Being resourceful vs. being a resource

Pin this on early-Monday-morning syndrome (if you haven't figured this out by now, I often write posts in the margins of my day, then set them to go live a few hours later when I figure folks are awake and paying attention). I meant, in that last post, to explain a key difference between the reasons people wanted my help as a consultant, and the reasons they should have. The distinction should matter to hiring managers in today's economy, and it applies far beyond my little world. So it's worth another post.

Most of the time, people solicited my help (and I served) as a resource. They wanted someone to design, build, and/or operate something for them.

They should have solicited my help (and I should have encouraged this) as a resourceful person: someone who can find the best tools, components and methods to design, build and/or operate something.

A resource can build you a Web site. A resourceful person can instead find you a dozen suitable systems, or hosts, or templates, or stock images, or even bits of suggested language. A resourceful person gives you choices and helps you find your way to the best combinations. That's usually faster and better than inventing in isolation.

In an interactive economy where so many great components already exist, where core components of contemporary functionality have already been invented, in many cases you simply need a resourceful person to tie it all together. That same reasoning could apply to hiring and contracting across many industries.