Everything is a Trade-off

Why do we – as people and as organizations – think we can do it all? And what are the costs to us trying?

So many of us, and so many organizations, refuse to embrace the reality of trade-offs.  We say “yes” to everything. We try to fit it all in. We believe we have to. And we totally underestimate the cost of doing so.

But what if we saw trade-offs differently?  

Sure, we wouldn’t be able to do it all.  We would have to embrace our limitations and face the realities of our capacity.  In short, we would have to embrace constraints. And we don’t want to.

But trade-off are actually where the good stuff is.

Paradoxically, trade-offs are the birthplace of innovation.

Trade-offs force us to make smarter choices about the resources we have available to us, to find new, more nimble ways of doing things. They force us to get clear on what really matters, and what’s worth doing.

It’s been shown time and time and time again, that we actually need trade-offs to get creative.

Constraints, and the trade-offs they force us to make, don’t have to be seen as something to avoid. They don’t have to be barriers. They might just be the very thing needed to unleash something we never could have come up without them. They might actually be gateways to new possibilities.

Amy Varga

Amy Varga


Amy Varga is a beloved fundraising trainer, coach and consultant. She and her team at The Varga Group have guided over a hundred nonprofit clients to raise millions of dollars through their services in capital campaign counsel, major gifts training, leadership coaching, and board development projects.