Have you ever told yourself, “If only I had more time, more money, or more connections, then I could put into action the big plans I have for my life?”
Well, my guest on the podcast is here to tell you that those extra resources might actually hurt you more in the long run than if you just embraced and used what you already have at hand. His hame is Scott Sonenshein, he’s a professor of business management at Rice University, and his latest book is Stretch: Unlock the Power of Less and Achieve More Than You Ever Imagined. Scott highlights case studies from the world of business which show that companies that try to get more resources — like money or employees — actually have a higher failure rate than companies that try to make do with the resources they already have at their disposal.
Today on the show, Scott and I discuss why chasing more resources often leads to failure, and why learning to stretch and use what you’ve got can give you a competitive advantage in business and in life. Scott then shares insights he’s gleaned from the world of business on how the stretching principle can help you achieve your personal goals. We then dig into the science of why constraints make us more creative and scrappy, why planning is overrated (and why you should put a premium on action), and why it’s so hard to stretch even though we intuitively know it comes with lots of benefits.
- Chasers vs Stretchers and how each type of person/business sets out to achieve their goals
- Resource accumulation vs resource allocation
- The common excuses that come with Chasing
- What it takes to stop Chasing, and move to Stretching
- The attributes of Stretchers
- Embracing constraints, and how they actually make us more creative
- How even just thinking about constraints can help you succeed and solve problems
- The difference between frugality and cheapness, and using resources wisely
- How to not let frugality turn into miserliness
- Why input from outsiders is important
- The myth we tell ourselves about not knowing enough to jump into a certain goal or field of work
- What food trucks can teach us about Stretching
- Why plans are overrated, the importance of taking action, and how to balance the two
- On keeping a journal of your actions and what you’ve learned along the way
- Why it’s okay to have high, positive expectations for yourself
- The power of small wins, and embracing what’s right in front of us
- One thing a person can do today to become a Stretcher instead of a Chaser
Resources/People/Articles Mentioned in Podcast
- The World Belongs to Those Who Hustle
- The Myth of Scarcity: 12 Easy Things That’ll Set You Apart
- My podcast with Huckberry’s founders about starting a business
- 116 Meditations on the Wisdom of Action
- MacGyver Manhood and the Art of Improvisation
- Good News! Your Life Isn’t Limitless!
- AoM series on willpower
- 80 Ways to Be Frugal
- Internal vs External Locus of Control
- Dick Yuengling
- Bob Kierlin: The Cheapest CEO in America
- Building a Robust Toolbox of Mental Models
- My podcast with Ian Bogost about the power of setting constraints for yourself
Stretch is crammed with fascinating case studies and intriguing research on how making do with less can lead to more success in business and life. The book really does a good job of eliminating the lame excuses you have for not getting going on those goals of yours.
Connect With Scott Sonenshein
Listen to the Podcast! (And don’t forget to leave us a review!)
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Read the Transcript
Last updated: April 7, 2017