Running a business is a master class in problem-solving. In my nearly 30-year career, I’ve learned that there are two core elements of every problem: the emotional and the material. It’s key to examine both. Here are my four steps to solving any business problem.
#1: Break It Down
First and foremost, cut out all the noise and strip the issue down so you really understand what needs to be done in order to fix the problem you’re facing. What is being asked of you? What will make your partners happy? What are the deliverables?
#2: Take A Look Back
In business, problems tend to repeat themselves. Consider how this hiccup in your week might be similar to something you’ve seen in the past. I always try to recall a familiar experience and how we got through it. Oftentimes, I can internally solve a problem by simply retracing my steps.
#3: Bring In The Team
Business is all about relationships, and many problems are people problems. Bring in your team and see if anyone with a relationship with your partner, client or customer can help. Ask your team if they’ve encountered similar situations in the past. Most often you’ll find a solution by directing a few more eyeballs to the obstacle.
#4: Be Easy On Yourself
Problem-solving can be stressful, but the great thing is that the most problems can and will be solved! Take it easy on yourself. If stress or anxiety is getting the best of you, take a step back and remind yourself that you’re smart and you can do this. The key is to focus, don’t get worked up, and try to hone in on how to make this problem right.