Yoda’s Advice for Entrepreneurs

by / ⠀Entrepreneurship / November 22, 2013


I’m sure an audible gasp went through the theater the first time the great Jedi Master Yoda uttered the words, “Do or do not. There is no try.” Since then, we have muttered those words as we went about our day or yelled them when giving a pep talk to a friend who shared a crazy amazing idea with us. True to our human nature, we have uttered this phrase, sometimes with substitutions of other empowering phrases like “I can” or “I will.” While it is true they are empowering statements (almost as empowering as “Do or do not”), I’m here to tell you that Yoda got it halfway right and entrepreneurs with young businesses got it all wrong. The statements “I can” or “I will” are your biggest roadblock to seeing the success that you wish to see.

Quite a bold statement to make but it is true.

Danger Ahead

These statements only build a false sense of accomplishment. The only part of you that benefits from this is your ego. Each time you say you can (or could) and that you will (or would), you signal to yourself that you are never too busy for one extra thing. News flash – you are human with a limited amount of time each day to maximize so that you accomplish the goals you have set for yourself. This idea that you are never too busy for one more thing should be laid to rest. Removing “I can” from your cadre of what I like to call Tools of Positive Entrepreneurial Reinforcement ensures that you do not overextend yourself.

Avoiding “Unforeseen” Complications

Recently I came to the uncomfortable realization about my use of the phrase “I can” due to a missed deadline for a major contest. During the seven weeks before the deadline, I was invited to various projects with other entrepreneurs or simply agreed to assist my friends with tasks for their organizations or businesses. Each week, I would feel a sense of accomplishment because I was busy and everyone knows the mark of a successful business owner is how busy he or she is. Then I realized I missed my deadline. My “I can’s” and “I will’s” resulted in fatigue, being overscheduled and only covering my business’ essentials but the extras of others.

Cut Down On Procrastination

Perhaps the best reason for giving up this phrase as it relates to your business is this – it makes you a procrastinator. Your most valuable resource (your time) is used on a project that may not be essential to your business, which means you have pushed necessary tasks that will increase your income further down your list. Our usage of this phrase usually translates into “Sure! Anyone can do it.” The fact is that if anyone can do it, then maybe you should not.

To see the success you have dreamed for yourself, remove your biggest roadblock and stop saying that you can or you will. Focus your energy on what is most important to your success and well-being. Then and only then will you have gotten what the great Jedi meant when he said, “Do or do not.”

Courtney J. Hardwick is the Founder and CEO of Professional By Design NOLA, a personal development company that assists you in putting your best professional face forward. As the Creator of PBD-NOLA, Courtney believes in serving as a reflective device for others to overcome their limiting beliefs while marketing themselves in the marketplace. You can like the official PBD-NOLA Facebook page here.

Image Credit: ignite.me

About The Author

Matt Wilson

Matt Wilson is Co-Founder of Under30Experiences, a travel company for young people ages 21-35. He is the original Co-founder of Under30CEO (Acquired 2016). Matt is the Host of the Live Different Podcast and has 50+ Five Star iTunes Ratings on Health, Fitness, Business and Travel. He brings a unique, uncensored approach to his interviews and writing. His work is published on Under30CEO.com, Forbes, Inc. Magazine, Huffington Post, Reuters, and many others. Matt hosts yoga and fitness retreats in his free time and buys all his food from an organic farm in the jungle of Costa Rica where he lives. He is a shareholder of the Green Bay Packers.