I am afraid of having to start from zero on this new project



The Context

There’s nothing more deflating than believing you have to go back to the drawing board. It makes the creative process feel like such an uphill battle. No wonder people struggle to execute their ideas on time, if at all. They assume that they have to start from scratch. But that doesn’t have to be the case. Not if you ask the right question.

The Tool

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SCRATCHING — Identifying what you already possess in service of your creative vision so you don’t have to start from zero

The short answer is, probably more than you realize. Because if you look around, there are likely to be plenty of resources; human, financial, intellectual, creative and even cosmic, that are already on your side. You just have to take inventory. To pause to acknowledge the prosperity you already own, and figure out how you can mobilize it. Williamson writes that it is the limits of our faith, not the limits of our circumstances, that keep us from experiencing miracles. This spiritual principle is quite useful in the business world. It all comes down to trust. Trusting ourselves, trusting the process, trusting our community and trusting the universe to deliver.

That’s one lesson working in open floor plan offices has taught me. When you spend your days in the same room with only a few dozen other people, you never have to start from scratch. Odds are, somebody somewhere has solved the same problem you have, and probably even documented how to solve it as well. The hard part is asking. Making yourself vulnerable enough to not try and do everything yourself, put up a flag and hope a friend sees it. Hey guys, I’m feeling stuck here, has anyone ever run into this issue before? And nine times out of ten, they deliver an asset in service of your vision. It’s the most beautiful moment. You feel like all's right with the world. Like you’re living in an ancient tribe who trusts the forest to provide for their needs. There’s a beautiful poem by a native tribesman that comes to mind. Should your mind ever fall ill from this modern world of cheap thrills, the forest will provide. Should you ever long for something real, tired eyes from all this concrete and steel, the forest will provide. Doesn’t mean we need to move out into the bush. But thinking like someone who does live off the land is a holistic and faithful relationship to have with our creative process.

The Rest

Remember, it’s usually easier and faster and cheaper to leverage existing assets than to find or create new ones. If you want to build and exploit competitive edges, you don’t need to start from scratch. You simply need to take inventory. How are you leveraging the momentum of your environment?

The Benefits

Eliminate information overload the moment it strikes
Reduce effort by getting help from experienced people
Build momentum immediately with overwhelming work
Save money leveraging existing assets rather than finding new ones

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