Problems Beget Problems

Written by: Steve Marks
If you want to be an entrepreneur, you better be good at solving problems

When you boil it down, almost everything an entrepreneur does is rooted in solving some sort of problem. However, for some, rather than feeling the excitement of a new challenge, the constant stream of problems has become the dirty work of the business that always seems to land on their doorstep.

Progressive overload

Continual effort at problem solving sharpens your abilities and you start to develop systems and approaches that help you solve problems quicker and easier. You start to rely on your experiences and intuition and gain confidence in your abilities. The people who can tackle problems and are eager to take them on with a sense of ownership are the people who are most valuable in an organization and will undoubtedly succeed.

However, many people look at problems as roadblocks to success, as hardships. Absent from this perspective is that these problems are really opportunities to build strengths and systems to be able to be more successful.

People who solve problems are sought out by upper management as leaders who can elevate a business and promote success. There are a few subtle differences in good, effective problem solvers and great dynamic leaders that separate them from others.

Not surprisingly, the attitude, approach and demeanor of these individuals are the critical elements that distinguish them from the herd. People who have a tenacious approach to problem solving and continually push for unusual and creative solutions are the real drivers in any business. People who have an innate blend of moxie and drive, who don’t give up at the first, second or third seemingly impassable roadblocks are the people I want on my team.

Carry the weight

Even for the successful businessperson, the attitude toward problems can be negative, which can lead to a sense of worry and burden. Once this person can come to the realization that problems flow to the successful and that problems are always going to be prevalent and challenging, a new kind of enlightenment can be achieved.

It took me several years to realize that when someone comes through my door, more times that not, they have a problem that needs my help. They look to me as a problem solver.

Now, I am not saying that I should unilaterally take the responsibility of the problem away from that person, but I better be able to give them guidance and support. I would like to think that I am valuable to an organization because I can help solve problems or know where to turn for more information, and I will try to run through a series of possible solutions.

If you’re looking to be a better entrepreneur or want to be a leader in an organization, embrace problem solving. Look at problems as opportunities. Build your arsenal and infrastructure around problem solving and force yourself to step up and attack problems.  Strive for unique and creative solutions. These are often breakthrough ideas that can help a business branch into a new area or create a competitive advantage.