie-Flores/637348573 Jackie Flores

    Nice article. I totally agree with this approach. I've used it many a times in running my business and even in my personal life.

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  • Jbaud23

    Love this article maybe this is why many build a business locally or regionally first a more concentrated form of growth I suppose?