The discovery of unfair advantages that we enjoy without knowing it
There is often something that irritates us, that torments us because it gives us the impression that it is holding us back in our progress. The fact of not having been advantaged in life can indeed prove to be a heavy handicap except if we show a little ingenuity to transform them into an asset.
Let me explain, you may not have been born into an affluent family far from any worries. If you were, would it really be a blessing not to have been confronted with a bit of reality that most people face?
Living modestly can help develop a frugality and prodigality that is difficult to develop in more affluent circles.
When you take on a new challenge in life and have developed the habit of acting frugally: you are less likely to fail because often failures are related to mismanagement of resources rather than anything else.
Make a list of the things that block you, whether psychological or material. Then see how you can use these disadvantages to your advantage.
Let’s look at some examples that will give more meaning to this concept.
Let’s imagine 2 situations:
A person who wants to be an entrepreneur but does not have significant personal funds
Entrepreneurship without money is always a bad experience, especially when compared to start-ups that manage to raise funds or people we know who have a real helping hand from their relatives. There are a lot of things that we don’t master, we are not all lucky enough to be born with a silver spoon in our mouth. Having said that, we must not forget that there are surely millions of men and women who are in a much worse situation than we are. And if you are convinced that you are the last of the damned on earth and that you still have a little animal sensitivity, put yourself in the place of these poor devils who endure nameless suffering in filthy farms where promiscuity and insalubrity are their daily lot.
After making this effort of empathy, you can put your misfortune into perspective and even begin to see opportunities that you have overlooked. Suffering from a lack of resources when undertaking a project is often suffering from a lack of creativity. Thinking outside the box is a principle that should be the norm for any entrepreneur. Something that you lack is the defect of a quality that you need to find. Here are examples of peers you can draw from to overcome your current challenges:
lack of money → frugal and minimalist approach (key values of Lean startup)
lack of connections to get started → the time and energy you may have dedicated to maintaining your network, you will use to train and improve your skills (related to your project).
lack of notoriety → this is somewhat related to the previous point, but it’s still different. If people don’t know you, you can experiment with more different things (more possibilities are available to you in reality) and thus fear consequences on your reputation
the place where you live is too expensive to start your business → you can consider leaving your city or country to a more affordable destination, new opportunities will surely come to you
you lack time to train and consider a professional transition → you approach your learning with an 80/20 mentality (you make better use of your time and focus on the efforts that will bring you the fastest and most consistent results) / or you put systems in place in your work that allow you to free up time by using levers (see article) → in the second case you don’t use the lack of time to be better, but rather you seek to be more efficient at your job to save time;
A person who wants to spend more time with his family but can’t because of his job
His schedule is limited, the hours are fixed in advance and he has several dozen people to answer to. For him, it is very difficult to leave his job without having to answer his emails of all kinds, whether on vacations or on weekends. He earns a good living, but he would like to have more time for more personal things like playing a musical instrument or learning a foreign language. Work and family commitments mean that he has very little time left each day to pursue one of his passions. On top of that, he is tired and has neither the energy nor the desire to do so after a hard day’s work. The point is clear here: He has money (which his job brings him) but little time. He has a good amount of energy and attention, but these are used for his job which consumes all his resources.
Assuming that he does not wish to reduce his salary, there are several options available to him to gain this personal time that he so lacks.
A first simple solution would be to be able to negotiate with his boss in order to have more free hours that allow him to organize his time as he wishes
He could decide to get up much earlier in the morning in order to take advantage of the “best” hours of the day, which could allow him to indulge his passions. This solution is not really a panacea in the sense that sleep time is not completely incompressible. To do so, he could resort to a possible polyphasic sleep, allowing him to distribute his sleep time and reduce the number of total sleep hours. This solution is also hypothetical in the sense that he must be able to sleep in slots that are normally reserved for his work. This remains subject to negotiation with his boss. Here are some examples of polyphasic sleep:
Biphasic – nap: a 6-7 hour night plus a 20 minute nap in the afternoon
Everyman 2: a 5-6 hour night plus two 20 minute naps in the afternoon.
Triphasic: 3 time slots of 2 hours dedicated to sleep and spread out in different parts of the day
etc. There are other possibilities, it’s up to you to consult them but be aware that they become more and more difficult to support if you don’t have a very good lifestyle and if you don’t have the regularity of a watchmaker in your schedule (shifting the time of a nap in certain polyphasic systems can disrupt your rhythm)
A third option is to use your time to delegate certain daily tasks (cleaning, taking the children to school, etc.)