Pick your poison.
That’s the choice life offers you.
It’s the inevitable consequence of operating with limited resources, and operating with limited resources is the inevitable consequence of existing.
Entrepreneurs have two poisons to choose from.
Poison #1: “I’m going to spend my limited resources to create at scale, sacrificing excellence.”
Poison #2: “I’m going to spend my limited resources to create with excellence, sacrificing scale.”
It’s the eternal, seemingly prehistoric debate of quality versus quantity.
(Rivaled only in intensity and duration by the cup-half-full versus cup-half-empty debate).
Fortunately, for entrepreneurs, there’s an escape hatch that doesn’t involve ingesting any (metaphorical) poison at all.
Alexander the Great took this escape hatch in 400 BC when he arrived at Phrygia and stood before the famed “Gordian Knot.” It was prophesied that he who could unravel the knot would go on to rule all of Asia, an accomplishment very much in line with Alexander’s vision board. He struggled with the knot for some time, and it seemed impossible to unravel.
But then he had an epiphany.
He unsheathed his sword and slashed the knot in half.
He won not by rearranging the pieces on the board, but by changing the rules of the game.
The entrepreneurial equivalent of slashing the Gordian Knot is not choosing scale or excellence, but innovating ways to scale excellence.
In fact, taking this escape hatch, rejecting both poisons, and slashing the Gordian Knot, is the very meaning of entrepreneurship, and of transformation.
A perfect example? The assembly line. Quality plus quantity. Rules broken. Knot slashed.
This is the difference between a businessperson, who chooses quality or quantity, and an entrepreneur, who uses their imagination to break the rules and achieve both.
So… size up that knot, sharpen your sword and get slashing.
Break the rules that aren’t real.