What’s the Problem? Are You Sure?

We all have problems. Some big and some small. And small ones can oftentimes grow into large ones if left unattended.

To some degree, our life and our business is about solving problems. A problem for one person is a business for someone else. We serve others by helping them solve problems.

So rather than look at problems as wrong, bad or something to be avoided, we should look at them as the opportunity they can be—for us or for others.

One of the best strategies I’ve encountered is to redefine the problem. Charles Kettering said, “A problem clearly stated is a problem half-solved.” The way we define the problem has a great deal to do with how we approach its solution. Many times a re-definition will work wonders on opening up the possibilities.

Take for example the problem of not having enough sales in a business. If current revenues are insufficient to handle all expenses and make a profit, one could hardly argue with the accuracy of the stated problem.

But what if we said, “We don’t have enough leads to generate sufficient sales.” Or, “Our customer acquisition costs are too high.” You could also say, “We’re not adequately communicating the value to our prospects” or “Our customers don’t come back for repeat sales.”

There are literally thousands upon thousands of ways to describe any problem. And the way it’s defined leads to significantly different ideas for solutions. The handful of re-statements above all have substantially different possibilities when it comes to generating solutions.

Write down your top problem as you see it. Then brainstorm with your coach or team to re-define it in a way that puts it into a new lens and re-focuses the solutions—of which there are many.

A fresh approach, a new perspective and more elegant solutions await you.

If you would like me to help you re-state and solve a problem, brainstorm an idea, gain clarity on an issue, get advice on a course of action or do a mini-business makeover, I would be happy to talk with you. Just go to this page for the details. It’s guaranteed to work.

And here’s a related article.
The Top Ten Ways to Solve Problems . . .

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New & Different versus Old and the Same

As human beings, we have a desire for stability and routine while at the same time we want excitement and surprise. We need both. Sometimes one more than the other but some kind of a balance, for sure.

We watch movies and sports for entertainment. If they were entirely predictable, we would be bored. And yet sporting events operate with certain rules. If the rules shifted and changed at random, I think we’d find it unsettling. The rules of the game create enough stability to be comfortable while still allowing for the unpredictability that makes things interesting.

Our customers want dependability from us. But at the same time, they like being delighted with something new and different. It’s why “new” and “improved” are hot-selling words. If we can consistently deliver what our customers want in an entertaining, fun and sometimes surprising way, the customer is happy.

Southwest Airlines pulls this off very well, in my opinion. Their values of “cheap, safe and fun” deliver a rewarding customer experience.

What about your service or product? How can you strike the balance of dependability and consistency with a new and different twist from time to time? How can you fulfill the human need of routine that’s not too boring and offer excitement that’s not too scary or unnerving?

If we’re always looking to improve our products and services, these are good questions to ask.

In our business, we’re committed to teaching and reminding our readers of age-old principles and fundamentals. The challenge is to present ancient information in new and different ways. It’s a matter of making things fresh by couching what we teach in ways that you can relate to.

The truth is, there’s nothing really new. There are no new atoms out there. But they can be assembled, constructed and presented in new and different ways.

That’s our challenge. And it’s also yours in serving your customers and stakeholders.

How can you repackage, re-invent, reposition, freshen or re-organize your wares in ways that add value to those you serve?

That’s what we’re up to and I challenge you to do the same. Not necessarily in a dramatic way—although that might sometimes be appropriate. But in a way that balances the human need for both newness and stability.

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Do You Have Weeds in Your Life and Business?

When I was in high school, I took both college prep and vocational agriculture courses. I’m sure I learned a lot in Vo Ag, as it was called, but right now, I only remember one fact that’s stayed with me all these years.

WeedAnd that is the definition of a weed.

Our instructor took great pains to ask us all what we thought a weed was. And we came up with a variety of plausible answers. But his textbook definition was that a weed is any plant that is out of place. A cornstalk in the middle of a potato field is a weed. A potato plant in a cornfield is a weed.

I submit that we all have weeds in our lives and our businesses that take away from our intentions and our results. According to my high school definition, then anything out of place is a weed. For SuccessNet to publish an eBook on knitting would be a weed. Maybe Michael Jordan playing baseball was a weed.

It’s great to have diversity in our lives, but being committed to our highest and best requires that we get rid of things that detract from our production. We must become aware and be diligent to pull the weeds that compete with the fruits of our labor.

What are YOUR weeds? Do you have habits that are counterproductive to your best efforts? Are you expending energy, time and talent growing things that you don’t want or need? What products do you have that clutter or stifle your brand?

I’m all for being fiercely focused on what we want. That’s the essence of
The Achievement Code.

But I also think we need to be aware of the weeds in our life and business. We must notice them and pull them up. Maybe even spray them with a pesticide if there are too many to uproot.

Spray or hoe, get rid of what detracts from your crop.

Free Breakthrough Coaching Call . . .

If you’re looking for clarity and advice, I invite you to receive a Free, Private Breakthrough Coaching Call exclusively for business owners who have owned their business for at least a year and are doing over $75,000 in annual revenue.

I’m willing to do a breakthrough coaching call (worth more than $500) for a small number of business owners who are ready to create a breakthrough in their business.

This is a no-cost, no-obligation, one-on-one phone call (or Skype) where I’ll ask you a number of questions and offer specific ideas and advice on how you can take your business to a whole new level.

All I ask is that you answer five short and easy questions. And if you qualify, I will set up a free strategy session with you. It’s as simple and as easy as that.

Just click here to get your Breakthrough Coaching Call Application . . .

I look forward to talking with you.

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