can you do it?


There was a story along these lines that I always loved: A man goes talking to a big Hotel and ask the owner if they would have the space for an event. The owner promptly replied “yes”, then the man asked if they have a place big enough to accomodate 1000 people.  The owner confirmed, then the man asked if, for each person that would come, they would give him one orange by hand (so no self serve). The question did put off a little bit the owner, he said it was impossible to do it. Then the man asked if they could offer one juice each on entrance, a fresh orange juice made right away, not pre-prepared. The owner promptly replied a clear No. End of the story, the man didn’t choose the hotel. But what’s the takeaway?  The man didn’t need a place for 1000 people, he needed a place to accomodate only 200 people, and he didn’t need all the oranges things. What the man wanted to know was if the hotel was able to arrange those request, if they could find a way to manage them,  There’s _always_ a way.  Think about the orange thing. The owner said no because in his mind “We can’t afford this for the prices we have”. But did they talk about prices? Of course not. What the owner missed is the fact that each and every request is a negotiation. Many if not all the request we receive are possible, what makes them “impossible” are the constraints. When we usually say “we can’t do this” what we actually mean is * We don’t have enough resources to do this * There is not enough time * We can’t cover the costs  What if you didn’t have _any_ limit or constraint? You would probably say “Yes, we can do it”. So why say it’s impossible?  Maybe the person in front of you can help you remove some constraints by adding more money/time/resources. If not, then it’ll be impossible, but whenever someone comes to me and say “Hey, can we do this?” I always reply “Of course, it all depends on time, money, and resources”
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