Skip to main content Adam Avenir

If you want to succeed in business, you either need money or a lack of it

Forget time and money. The two productive forces that drive success are focus and action.

You can create focus by carving out space for it with cash–or by having no other option. Priorities become pretty plain when the balance sheet’s thin. The necessary questions provoked can make you compromise either everything or nothing.

I actually think it’s easier to set focus without much in the way of resources. Pile-of-cash always smells way more like possibility than lack-of-cash does, but it’s a deceptive scent. Giving into the temptation of fractured focus is just making multiple weakly-hedged bets.

Doing the work of clearly setting focus unleashes innovation full-force. Creativity thrives on constraint, especially constraints that press for action.

Even if they reach brilliance, wishy-washy and uncommitted ideas are generally worthless at the end of the day and always at the end of the fiscal year. It takes hard decisions to put creativity into motion.

Setting focus and taking action is betting on yourself. (Can you think of another bet you’d rather make?)

There’s something awesome about truly deciding, committing to a course and being thrust into a moment within which you must deliver. During an ambitious code sprint on a project, Fritzy said, "Deadlines make me feel alive!"

Aside from loving that quip for its pure poetry, it’s awesomely insightful.

Boxed in, it’s pretty much bloom or bust.

Cash is nice. Constraint is better.