Arthur Ashe was a top-ranking tennis player in the 1970s, winning titles at Wimbledon, the US Open, and the Australian Open. He contracted AIDs through a blood transfusion and spent the rest of his life speaking and educating others about AIDs, including starting a foundation and an organization for the defeat of AIDs and public health.
One famous quote of Ashe’s states, “Start where you are, use what you have, do what you can.” Let’s explore that in the realm of business.
Start Where You Are
In one sense, it is obvious. You can’t start anywhere other than where you are at the moment. But we so often convince ourselves otherwise, don’t we? We tell ourselves that we can only start once we’ve reached a certain point in our personal life or business growth or financial stability. Start now, where you are. You might be surprised at how far you can go if only you begin.
Use What You Have
Again, on one hand this is a no-brainer. How can you use more than what you have? But we allow this to set us back. Either we wait until we have more, or we try to use what we don’t have (can you say debt?) and that rarely turns out well. Use what you do have. A skill. An ability. Even the help of others who are willing. Never let what you don’t have hinder you from using what you do have to move forward.
Do What You Can
We all tend to focus on what we can’t do. Admit it. Now move past it. Yes, accept there are things you can’t do. It’s the same for everyone, even that person you think really can do everything.
Now that you’ve moved beyond the mental point of what you can’t do, focus on what you can. And then do it!
Arthur Ashe received many honors and did some amazing things during his life. Let his example inspire you, and let his quote be your mantra as you set out to win!
Grow Big or Go Home!