As I prepared to teach a university class, I watched a Ted Talk pertaining to innovative marketing skills, and the speaker made an interesting comment I wanted to share with you … 

He said, “Think about the options and not the problems!”

This was a key takeaway from the talk.

He also stated that success depends on doing one thing: Start!

The point here is there are far too many people who have great ideas but fail to implement them. After a month or so, the innovative idea is merely a distant memory.

The Problem with Thinking about the Problems

Back in 2010, I was having a difficult time expanding my corporate training company. While I had ideas on how to make things better, the negative thoughts were too dominant.

Here was my line of thinking …

  • I need to reach out to more companies who are seeking project management training, BUT I’m too busy right now.
  • I need to hire more people to help me create dynamic workshops, BUT I don’t have the budget.
  • I need to become affiliated with major organizations, such as the Project Management Institute (PMI), BUT the paperwork will be too labor intensive.

By reviewing the items listed above, it is clear I knew what was necessary to improve my business, BUT I was more focused on the problems. In other words, I was telling myself it was not possible to do what it takes to succeed.

The scary part with this line of thinking is, after a while, it will become a reality.

We start to settle.

The Options Set You Free

In the Ted Talk video, the speaker stated that action is necessary. We must start!

A key breakthrough for me was when I stopped thinking I needed to do all the work on my own. Even though I knew the value of delegation, it was difficult for me.

I wanted to be in charge! I thought that for something to be done right, it had to be done by me.

This is a crazy perspective!

A colleague recommended a website where I could find freelance workers who could help me with many tasks, such as creating PowerPoint presentations, producing a marketing video, and even managing my calendar.

At first, I thought the idea was ridiculous and anticipated all the possible problems with it. If you are following, I was thinking about how something cannot be done, which is counterproductive to growth.

However, my colleague was convincing, and I took a chance. I focused on the options available to me at the time.

This advice alone completely changed my mindset about the value other people bring to an organization. I quickly hired many freelancers to help me in various aspects of my business, which gave me the freedom to work on high-value activities.

Of course, we cannot expect great results to happen the first take we do anything. However, while success does require vision and perseverance, a key component is the willingness to get started.