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A First Step of Solving Almost Every Problem

A First Step of Solving Almost Every Problem

One of the biggest reasons why people struggle with solving problems is because they often overlook this critical first step.

Because no matter what the problem is or what the circumstance, you’re best hope for solving it almost always requires the exact same beginning.

You have to take ownership of the problem.

You have to internalize responsibility for your problem.

You have to resolve that regardless of how the problem came to be, it’s both your duty and your ability to find the solution.

It’s not something that you rely on someone else or something else to solve.

Because until you own your problem you can’t own your solution.

When you encounter a problem that you believe is the result of something outside yourself, then you will never be able to have power over that problem.

It is something that is happening to you of which you are just a bystander and a spectator.

By definition, its outside your control.

But when you own your problem, when you take responsibility for its existence, and when you decide that you’re in charge of fixing it, things start to change.

You stop viewing it as something that is occurring to you and you start viewing it as something you can maneuver.

You stop experiencing it and you start influencing it.

You stop being affected by it and you start affecting it.

Once you own your problem, you create the opportunity to find the solution.

Because if it happened to you through no fault of your own, then you are just an unfortunate victim of circumstances that are beyond your control.

But If you decide that you played some part in creating it, and you own it as your fault, then you can play the lead role in solving it.

And even if you didn’t create the problem. Even if the problem did result from something outside your control. You can still do something about it.

There are always things within your control that you can do. So do those things and never let any problem be an excuse for why you don’t focus on what is in your control.

While you can’t always control whether or not problems show up, you can always control how you respond to them and what you do about them.

One way or another, your life is your fault.

So own the problem.

Then own the solution.

Matt Curry: Problem Solving and Overcoming Excuses – Episode 148 of The Action Catalyst Podcast

Matt Curry, who is diagnosed with A.D.D., successfully built Curry’s Auto Service and ultimately became one of the largest independent auto repair chains in the Washington, D.C. area with annual sales close to $20 Million. In 2013, he sold Curry’s to a publicly traded $1 billion corporation.

He has worked in the automotive aftermarket business for over 30 years. He started changing tires when he was 15 and worked his way into management, overseeing seven automotive stores for several different companies, doubling and tripling sales and profits at every store he managed.

Show Highlights:
  • Having A.D.D. gives me the opportunity to create unique solutions to problems. @matthybrid1
  • I started my business with $103,000, $35,000 in loans and 13 credit cards and paid it all off in two years. @matthybrid1
  • In the beginning, be prepared to do it all and anything you have to do to make it work. @matthybrid1
  • Hire people that compliment you the most and are good at what you’re not. @matthybrid1
  • Be tolerant of risk. When you jump to achieve any goal there will be risk involved. @matthybrid1
  • If you have expertise and a plan, you can achieve anything you want.  @matthybrid1
  • Be blunt. Be respectful and kind, but always be blunt. @matthybrid1
  • You need to have policies and procedures that are scalable and repeatable in your business. @matthybrid1
  • It’s not always good news, but it’s always good information. @matthybrid1
  • Problem solving is the key to entrepreneurship. You will always have problem to solve. @matthybrid1
  • Empower your employees to be problem solvers. @matthybrid1
  • You get your best customers by how you solve their problems. @matthybrid1

To learn more about Matt click here or to learn more about his book, click here!

The Action Catalyst show is a weekly podcast that Rory Vaden of Southwestern Consulting™ hosts every Wednesday, which is regularly in the Top 25 of Business News Podcasts and has listeners from all around the world. The show shares “insights and inspiration to help you take action”. Each week Rory shares ideas on how to increase your self-discipline and make better use of your time to help you achieve your goals in life. He also interviews one very special expert guest and thought leader every week. Subscribe on iTunes and please leave a rating and review!

Composure, Clarity, Control

This blog post comes straight from one of my coaching clients from our Top Producer’s Edge program. She is an extraordinary woman and she’s beginning to get big results in her life and for her company as we’ve been working together for a few months. As is customary we send a recap of each conversation we have with our clients after the call. This one seemed very relevant to a lot of the problems that we are all facing today so I included it here exactly how it appeared in the personal email I sent to her.

“Kind of ironic how the sessions I always send you are right in line with what’s going on in your life. From the Schedule concepts when we first started to the positive affirmations a few weeks ago, to the introduction and questioning techniques for finding pain before selling, using LinkedIn for referrals and recruiting and then today with problem solving.”

“Remember what I said… one of the highest levels of discipline is to be a master of your emotions.”

“The key to problem solving is IMMEDIATELY channeling your emotion into a positive direction and keeping your cool. People want to follow a strong leader who always has a game plan (or at least looks like they do 🙂 ) to overcome any challenging situation. Here is my 3 step formula for channeling that energy: Composure, Clarity, Control

“First is Composure. Remember things are often not as good as they seem or as bad as they sound. Resist the urge to flip out in the very first moment you hear of bad news. (You can flip out later when you’re by yourself all you want) Your initial reaction to a problem sets the tone and mood for the way that you and those around you respond to the situation. And also it forms a habit for all of you about how you will deal with problems in the future. So have DISCIPLINE and begin to start channeling your emotions and staying composed. Remember my man Carl from the old TV Show Family Matters: ‘3,2,1…1,2,3…what the heck is bothering me…breathe.’ 🙂   That is, to this day, my favorite affirmation in tough times.”

“Second is Clarity. DISCIPLINE yourself to not just start taking control and yanking things around in every which direction. Instead ask questions of yourself and of those involved in the situation to make sure that you CLARIFY exactly what the challenge is, what factually happened, and to identify what limitations are legitimately on the situation. You’ll be amazed that when you take the emotional energy out of tough situations there is almost always a clear actionable game plan that reveals itself. The trick once again is learning to view things through a logical lens rather than an emotional one.”

“Then Control. Not take control necessarily; but control the things you can control. Don’t focus on what is wrong with the situation. Focus only on what you can do about it. Control the controllables, execute, and take immediate action on what you can to influence things in a positive direction. One thing I’ve seen to be true in dire business and personal situations is that even in times of complete hopelessness, if you just focus on taking the step that is immediately in front of you, then the next one appears more clearly, and then the next, and the next. Which is exactly how you climb the CN Tower with 144 flights of stairs.”

“That’s how you ‘Take the Stairs’ in the face of adversity. You are a champion. It’s an honor to be partnering with you as your coach to get you and your team to the next level. I’m thrilled that business has picked up since we started working together in the last few months. It’s a testimony to your own self-discipline, your willingness to change, and the result of your intense focus. Keep it up because we’re just getting started.”

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See you in the stairwell,

Rory Vaden
Take the stairs – Success means doing what others won’t.