Do what you can, with what you have, where you are

by Ashvini on December 8, 2011 · 17 comments

in Motivation

Do what you can, with what you have, where you are -Theodore Roosevelt

I read this from a  poster at my friend’s house, . It immediately struck me that this should be motto of entrepreneurship.

DO what you have with what you can where you are

I have often seen people procrastinating their dreams because they feel that they do not have the required resources, time or energy to do things that they like. They do not pursue their hobbies, personal interest or anything else that they like to do because they feel that they will not be able to meet their goals.

I think what Roosevelt said is very important. We face difficulties all the time. Either we do not have the time or we do not have the money to take the path of entrepreneurship. We daydream that “if I had this or had that … then….”. This statement becomes the principal of life.

Now, it is time to learn from what Roosevelt said:

Do what you can

We wait and wait forever in the hope that things will turn better for us. We need instead is to take the initiative, get going and not feel scared of the outcome. A number of entrepreneurs never made it the first time but they would have never made it through had they not tried.

Failure is really not about losing. Its about understanding that things were not right for you at that time. It is about learning , failing and then getting successful. It is not about waiting for opportunities at the right time but working to make sure that you meet opportunity midway in your journey.

With what you have

Most of us do not have money , offices or the workforce needed to start a businesses.

If we take a look around however, we will see that all the great businesses of today started very small. Companies like Apple , Microsoft, Facebook , Google, Dell were either started in garages or dorm rooms. If the founders of these companies waited till they had enough money or manpower to develop their products they would not create such large companies.

The important point is to take action with whatever resources you got. If you can tap local business, you should do that. If you need to rope in the friends, do that. If you do anything that is worthwhile for your business or life you need to do that; with whatever resources you have got.

Seth Godin talks about shipping early. Why create a world class product when you don’t have the resources to do that. Create what works on a small scale. Ship early. Let the results flow in with time.

But important is to take the action now!!!!

Wherever you are

At any point in life you will face constraint because of lot of factors. A common one is your age. If you are a teenager, you are too young. If you are adult , you are busy with family. If you are old, then you don’t have energy.

Next, there are places which are business will work like a magic and there are places where it is difficult.

It is up to you to create a product or offering so great that your business becomes appealing. You need to listen to your customers and make sure that you fulfil their needs. There is always a market, a need to fulfil. The entrepreneur in you need to find those needs and create products around them. After all that is what entrepreneurs do. Just don’t let constraints of your location limit your imagination.

To summarize:

Do what you can –> Take action , do not wait

With what you have –> Be imaginative , don’t let lack of money keep you from doing something you like

Wherever you are –> Create smart products for your market. There is always a need to fulfil wherever you are.

In just one sentence, Roosevelt implied what an entrepreneur need to be.


Now what are you waiting for ? Isn’t time you implemented learning from these phrases Smile ?

About The Author


George December 14, 2011 at 6:20 am

This reminds me a TV Program, where the participants have to survive difficult terrain with limited resources. In Jungle or desert, they make use of anything that comes on their way for the survival. I feel all we need is the drive and willingness coupled with strong determination to overcome any challenges that we may have to face.

Ashvini Kumar Saxena December 14, 2011 at 3:33 pm

Yeah, you are right. Small Business is also like survival with limited resources :)

Adam Paudyal December 12, 2011 at 11:31 pm


Exactly! Everyone needs inspiration from time to time, even those who talk about inspiration. (O:

This is a wake up call. There can’t be anything more inspiring that me anyway (O:

Appreciate it my friend.

ScannerMan December 12, 2011 at 7:42 pm

I changed where I was.
I went out and did anyway. I look back – 40 years now.
Doing what I could with what I had at the time was the lick.
This life would not have been the same without that.
Thank you.

FDR was a very interesting guy. President Obama takes many ideas from him.

