Being resourceful is an invaluable tool for success in any endeavor. To be resourceful means finding a way to accomplish a task when usual equipment or means is not working or available. Not being resourceful means that you give up when the tools or means you’re used to are not working or available.
Being resourceful is being creative. It is inventing a way to accomplish a task in your mind. I don’t know whether a non-creative person would be good at being resourceful. But I doubt they would be. Most people have some measure of creativity though.
The creative process works like this. You imagine possible alternatives as you mentally scan your inventory of physical and nonphysical resources. The physical resources would be tools, equipment, and materials that you might be able to use to accomplish a given task. Nonphysical resources are methods and systems you’ve accumulated in your subconscious mind over the years that you might be able to adapt to your current situation.
The way I do it is to say to myself, “Options,” when normal resources are not available. Once I have one I then say to myself, “Next, more, or others,” depending on the situation. I repeat this process in my mind in rapid succession until I feel I’ve exhausted all possible alternatives. If it involves needing tools, equipment, or materials I look through my storage areas for possibilities or thought starters. Thought starters are items that lead me to other possibilities that are sometimes totally unrelated to the item found.
There are two components to being resourceful. (1) Identifying alternative tools, equipment, or materials that can be used to accomplish a task when the usual items are not available. (2) Identifying or creating strategies or systems that can be used to accomplish a task when the usual methods are not working or available.
Tools, Equipment, & Materials
Here’s a simple example. Your printer stops working and you need to print a very important document in a short amount of time. What do you do? Do you spend the time you have left trying to fix your printer or do you identify an alternate means? Solution: You devote a preset amount of time to fix your printer and if that doesn’t work you go forward with this alternative that you’ve already identified. You copy the document to a flash drive and take it to a person or place that can print it for you immediately.
Strategies & Systems
Here’s an example that most people overlook when it comes to dealing with warranty, technical, or customer service issues on products or services they’re having problems with.
Most people call or visit a customer service or technical department once and if they don’t get the problem resolved they go no further. As I explained in these articles, “How to Get the Most from Warranties” and “How to Get Good Customer Service,” the key to getting what you want is being resourceful. In other words, you analyze, strategize, and develop an alternate method. Here’s how.
You consider their point of view. You develop an approach strategy for when you call or visit that is likely to produce the best result. You determine the best time to call or visit. You create a secondary plan if you don’t get what you want during your first call or visit.
I’ve had extraordinary results using this method. I would estimate my success rate at about 90 percent.
Motivation for Being Resourceful
Besides keeping your business profitable or job in good standings, there are many other motivations for being resourceful. Beating the system, reducing monthly expenses, and enhancing my living environment are a few that motivate me.
I enjoy finding alternative tools, equipment, and materials that will reduce my monthly expenses while also beating the “system.” I also enjoy doing the same to improve my living environment.
For example, I loved beating my television service provider by getting an outdoor HDTV Antenna that gives me the same number of channels for free! I loved beating the incredibly profitable bottled water industry by getting a quality water filtration system.
As far as home improvements go, there are tons of alternative materials that you can use that will serve the same purpose that the much more expensive advertised items do.
To be successful in any of these endeavors or projects you must be resourceful. And to be resourceful you must find reasons for being motivated to do so that are powerful to you.
Being resourceful is about being smart and thinking things through. It can also be a lot of fun if you attach some meaningful enticements to it.