The sudden downturn in economies and uncertainties in the business environment in recent times due to the Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in many people losing hope. This has been evident in the lack of growth in most businesses, accompanied by job losses, pay cuts, loss of livelihoods, shrinking incomes, disappointments and despair. Some have resorted to fate, saying that they are waiting for things to return to “normal”. Sometimes, I wonder what they mean by “normal’ since I believe we are in a “new normal”, so it’s good to keep going and not wait.

    Amidst all the challenges, there have been some interesting and exciting success stories, by individuals staying focused, being selective of the stories they listen to and most importantly, plucking the “low-hanging fruits” that come their way. There is light at the end of every tunnel, a real silver lining indeed!

    Business owners, leaders, and individuals need to look critically and identify opportunities during this period. We need to deliberately lookout for the “low-hanging fruits”, pluck them and we will be amazed at the results they can generate and eventually, change our perspective about life.

    A leader is one who is undaunted in the phase of challenges; re-assesses his or her strengths and weaknesses, and launches back stronger than before. “Low-hanging fruits” are the opportunities that are readily at hand. We usually tend to ignore them and instead, chase those that are beyond reach, which sometimes ends up being a mirage. “Low-hanging fruits” gives credence to the saying “A bird in the hand is better than two in the bush”.

    I began earnestly the journey of seeking, plucking and maximizing my “low-hanging fruits” in recent times and it is yielding significant outcomes. Practically, the journey is as follows:

    • Identifying the “low-hanging fruits”.

    It is important to assess what you literally have in your hands. That is, what is within one’s control.  These could be your experience, knowledge, talents and skills, that can easily be utilized. Knowing what you have at your disposal, serves as the tool to start exploring.

    • Identifying problems in the environment.

    This involves putting on the “thinking cap” and questioning the status quo.  What are the things happening around your own environment at this time and what solutions can be offered? How can the individual’s skills be used to resolve the problems or situations identified? These thoughts can be put into action.

    • Leveraging on social networks.

    Our social networks are indeed “low -hanging fruits” that each individual has to fully leverage on. We build social capital through our interactions with people in various spheres of life. These networks in my estimation can be classified as core (the inner circle), periphery and outer circle. Whichever category, connecting with them, should be paramount, particularly those who can point us in the right direction, so far as our goals are concerned.  Be deliberate about it. “Leave no network, …un-networked”.

    • Keeping abreast with trends.

    Listening to current affairs, reading, participating in webinars and employing the use of social media positively are some sure ways of knowing the industry and social trends. These can be capitalized upon for our next line of action.

    • Maximising strengths and awareness of “non-strengths”

    Knowing one’s strengths and capitalizing on them to achieve goals, is within one’s capacity. It is also essential that individuals are aware of their non-strengths” (weaknesses) as well. This enables you to know the kinds of people to collaborate more with and also complement you, to realise your objectives.

    • Readiness to learn, adapt and stretch for growth. 

    Being ready to learn, willing to adapt and able to stretch oneself is fundamental to one’s growth. No one can do that better than the individual involved. It lies within the individual’s capacity and must be fully explored. The fruits are hanging really low, we have to deliberately pluck and utilize them for our growth and good. We can transform lives, and change our perspectives about life even in the face of challenges. #PluckingtheLowHangingFruits

    Amma Korantema Ansah