The Most Important Word
Here is something that caught our eye this week:
That’s the power of yet
As parents of young children, we find ourselves reminding our children on almost a daily basis that the most powerful word in the English language is “yet”. I can’t play soccer. Yet. I can’t do math. Yet. I can’t read. Yet. I don’t have any friends. Yet. I don’t have enough princess dresses. Good news. You can grow up, get a job and buy some for yourself.
You can append it after any sentence related to your journey of achievement and contribution.
“I haven’t finished the project”
“I haven’t learned how to juggle”
“I haven’t made the sale”
And along the way, “Yet” turns “can’t” into “haven’t.”
Yet isn’t the result of brazen persistence. It’s what we earn with learning, insight and generosity.
Apart from parenting, we use the power of yet in all aspects of our lives, particularly in our world of small business acquisitions and operations. For instance, we repost our The Power of Yet article as the first weekly thoughts post of every year. The mindset is the backbone of Chenmark’s first core value, which is to Chase Better. As we wrote back in 2019, we “believe unequivocally in our own and our company’s potential. Put another way, we must believe we have the capacity to improve.”
This mindset shapes our approach to our most sensitive problems. If a company is in a cash crunch, they haven’t figured out how to collect AR… yet. If a customer doesn’t want our business, they just don’t want it… yet. If an employee leaves, it’s because our culture isn’t there… yet.
With our kids, we thankfully have Sesame Street to help us reiterate the point. At work, it’s integral we hold ourselves accountable to inhabiting this mindset. As psychologist Carol Dewak notes, without a growth mindset, a difficult situation can feel like a catastrophe. The power of yet is a luxury — it opens the mind to possibility. Without it, we become trapped in the tyranny of now.
‘Yet’ allows us to maintain a positive outlook and move forward in spite of difficulties. As Godin points out, however, the power of yet isn’t just about persistence. Once you have the mindset, you also have the confidence to learn, the confidence to be patient enough to gain insight, and the confidence to be generous with your knowledge. It’s the power of yet, indeed.
Have a great week,
Your Chenmark Team