I Let It Be EasyNov 12, 2023
By Tricia Scott
It only takes a few minutes of browsing the internet on any given topic to become completely overwhelmed with conflicting advice on anything from make-up to marketing. Do you know what I mean?
I was conducting some research this last week, and while it's still incredible to me that we can lay our fingers upon every kind of information in less than two seconds (yes, hello, I am the age of pre-google), it's also a really easy way to become overwhelmed, fast.
As humans, we're really good at this. We can take any subject you like, add a few different angles and opinions and BAM... suddenly, it's impossible to see the wood for the trees.
It reminds me of a story I heard years ago, and it's the perfect example of our inherent need to overcomplicate; it's the case of the Soviet Pencil.
The story goes that in the 1960s, NASA was going all-in on exploring space. The space race was on. However, they discovered that while astronauts were off doing their thing in space, they couldn't use a pen to record their work or findings.. pens don't work in zero gravity.
So, allegedly, in an attempt to fix the issue, they employed a man called Paul C Fisher to design a pen that would do the job. Millions of dollars were spent, countless trials were undertaken, and eventually, the Fisher Space Pen was brought into existence. At last! A tool that could be used to record arguably the most important findings of our time.
But, ah, but, the Soviets were also in the running to discover space, and It was all about who was getting there first. Of course, they faced the same issue. How would they record these world-changing findings? With no time to waste and up against their NASA counterparts, they didn't waste time developing fancy pens. They didn't spend millions on research either. They just used…
You've got to laugh; I mean, how much truth is in this urban legend who knows? (The Fisher Space Pen is an actual thing.) The point is sometimes we can get so caught up in the solution we miss what's right in front of our faces.
Where in your life or business are you racing to find a solution that, if you took a step back (or perhaps another opinion), could be easily solved with the proverbial pencil? Could it be that easy?
You might be surprised.
The first time I read this little story, it really made me think (I have been so guilty of this in the past). Simplicity is critical, and we must be careful not to discount an idea because it seems too simple to be viable. Consider the advantages of moving in short, straight lines instead of running around in circles, leaving big, fat, pink, squiggly lines everywhere.
Our brains make us think that the NASA approach is best because we live in a society where complexity and speed are seen as innovative, struggle indicates success, and frustration leads to extraordinary breakthroughs.
I'm calling bullshit
I'm not discounting innovation, far from it, but I urge you to consider that a simple approach could be fundamental to success. If you need more time, take it. If you need space to think, take it. Don't allow others' panic-laden voices to drown out your intuition or confuse you as to what you know your business needs.
Yes, you may need to implement change, but you can do it in a way that works for you and your business and supports your well-being without panic-inducing disaster scenarios or reinventing the wheel.
Look for the easy solution first. Let it be simple. It's amazing what a little space and clear thinking can do.
In a world full of Fisher Space Pens, be the pencil.
I believe in you (always)
👉 This affirmation was taken from a series I share every Monday with our Hello CEO mailing list. If you want to join in, head to the Homepage and sign up!
Tricia Scott is a passionate startup business mentor and the Founder and Editor of The Female CEO - Create Evolve Overcome, a platform and digital magazine holding the space to showcase female entrepreneurs from all over the world.
The Female CEO is gaining global recognition daily and Tricia is able to bring her own level of expertise as a start-up mentor and multi-company director to her very exclusive table along with her team of brilliant Guest Editors and Contributors. You'll usually find her with her MacBook in one hand and a coffee or a glass of something fizzy in the other Reach out anytime!
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