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  • Writer's pictureTortuga Creative Studio

This one little word change can transform your business problems into opportunities...

The next time you're pondering a business challenge that you're facing, try approaching the answer with 'what could I do', instead of what 'should I do'.

Research conducted by behavioural scientists at Harvard Business School demonstrated that simply swapping the word 'should' for 'could', produced drastically different responses when study participants faced a challenge.

They suggested that using the word 'should' feels obligatory and narrows your thinking to just one path.

'Should' feels heavy, like there's a responsibility - something you have to do whether you want to or not.

On the other hand, using the word 'could' feels open, creative and inspiring.

'Could' opens the door to a myriad of possibilities to which there are no limits.

For example:

I 'should' do more for the oceans...

feels stressful and limited, whereas,

I 'could' do more for the oceans...

feels hopeful and full of possibility.


I 'should' invest in improving my brand feels like a chore that you can definitely wait until next month to do,

But, I 'could' invest in improving my brand is full of opportunity and something you're more likely to take action on immediately.

'Should' is the realm of business problems that weigh you down and hold you back.

'Could' is the realm of brand innovation, opportunity, and possibility.

So which is it for you? Do you approach your business challenges as problems you SHOULD solve or opportunities you COULD solve?


A 'could' mindset guides our brand innovation programs and opens the door to new possibilities for ocean-focused entrepreneurs to grow their businesses while increasing their positive ocean impact.

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