Ashvini Kumar Saxena December 14, 2011 at 3:40 pm

Hey Scanner man,

Glad to know that you were able to achieve what you set out to do.
I am really inspired by the quote :)

Thanks for your comment :)

Aswani December 10, 2011 at 9:19 pm

A++++…It sums up :)

Nothing much to say here except agreeing to your words. Loved the quote from Mr. Roosevelt. It is highly motivating, inspiring for all of us. And as you said, Entrepreneurs too can learn a lot from the same. Yes…of course…why not?? It is all about taking initiative where often I find people failing like anything. As an entrepreneur, you need be highly self-motivated and focused over your goal. Fine, you maybe lacking required resources but this shouldn’t be a reason for any budding entrepreneur to lose his/her focus at any point of time. Starting with whatever you have is what any entrepreneur must know and inspiration should taken from people like Dhirubhai Ambani, Narayan Murthy, etc…who started with nothing but a dream, a vision and they did achieve it eventually with whatever they had with them. They never complained and had just enough resources to get them moving. Countless other examples of rags to riches stories can be found on the internet. A lot can be learned from them. Finally, this is what I have to say…do not look for any inspiration, be an inspiration..!!

Ashvini Kumar Saxena December 12, 2011 at 2:13 pm

Hey Aswani,

Thank you so much. Believe me all of us need inspiration , people who talk about inspiration too :). No one is immune from people or circumstance that are negative in nature. We may chose to ignore them but they do have an effect on you.
All the people you have talked about are/were hardworking people who knew the power of focus and persistence. Excuses can be plenty but it takes a gutsy person to start working on what he or she believes in :)

Aswani December 12, 2011 at 5:05 pm

Yes man :-)

Bryce Christiansen December 10, 2011 at 12:14 am

That’s a fabulous motto to live by Ashvini.

I feel we can get overwhelmed and out of balance when we don’t look at life this way.

“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are”

I’ll have to post this on my desk as a reminder.


Ashvini Kumar Saxena December 12, 2011 at 2:15 pm

Hey Bryce,
I was really impressed by this quote. It is pretty awesome and inspiring. I often get stuck at planning some strategy and then I remember this . Soon I am busy doing with whatever I have and then it really takes off from there :)
Glad that you liked it :)

Radu December 9, 2011 at 5:51 am

Hello Ashvini, i’m not sure that American Bankers will support your post’s title – they will always make you ask for more. Borrow ..and borrow.

Ashvini Kumar Saxena December 9, 2011 at 3:05 pm

Hello Radu,

LOL. I doubt they are even reading my blog. They created the world as it is today . I doubt they want to change it :)

Radu December 12, 2011 at 4:25 am

Maybe you’re right, but with a great propaganda and some aggressive marketing they will consider you a potential threat to their welfare :)) (LOL)

Adrienne December 8, 2011 at 9:36 pm

Great post Ashvini and I’m borrowing this quote! You do know how much I love inspirational quotes. :-)

I know that a lot of people are scared to jump into the unknown but isn’t that what change is all about? Things change, people change, circumstances change, etc. Even though we may not know how to get started, where there is a will there is a way.

I for one thought to myself what am I trying to accomplish starting an online business I know nothing about at my age. I must be crazy but I think I would have been crazier to stay where I was and watch my life pass me by.

If you want something bad enough and you believe in yourself, everything will fall into place for you. That I do know for sure.

Great wake up call Ashvini, thanks for sharing this one today. As the year is coming to an end there are those out there who are looking for that new beginning. I hope this post will help them realize they can have that too.

Ashvini Kumar Saxena December 9, 2011 at 3:12 pm

Hey Adrienne,

Thank you !! You may of course borrow the quote. It is told by your country’s president :). What an excellent quote. I was struck by what he said. There is no one who can say better than what you said in the comment. I mean you are one of the persons who has built an excellent community with your hard work. I am sure that you would have started somewhere, learned and come up to the level you are.
In my opinion I always tell people, take a plunge make calculated mistake. What’s the harm? Money is lost , consider it your training cost for future venture. Without working nothing is going to happen :)
Thanks once again for really excellent comment. Appreciate it a lot :)

BTW:The link to your blog is in your commented . You did not sign up anywhere . What is the magic behind it ? ;)

Neeraj Sachdeva December 8, 2011 at 2:33 pm

Its good to be a thinker, but it doesn’t pay off unless you are willing to do something about it. Love the sentiment of the article! Thanks!

Ashvini Kumar Saxena December 9, 2011 at 3:13 pm

So true Neeraj :) Welcome to my blog :)

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