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  • Marnie

how a scrappy and strategic mindset can elevate your decision making

Updated: Feb 26


Learn how a "scrappy and strategic" approach prioritizes intentional decision-making over constant intensity to achieve goals.

  • Learn six strategies to adopt and apply to advance one's life and career.

  • Learn how taking calculated risks to embracing progress over perfection accelerate progress.

I never connected with the “girl-boss” trend. It felt inauthentic to my personal style. It seemed to perpetuate a traditional notion of success defined by men, rather than encouraging women to forge their own path.

Women in a black blazer and jeans sitting on a medium amidst traffic with city buildings in background.

And “hustle culture” never seemed sustainable for me. It feels rooted in extremes - extreme privilege to pour one's entire energy into their work or career OR an extreme necessity to survive and make ends meet. Both are necessary at times, but for me personally, as an ambitious person, prone to intense focus and drive, it felt like a path to always living in the future and never in the present.

I needed something different. I needed an approach that would satisfy my ambitions while also balancing my health and joy.

As I reflected on my career and life so far, scrappy and strategic feels like the right way to categorize how I have approached my life.

So, what defines a scrappy and strategic mindset?

Some of the most common qualities include:

  • Visionary - Having a clear long-term vision that guides strategic decisions and actions.

  • Resourceful - Expertly finding creative solutions, even with limited resources, and making the most out of what's available.

  • Decisive - Making tough choices, even in ambiguous or high-pressure situations, and trusting one's instincts.

  • Adaptability - Thriving in dynamic environments by quickly adapting to changing circumstances, viewing change as an opportunity.

  • Resilient - Bouncing back from setbacks and failures, using obstacles as learning experiences, and remaining determined to achieve objectives.

  • Strategic Thinking - Possessing the ability to think strategically, devising plans aligned with long-term goals.

  • Problem-Solving Skills - Excelling at identifying and resolving issues, approaching challenges analytically, and thinking outside the box.

  • Risk-Taking - Willingness to take calculated risks, understanding that risk is often necessary for significant gains.

  • Emotional Intelligence - Understanding one's own emotions and those of others, effectively navigating social situations and building positive relationships.

  • Persistence - Demonstrating tenacity in pursuing goals, even in the face of significant obstacles or setbacks.

  • Prioritization - Skillfully prioritizing tasks and goals, focusing on what truly matters and avoiding unnecessary distractions.

  • Adventurousness - Being open to new experiences and unafraid of stepping out of one's comfort zone, which can lead to innovative approaches.

  • Analytical Skills - Gathering and analyzing information to make informed decisions, relying on data and facts rather than impulsivity.

  • Networking Abilities - Building and maintaining valuable relationships, recognizing the importance of a strong network for support, insights, and opportunities.

If you're thinking "yikes, that's a lot of things." You're right, but I've haven't told you the best part yet!

You don't have to be an expert in everything, you just need to tap into them strategically.

You can design your life, your way without sacrificing yourself in the process.

The scrappy and strategic mindset emphasizes high-value, high-impact decisions over high-intensity.

6 ways to enter your scrappy and strategic decision making era:

1. Take calculated risks to explore and discover your superpowers.

Woman sitting on steps contemplating ideas and smiling.

Try something new. Fail fast, fail frequently, fail forward.

Historically, this may be the hardest one for women to practice, but I guarantee your male counterparts are doing this and being rewarded with (inflated) titles and salaries because they are encouraged to take risks.

Invest your money in the market (women investors outperform men, just saying), start a business, create art, write a book, travel solo, share your voice.

Take a chance on yourself, you’re the best bet you can make.

2. Practice intentional acceleration when it matters.

Time is your biggest asset.

Work hard and fast when it counts. And slow and meticulous when it matters (like quality checks and engaging with people).

Ask yourself “is it a high impact, high value decision or action that will advance me toward my goal or desired outcome?” If there’s hesitation or the answer is no, move on, save it for later. Go to the next action and celebrate your progress.

3. Be the solution to a problem.

It's human nature to identify problems and expect others to solve them. But when it comes to designing your life, your way, I challenge you to flip your mindset. Next time, when you encounter a problem, explore the solutions, and share your suggestions on how to solve the problem.

I created my dream job - a Chief of Staff position - by identifying the problems and showing my boss hiring me was the solution.

And sometimes, you might find you are the solution and can create a new role.

4. Good enough is enough to start.

Progress over perfection is one of the best mindsets we can practice. For the perfectionists and analytical people out there (hi, its me!) this will be tough, but I promise it will yield more wins than losses. And there is nothing more motivating than a win - big or small.

When I started this blog and instagram account I didn’t know anything about social media, editing or have any technical skills. But I am resourceful, and have learned enough to get started. When I need to know more, I’ll learn more.

5. Say yes to everything (at least once).

Early in your career - say yes to everything - at least once. Learn everything you can, ask to sit in on big meetings (offer to create those annoying name tents), help with talking points, practice writing communications to executives, learn how to communicate with different audiences. Try a new skill, volunteer, cover shifts for colleagues.

Practice learning everyday. It will build curiosity, discipline, and dependability - key qualities for success. Once you do this, promptly set some boundaries.

Just because you do it once or do it well, doesn’t mean you have to do it forever.

6. Invest in experience that yield future freedom and choice.

Keep your eye on the long-game. What does success mean for you? For me it’s freedom and choice in both my career and life. I put in a lot of work and hours early in my career to give myself options in the future. There will likely be a few more intense scrappy and strategic seasons to create even more choices and options in the future. But they will be intentional.

By incorporating these strategies, I've now been able to pursue my career while building my own business and maintaining a fulfilling personal life.



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