You know that sinking feeling you get, way down in the pit of your stomach when you know it’s not working, you know you don’t know what to do next, and you feel paralyzed by fear? There was a time in my life that when faced with a problem, I would completely retreat, silenced by my own fear or embarrassment, only to make the problem worse.
As humans, we are all problem solvers, whether we like it or not. But most, when faced with a problem tend to try to solve it using the resources they already have, like I used to do. Locking yourself in a room to “figure it out” is probably the worst strategy for success.
It won’t work.
That won’t work, because, in the words of Albert Einstein, “You can’t solve a problem with the same brain that created it.” But there is a solid, systemic way to solve a problem and it works every time. Ready? Here it is:
1. Admit that you have a problem. Every day, we talk to business people who are struggling with getting to the next level in their career as an entrepreneur. And every day, we listen to people justify their problem and try to figure it out for themselves when we, as mentors and consultants, have already done what they are trying to do. The answer is not in getting more education, creating more products or doing more “stuff”. First, you must lay down the sword and admit it – you’re stuck. And you need help. Hey, I know it’s embarrassing to admit it, but it’s also the right way to move forward.
2. Take a step back. Often, when faced with a problem, we rush forward, taking “action in the face of fear”. Well, that might work for some, but for most, it’s just swinging the sword and not aiming at anything. Someone is going to get hurt!
3. Take Inventory. Sure, on a bad day it might seem like nothing is working, but that’s simply not true. There are always things (maybe little things) that you can say “Yeah, it’s not perfect but it IS working.” I had to do this myself the other day. We are at the end of a massive effort to rework our online presence after the loss of our servers last year. It has been a very difficult and long journey back, and some days it seems like the problems will never end. But you know what? I get to remember that every hour, someone logs into our new server and downloads a copy of the Accidental Millionaire. It’s working! and I’m thrilled to be able to assist so many more struggling entrepreneurs and help them get themselves out there with their passion.
4. Do ONE thing. After you’ve taken inventory, you’ll have a better grasp on where your best profit path lies. With all of the thought leaders, coaches, consultants, experts and visionaries we work with, idea creation seems to be both a part of the problem and a result of the problem. When you’re stuck at a certain level and don’t know what to do there is only one thing to do: GET HELP! Getting help means admitting to another person that you don’t know the answers. For many highly educated entrepreneurs, admitting you don’t know the answer is like failing a test – except in THIS school (the school of life) things are exactly backwards – successful people are constantly on the lookout to ask someone so they can accelerate results! One of my favorite things to ask people is “What do I not know that I should know?” It always gives an enlightening new approach.
5. Take one step at a time. Often, we try to figure out every possible scenario to a solution before we even take any kind of action. Successful people take one step, evaluate options, take another step, evaluate options, and on and on. This will happen hundreds of times before you reach your goal, so master this skill of taking little steps and you’ll master taking giant leaps.
Solving problems is a wonderful skill to have, but it IS a learned habit. I can guarantee though that if you practice this habit, you will be amazed at how your life unfolds.
Leave a comment if you find this helpful and enjoy the ride!
Oh, by the way, this is part of the system I cover in my upcoming new book, “Chaos To Calm: What To Do When You Don’t Know What To Do” I’ll let you know when it’s out.
P.S. Need a little clarity in your life? We can help you. Go to http://www.MyClarityConsult.com and fill out the form. We’ll be thrilled to connect!
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