Lack of Money, Experience, and Wisdom
Obstacles are everywhere. Try hard enough, and you can find an obstacle standing in your way at nearly every turn. Some of them are so minuscule that you power through them without having to expend too much effort. Others are daunting and present a real challenge to overcome. Some of the most common obstacles for entrepreneurs are a lack of money, experience, and wisdom.
For an entrepreneur who is just starting out with owning their first business, or who is going into a field that they haven’t been in before, a lack of experience can be an obvious detriment. However, it doesn’t have to induce stress, and it shouldn’t deter you from trying something new. I had very little experience in the business world when I started my first pawn shop. To overcome that obstacle, I got business partners who knew what they were doing: men who had experience in business and finance, and from whom I could learn as I worked with them. I worked relentlessly to promote my store and used the knowledge I acquired by working in another pawn shop to build a successful business. I talk more in-depth about this venture in my book, View From the Top.
If you don’t have experience now, you will never have it later because you will never start.
If lack of experience is holding you back, then it’s going to hold you back forever because you will never have the confidence to try something new. Lack of experience and lack of wisdom can both be blessings in disguise. Humility is a key characteristic of truly successful people who do more than just earn tons of money. The people with real humility live lives of significance and meaning. Recognizing a lack of experience and wisdom is a good way to keep unhealthy pride on the sidelines where it belongs. It’s also a great opportunity to hire a business coach. I have hired several coaches that helped me in new arenas that I didn’t have experience in, and they poured wisdom into me about things of which I knew next to nothing. I also coach men to live lives of significance and run successful businesses, and I share the experience and wisdom that I’ve gained in my journey to help them reach the next level and create their own view from the top.
We live in the age of information. Even something as simple as a Google search can be a powerful tool. With nearly unlimited information at our fingertips about almost any topic we could dream of, a lack of wisdom shouldn’t be an obstacle that halts our action. An excellent way to gain wisdom is to read books. One book that I recommend on this particular topic is The Obstacle is the Way, by Ryan Holiday.
The Obstacle is The Way features several stories about people from all different walks of life who overcame tremendous obstacles to reach heights of which most people have only dreamed. Ryan Holiday points out the ways each person used an obstacle to their advantage and defied the odds by shifting a negative into a positive. From Presidents George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Andrew Johnson, James Garfield, Ulysses S. Grant, and Theodore Roosevelt, to entrepreneurs such as John D. Rockefeller, Thomas Edison, Samuel Zemurray, and Steve Jobs, each of these individuals overcame significant obstacles on their quest to achieve greatness. Ryan Holiday uses them as examples to encourage readers not to let their obstacles prevent them from achieving their own objectives either.
When you think about an obstacle such as lack of money, it might seem like there is no concrete solution for overcoming it. But there is. You just have to find it. It’s just the same as seeing obstacles everywhere: If you look hard enough, the opportunities and solutions are there too. You just have to look even harder to find them. Think about Jackie Robinson. Imagine the obstacles he faced when he joined the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947. Next time you think one of the obstacles that you’re facing is too much to deal with, think about what Jackie Robinson would have done in your situation. He would have found a way to turn the obstacle into an opportunity.
So what’s it going to be? Are you going to let a lack of money, experience, and wisdom hold you back? Buckle down and push through those obstacles. Find creative ways to conquer your challenges, and allow your character to grow through your trials. Be intentional about what you set out to do, be consistent in your work, and pursue your goals relentlessly. Don’t let obstacles push you around; find a way to use them to your advantage. Take ownership of each situation you’re in, and live on purpose!