Now isn’t that a tall order? Problems come in many different shapes and sizes and here I am saying that I can solve all of them.
Yep, just a simple little blog post and you will be on your merry little way doing the happy dance straight to the bank—Ice cream in hand, sunshine beaming down and a big ol’ smile smacked across your face.
This is the part where you expect a “but”. There’s always a hiccup or a monkey wrench in the works. Little gremlins sit waiting for us at every turn pulling the rug out from under us. Stupid gremlins. You know, you think they are so cute and then you get them wet and all hell breaks loose.
So what’s the hiccup. You’ve got problems to solve, people to see, let’s get on with it already.
BUT, I’m going to tell you to wait just a minute. If all you are looking for is a solution to a problem, you might solve the wrong problem.
Aw crap. It’s a gotchya gremlin.
The biggest problem we all need to solve is understanding what the problem is. Believe it or not, it’s easy to get the result confused with the problem.
You want to start a food business, so you want a food truck. The problem: You don’t have a food truck. But no, that’s not a problem, it’s a result, it’s a goal. Changing “don’t” to “have” is a simple purchase and hardly a problem.
And then you say “But, Kyle, I need a very specific food truck and I don’t have money or investors.” Suddenly, you are a lot closer to the real problem and the further back you work, the clearer it becomes.
Having a food truck, a food business does not make. Nor does it make a successful one. While it is a nice goal, it’s hardly offering any guidance or context for you to start solving problems. You don’t aspire to have a food business with a food truck, you want a successful, fulfilling, sustainable business that grows.
So is your problem really that you need a food truck, or just a way to start serving and selling your delicious food?
Or is it that you need a location, or supplies, or a concept?
They say there is more than one way to skin a cat, but really, is the problem really that cats have too much skin or do people just have allergies? You see that if you focus too much on what you assume the solution is, you miss solving the real problem.
So break things down. You can drill deeper and find the heart of your problem because often, there is no such thing as one big problem. They are onions we have to peel back layer by layer, challenge by challenge.
When you realize that all big problems are just a snowball effect of many little problems, all you have to do is solve the first small problem and then the next and the next.
The only way to finish a 10,000 piece jigsaw puzzle is to start at the corners and edges and work towards the center, piece by piece. The beauty of that is that while your end goal is to finish the puzzle, the big picture is still somewhat to be discovered.
Solving every problem you have is as simple as solving all the small ones that lead to your goal. So simple, right?
Well, one other piece of advice. Persistence. The most rewarding problems I’ve ever solved are the ones I struggled with but persevered anyway.