1 | The challenge of limiting your scope

I earn my living as a researcher, designer and consultant. Three different roles I play to help people. All three roles require some form of entrepreneurship. That means taking risks.

Entrepreneurship is the creation of value. To create value, generally I have to help or guide people in making changes, Something isn’t going right. It needs to go better. Therefore something needs to change. They come to me for guidance on what change is necessary.

I think most changes I promote are for the better. But there is no sure guarantee that all changes will work. I don’t control all the factors involved. Every change is a risk. A risk of failure. I have to assess if that risk is low or high.

This has an inherent challenge, I call this the challenge of limiting your scope. I want to create value. And when somebody comes to me, that is a value creating opportunity. But the challenge of limiting you scope means saying no to some opportunities. That is counterintuitive, Why would I pass on a possibility to help? Isn’t that my purpose?

But if I limit my scope, the opportunities I do decide to participate in will have a better chance of being actually meaningful. Therefore my overall total success ratio will be higher, because less opportunities ended op in a failure.

That’s the challenge of limiting your scope: to help with meaningful changes, you need to say no often. If you do, more projects end up in success. More people will also offer you their problem. Word will get around. A high overall success ratio due to limiting your scope, means having to say no to even more people. So I can help less people. But my work is more meaningful. In the end I have created more value.

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