Problem or Profit? That's the Question.

This week I had the awesome and somewhat rare opportunity to be the student. Other than being a student to the game of life and business on a daily basis, it’s only a few select times of the year that I get to plant my butt in the seat and be the student in one of the coaching groups I belong to. During one of the small group breakouts, the discussion came up about problem solving in business.

This week I want to challenge you to answer a question around problem solving. You are an entrepreneur or a business leader if you’re reading this and that means you are a problem solver by nature. However, we can get sucked in to thinking that problem solving is a pain in the back side. We think so optimistically that everything should run smooth all the time event though we are in the people business.

If you work with people you are going to be in the problem solving business. Period. The challenge becomes around the mindset we have regarding problems and what they mean to us, how we solve them, and if we solve them for the long term or if it’s a short term band aid.

Band aids don’t fix bullet holes!

Yes, I just went there! That statement is from one of Taylor Swift’s current hits on the radio. Why would I be quoting Taylor Swift you might ask? Great question, and no I’m not a “Swifty” as her tribe refers to themselves, however I am always impressed at anything that anyone does at the top of their game. She’s the highest grossing artist for the last several years and I can certainly appreciate what she does for the entertainment world without most of her body parts hanging out and singing about being a skank like most of the top artists.

Okay, I digress…my bad.

Back to the point of the lyrics. Many times when I’m coaching business owners I see them attempting to fix bullet holes in the company with band aids. Meaning we seem to put forth the least amount of effort (though it doesn’t feel that way) in order to rectify a situation ONE TIME that could actually use a system for solution rather than a band aid.

The reality of the situation is that problem solving equals your profitability level. I said problem solving, not “firefighting”, “band aid” application or “the ostrich approach” (burying your head in the sand and pretending it doesn’t exist). The most successful leaders I coach are the ones that take what the world calls a problem, re-categorize it into a situation or challenge, and then take immediate and massive action to solve it…FOR GOOD!

What if you began to look at what you call problems as opportunities for profit? How would that change your mindset, your physiology, and your fulfillment at work and in life? I know from experience that most of you would tell me that things happen for a reason, right? If that’s the case, then let’s learn from a challenging situation. Let’s grow from an opportunity we didn’t see coming. Let’s become a better person and better leader because we are all doing the best we can each and every day!

In our Titanium Coaching Group we often talk about framing and mindset. How you think about something will dictate your level of success every single time. No question about it. The only difference between where you are today and where you want to be is how you’re thinking about the “problems” in your life and business.

If problems meant profitability, perhaps you’d be more willing to solve them for good and enjoy the growth you derive in the process.


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