Problem Solving – an Opportunity for Wealth

Problem solving - introduction

When you look around you do you see more problems than opportunities? Do you have a success mentality that can see profit in problems?

When having a conversation about the economy, business and similar things, you can hardly get away from mentioning what is going wrong around you. The truth is that there are many things that are not going right or that are simply not going at all. Seeing the problems is always the easy part. However, for most people, that is where the conversation and thinking end: at the stage of complaining about all the problems around them.

Problem solving - see the opportunity in the problem

But for the entrepreneur and the business-minded person that is where the thinking starts. Such a person recognizes, as Richard Bach did, that “Every problem has a gift for you in its hands.” The most important question any person should ask themselves when faced with a problem should be “what can I do about it?” If you are facing a problem, particularly a business-related problem, it is very likely that other people in similar circumstances to you are facing the same problem. So it is possible that if you came up with a solution to the problem, others would benefit from it too. They could actually be willing to pay for your solution to the problem.

That is where things get exciting for the opportunity-seeking entrepreneur. The question for such a person is always “how do I solve this problem in a way that is beneficial to others and profitable to me?” That is the whole essence of doing business.

Problem solving - be of service to society

Being of service to society and your fellow human being is what drives the creation of wealth. Thomas Edison, who was one of the greatest inventors the world has ever had, declared that “I never perfected an invention that I did not think about in terms of the service it might give others... I find out what the world needs, then I proceed to invent.” You too can be of service to society.However, remember that both parts of the equation are important: Firstly, you must realize that it is a real possibility that you can solve the problem. The feeling of powerlessness is all round us. People are faced with many problems and difficulties.

Problem solving - be part of the solution, not the problem

Although most see themselves as being a part of, or affected by the problem, very few realize that they can be part of the solution. They are not empowered enough in their thinking and see themselves as helpless victims rather than as people that can make a meaningful and valuable contribution to solving the problems around them.

Do not ever dance to the victim tune. The victim mentality is one of seeing yourself as part of the problem and helpless to do anything about it. This is dangerous because often such people cannot “see the forest for the trees.” You need to get your mind out of this thinking and be able to see the bigger picture.

You can decide not to be a victim and look for opportunities in the problems you face any day you wish. This is because true control and freedom is in the mind. If your mind is free, your outer world will reflect this. Things may not always be perfect around you, but you will be empowered enough to know that you can do something about it if you so wished. What if you don’t wish to do anything about it? Well, then that is your choice too. Either way you are in control.

Problem solving - profit from problems

Secondly, you must be able to profit from solving the problem. I emphasize this because many times people have solved problems in marvelous ways, but have been unable to reap the benefits of their hard work and ingenuity. There are many examples of scientists and inventors who have done wonderful things for civilization, but died without benefiting from their work, only to have a company or individual with the right marketing skills and entrepreneurial spirit come along and make millions off the same ideas.

Thomas Edison knew that profit is an important aspect of invention and problem-solving and said “Anything that won't sell, I don't want to invent. Its sale is proof of utility, and utility is success.” He went on to say that his purpose in life is to “make enough money to create even more inventions.” So Thomas Edison was not an inventor. He was, at his core, an entrepreneur. Invention was simply his means to acquiring wealth. Yet no one can dispute that his inventions have changed the course of civilization.

Problem solving - be a dreamer

John Fitzgerald Kennedy observed that “The problems of the world cannot possibly be solved by skeptics or cynics whose horizons are limited by the obvious realities. We need men who can dream of things that never were.” Being a dreamer is one of the secrets to being a problem solver. Do not limit your thinking and your possibilities. There is a fortune to be made in the problems you and I face everyday. It is simply a question of what your personal perspective is and where you fit into the picture.

Problem solving - conclusion

Remember, as Harlan Cleveland pointed out, that “Leaders are problem solvers by talent and temperament, and by choice.” So, do you see yourself as part of the problem or as part of the solution? The choice is yours.

You are all you can be. Go on and be it.

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In the POWER PRINCIPLES series of books, Dr. Moses Simuyemba, "Africa's Success Coach", shares his knowledge, experience and insight to help you in overcoming your personal challenges and limitations and inspire you towards the life you desire and deserve: a life of greater purpose, free of fear and full of abundance.