Stretching the Noodle
Stretching the noodle, what does this mean? Have you ever heard of somebody saying that you should stretch your budget or stretch your brain? This is what “stretching your noodle” means, it means to take that little package of noodles and see how many meals you can make out of that bag of noodles. How can you get more creative with your limited resources? How can you save money? How can you do more for little? It means learning how to stretch your brain as far as it can go. It means thinking outside of the box and being uber creative. What ways can you be different than your competition? What can you do to be successful in your industry?
As you start your business (or are in the early years) you very quickly learn what it means to stretch the noodle. You learn very quickly that you have to live on a budget and you are always thinking about how to stretch your resources. You very quickly learn that in order to be successful you have to stretch your money and your mind as far as they can go. You have to get creative and learn how to do all you can with very little.
In the beginning, it is very unlikely that you will have a location, employees, advertising or even tons of money for inventory. This is where you will be stretched to the limit. You will have to do every job. You will be in charge of finances, marketing, inventory, social media control, customer service and the list goes on. You will have to work more hours then you have ever had to work. If you learn how to stretch your noodle at the beginning then you will have more money to spend on the necessary resources as you become more profitable.
Don’t get frustrated. You won’t always have to stretch your noodle. One day you will be able to hire employees and during this process you should start documenting everything you do so that you can easily transition into hiring employees and scaling. One day you won’t have the budget constraints that you do in the early years. Remember, all new businesses have gone through the same thing. You aren’t the only one who is struggling with money or worrying about how they will ever make it. These are very common thoughts for new entrepreneurs. Heck, I have thought about this a couple of times through my journey of making it as a profitable entrepreneur. The difference between the lucrative businesses and the ones that fail, some people hit a speed bump and get scared instead of dealing with it. It is inevitable to hit a speed bump through any journey of your life, especially as a new business owner, you can’t control some of these hiccups, but you can control how you handle them.
Some people are fearful of having to stretch the noodle. The people who let this fear overwhelm them are the ones that quit and don’t end up becoming successful. They are the ones that fail. Don’t be afraid to stretch the noodle. Be afraid of quitting when times get difficult.