There’s an old folk song that tells the story of a man who complains to his wife about having found a hole in their bucket. The song begins simply with, “There’s a hole in the bucket, dear Liza, dear Liza, there’s a hole in the bucket dear Liza, a hole.” Google it and download the wonderful Carnegie Hall version with Harry Belafonte and Odetta on Utube. Then come back and finish reading my post.

Welcome back! Spoiler alert: here comes the gist of this great song.

She says “fix it” and he replies “with what?” She says with straw and he says the straw is too long. She says to cut it and he asks, with what? She says (and if you took a few minutes to watch the performance you are lol like crazy when she says this) “WITH AN AX Dear Henry!”

But the ax is too dull, dear Liza. So sharpen it. With what? With a stone. But the stone is too dry dear Liza. Well…WET IT, dear Henry. With what? TRY WATER. With what shall I fetch it, dear Liza. With a bucket dear Henry…..

But there’s a hole in the bucket dear Liza, dear Liza….

As entrepreneurs and small business owners, we cannot let a hole in our buckets become an impossible and never-ending loser loop. We are tasked to find solutions that are out of the box…er…bucket. We are the masterminds of creative thoughts and we have the power to control a great deal of our circumstances. We must not allow the holes around us influence our forward momentum.

Instead of letting that hole in our bucket stop an entire project – we creative types think of all the materials that can hold water, like a pair of blue jean legs, or a pair of boots. What about stuffing a sock in it? In the bucket that is.

What about walking the stone to the water and wetting it and honing the ax and doing the entire repair near the water? Yes, I know that ruins the song’s delightful conclusion. But Henry is clearly very lazy or dull-minded or both. Are those characteristics you want to be identified with?

If you are reading this and not automatically starting to meander in your mind for other ways to fetch water or more easily repair your “buckets”, then you may just want to join in song and remain hampered, a victim of circumstances, a helpless bystander.

Just know this: You have solutions. Don’t make up reasons to hold yourself back. And when you start blaming or complaining about circumstances beyond your control, take a step back and take back the control.

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