Stretching vs. Chasing: Business Advice During Hard Times

Posted by Ryan Howard on Sep 11, 2020 11:01:55 AM

Stretching vs Chasing Business Advice During Hard Times

If you're starting a new business or have grown a business from the start, you will have some idea of what it takes to "wear many hats" or be as resourceful as possible. During that startup phase, you're analyzing, measuring, listening and on high alert to what is making your clients happy.  According to best-selling author and researcher, Scott Sonenshein, this resourcefulness reveals a "stretching" mindset and is one of the reasons you're succeeding. 

If you're struggling, it may be due to a "chasing" mindset. 

Are you stretching or chasing? Here is some powerful advice to get through hard times.

What is Stretching?

A "stretching" mindset, as we've noted, is rooted in the belief that you must do more with what you already have.  This belief tends to come from necessity, such as limited resources, time or expertise. Within this mindset, Dr. Sonenshein shares in his book Stretch, you "embrace what you already have and then creatively put those resources to work." You're alert, tuned in and passionate about what you're doing, not allowing any limitations to get in the way.

What is Chasing?

What's interesting, according to Dr. Sonenshein, is that once you've achieved some level of success, you begin to get complacent with your creativity. You lock in to a pattern instead of monitoring for necessary changes or pivots in our business strategy. You start comparing your resources or success to others and begin living in a fear-based, scarcity mindset. You start chasing after someone else's success or someone else's earnings.

Bootstrapping to Success

When you're beginning a business, you're "bootstrapping" your way to success. The bootstrapping mindset doesn't have to stop once you reach some sort of pinnacle of greatness. It's within those limited resources that you found opportunities to make things happen. The startup phase is rich with creativity, problem-solving and innovation.  To get back to that stretch mindset, consider the following questions:

  • What could you do if you had less money?
  • What could you do if you had less time?
    • When is the last time that you improvised?

    • Do your clients have suggestions that you've not implemented?

This awareness of a "stretching" vs "chasing" mindset may help you to approach business challenges differently. Starting with the above questions or, Dr. Sonenshein also recommends retelling an experience of working with limited resources, put yourself back into a creative thought process. You may be surprised what you uncover. 

Topics: Entrepreneurs