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Are you wondering what problem-solving skills every entrepreneur should have?
It’s a rare individual who remains committed to solving a problem when all efforts have failed. Albert Einstein was one of those people. Yet, there are so many other names we cannot erase from history because of the meaningful contributions made in sectors such as science, industry, and communication.
Such names belong to the key people in providing solutions to problems that came with change. Names such as Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas Edison, to name a few, will forever be etched in the history of mankind because they offered solutions to which we are beneficiaries to this day.
We can trace digital clocks, GPS, cellphones, and even the internet to people who saw problems and put in the work to create solutions we are enjoying today.
This ability to solve problems in ever-changing systems in science, industry, politics and the economy is not for a select few.
You too can make your mark in history and have your name written down for future generations by becoming a problem solver.
You have what it takes to offer lasting solutions to the problems people encounter daily.
What Is Problem-Solving?
It is a mental process to identify, analyze, and solve a problem. Problem-solving is about seeing a gap and filling it. It is about finding multiple solutions to an issue and processing each one until you have the best one.
Marie Van Butten Brown was a nurse who lived in Queens while her husband, Albert Brown, was an electronics technician. The crime rate in their neighborhood was very high and police response was often slow, even in cases of emergency.
To increase their levels of personal security, the two invented a system that would allow them to know when there were intruders in their home and enable them to notify relevant authorities quickly. This was the first security system through which they birthed designs still used in modern surveillance systems.
All this came from a need to solve a problem in security.
Society will also remember you for your inventions if you identify problems around you and find solutions for them.
Stupid Simple Ways Entrepreneurs Solve Problems
We’re not calling anyone stupid, but sometimes when you talk to an entrepreneur and ask for advice on something you might find yourself walking away thinking “how did I not think of that?”. Believe me, we’ve all been there.
The entrepreneurs of today were once dreamers who struggled to solve problems too. Luckily, I’m willing to share the simple methods that entrepreneurs have worked out over time to efficiently solve problems and move along with the vision.
These seven simple steps will help you become a more effective, efficient problem solver in your business or organization. As you practice this process and develop the skills, these steps will become more natural to you until the point that you are using them without noticing!
Here are the 7 stupidly simple ways entrepreneurs solve problems:
Identify the Problem
You’ve recognized that something isn’t working, but you need to determine and identify which part is causing the problem.
Here are a few questions you can ask yourself to help identify the issue:
- Is the marketing reaching a wider audience?
- Are you targeting the right audience for your services and/or products?
- Have you advertised enough?
- Does the service and/or product cost too much?
- Are people ready for your amazing idea yet?
Analyze the Problem
Once entrepreneurs have identified the main problem, they analyze, in-depth, why it’s a problem. We call this cause and effect.
What was the cause of the problem and what was the effect it gave VS the effect you were aiming for?
Describe the Problem
Like a descriptive cake recipe, a description will help to clarify the problem. What I mean is, if the cake doesn’t turn out right, you can go back to the recipe and find out where you went wrong.
Describing the problem will help to put it into context by showing the relevance of the issue at hand.
Look for the Root Causes
Something we call root-cause analysis defines the core issue of the problem.
You may have identified the issue you can see on an outer layer, but underneath, where the root is, there may be an alternate defining issue that is the real cause for the problem.
You might find asking the question “why?” will really help you dig further to get to the root cause.
Develop Alternate Solutions
Problem-solving is something entrepreneurs are generally pretty good at because we develop innovative solutions.
If what you’ve already tried hasn’t worked and you’re keen to keep trying, there must be another route to take that you haven’t tried yet.
- Ask others for advice
- Get creative
- Offer original solutions
You never know what will get you kicking goals unless you try alternate solutions.
Implement the Solution
One of the last steps in solving simple problems is to implement alternative solutions.
Hopefully, the first one does the trick but if not, try another alternative solution or go back to the root cause and check if there’s something you missed.
Measure the Results
Measuring the results of the alternate solutions is key to success.
Use Key Performance Indicators (KPI) to measure the results of the alternate solution you choose to implement.
Traits of Problem Solvers
Good problem solvers are solid thinkers. They have less drama and problems to begin with and don’t get overly emotional when faced with a problem. They usually see problems as challenges and life experiences and try to stand above them, objectively.
