I refuse to believe that a problem can go unsolved. If you can’t solve a problem, chances are you haven’t actually thought about it.
Before starting my consulting business, I asked myself this: How can I make money working home while doing what I love? It was a question that took some deep thinking but it’s a question I needed to reflect on to get where I am today.
Your day comprises of three things: thinking, saying or doing
To solve a problem, your first step is to think. When I say think, I’m talking about undisturbed, focused thinking. We all have internal geniuses; we just need to give them time to work their magic. So I’m going to let you in on an exercise I use to problem-solve.
STEP 1: Set aside time. An important part of this exercise is committing the entire time you’ve set aside. Pick a time frame that’s manageable. For beginners I suggest a 45-minute time slot once a week.
STEP 2: Clear your mind. Find a quiet, relaxing space where you won’t be interrupted. Give yourself 10 minutes to de-stress. I usually take this time to do some breathing exercises.
STEP 3: Ask yourself “the question.” Once you’ve cleared your mind, grab a pen and paper and jot down the question that’s been probing you. If you’re trying to improve your billing, write something along the lines of “how could I double my billing in the next 12 months?”
STEP 4: Begin thinking. At first you’re going to have nothing. If your mind runs a blank, do not move. You’ve committed your time to this short 45-minute exercise, stick to it.
TIP: If you can’t think of anything, ask yourself why the question is important and if you can’t write three answers why, consider rephrasing the question. The goal here is to get those creative juices flowing - it takes time to unlock your inner genius.
STEP 5: Map out your ideas. Once you’ve come up with some ideas, you have permission to move but only if that’s to a white board. Mapping your ideas helps define critical steps needed to get the ball rolling.
Then the rest is on you!
I always tell my sales team that we’re in the business where babies are going to die if we don’t do something today, ha ha. If you need to take an hour to think about something, then take it! Always grant yourself those 45 minutes in your weekly schedule to simply think. In the end you’ll be better for it.