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Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield could only raise $8,000 to open their first ice cream store in Vermont. But that was a good thing.

“Not having much money actually helped us,” the two wrote later. “A lot of people make the mistake of trying to start too high on the hog. They buy everything new instead of used, and go first class all the way. Then the business fails because its debt load is too high.”

Lesson: Giving people too many resources to complete projects can discourage them from trimming costs and seeking efficiency.

—Adapted from Ben & Jerry’s Double Dip: Lead with Your Values and Make Money, Too, Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, Simon & Schuster.

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