A good problem solver can adapt easily. This is a personality trait in business that requires flexibility. You must be able to alter your process when faced with a problem rather than fold under pressure.
Let’s take a brief look at 3 traits of problem solvers.
Finding a lasting solution to a problem does not happen overnight. It requires a careful study of the obstacle. If you hit a wall in trying to solve the issue at hand, do not take it as a sign of defeat.
Thomas Edison is famous for his perseverance in inventing the light bulb. After trying a thousand times and failing to solve the problem, he could have given up. His persistence and perseverance in analyzing his previous failures and making relevant adjustments are the reason we have electric bulbs today.
Do not give up when faced with a problem. It’s another one of the simple ways entrepreneurs solve problems.
‘When nothing works, and you have tried everything, try something else.’ – Unknown.
Ability To Innovate And Push Boundaries
One barrier to problem-solving is boundaries. If one cannot see beyond limitations, they are unlikely to find innovative solutions. You cannot use the same limited path and expect to find alternative approaches to new challenges. This requires creativity and a belief that there is more beyond the glass ceiling.
To be a great problem solver, be willing to shatter all barriers to innovation. Set your mind on the path of providing excellent solutions despite the surrounding limitations.
Take Massive Action
One of the simple ways entrepreneurs solve problems is by gearing themselves to work hard until they see a solution. They are so driven by their goals and are unwilling to sit back and watch. The drive in problem-solvers stems from their passion to provide solutions.
Problem solvers believe their ideas are the answers to obstacles. They see their ideas to completion.
People who seek to offer solutions in different fields do not abort the mission. They follow the process from start to finish. They can delegate tasks to other people around them, but they monitor closely until they solve the problem.
How To Become A Master Problem Solver
Your ability to make money is directly proportionate to how well you solve problems for your customers. We’ve already established that problem solving is one of the most highly valued characteristics you can have as an entrepreneur. Hone this skill and you reap the benefits of saving time, making money, and finding the next big idea for your business.
Maintain A Positive Outlook
People who provide notable solutions have a positive outlook. They do not approach problems with a mindset of defeat. In fact, they thrive on the existence of challenges. They learn novel ways of approaching problems when old ones cease to work.
Ask The Right Questions
Being a problem solver is about being inquisitive. It is about having a curious nature and a love for research. You must be willing to see what others see and hear their thoughts to come up with answers to different issues. Find out what people need in your area of service and aim to provide it.
This is also important in the corporate world. Successful companies have people willing to do consistent market research so that there is no gap between what the company is supplying and what the customer needs.
If you are to be a significant contributor to solving problems, you must not base your process on theories and assumptions. The world is dynamic. You can challenge theories and replace them with better ones.
Problem solvers are risk-takers, but they are also realistic. When your solution does not cover the gap, do not take it as a personal attack. Be realistic about a need for another solution instead of sticking with what is not working.
What works for one problem may not work for new challenges. A problem solver must not be rigid. They must challenge pre-existing systems and provide better ones. Have the insight to look at the problem from a different angle from what is ‘normal’. Nonetheless, when reviewing all of the simple ways entrepreneurs solve problems, this one is perhaps the least utilized.
Simply Be Realistic
It is possible to carve your name in history by either being part of the problem or part of the solution. Be part of the solution by being a critical thinker. Develop the right mindset to approach challenges and offer solutions that answer the needs of people around you and they will remember you for decades to come.
In this article, I shared 7 simple ways entrepreneurs solve problems. Perseverance, innovation, taking massive action, a few mental tricks and a positive outlook are key for effective problem-solving. But the biggest secret to being a successful, problem-solving entrepreneur?
Look at things through the lens of finding solutions.
Proactively look at the problems your industry or your brand is facing as an opportunity to find new, innovative solutions. Then you’ll be on the right track to finding something that works. As you become a better problem-solver, you’ll find the inspiration needed to scale your business.
Problem-solving doesn’t have to be a pain if you know how to approach the issue at hand. Simplify the problem by breaking it down into these seven steps that entrepreneurs use and maybe you’ll find they’re not so stupid after all.
And if you’re ever stuck, just remember, KISS – Keep It Simple, Stupid.