Problem. Solve.

Life is made up of a pretty simple pattern. There is a problem, and then we solve it. This pattern repeats in every part of your life. You get hungry, and then you eat. You need companionship, and you find someone to talk to. You want to feel warm at night, so you find a place to live. 

The problem, solve pattern happens all of the time in our work-life and business operations also. You need to make payroll, so you draw on your line-of-credit to have enough cash in your bank account. You hit a technical roadblock, so you engage a consultant to help you understand what you don’t. 

We often have two issues with this pattern:

  1. We don’t define the problem correctly. What seems to be a problem often is simply a symptom. Feeling hungry might lead us to eat, but the real problem may be that we were thirsty. A glass of water would have solved the problem as well as a sandwich.
  2. We also don’t focus on solving the problem sometimes. We might define the right problem, but then think that it will be taken care of by someone else. Or we think that the problem will just go away. If you don’t explicitly work out how the problem will be solved (even the simple ones), it is unlikely to go away. Sometimes ignoring it will work (you can’t do everything), but if it is a genuine problem, it won’t disappear until you address it head-on.

Remember the Problem-Solve pattern. Define your problem and focus on intentionally solving that specific problem.