Bangkok Hypnosis

Problems vs. opportunities – it’s all a matter of perspective

Posted by Sun on February 27, 2012

As managers, entrepreneurs and parents, we spend a great deal of our time dealing with and trying to solve problems. Problems, problems, problems:

  • Who called in sick today?
  • Do we have someone qualified to cover that job?
  • How is this going to affect our production schedule and thus, my appearance to my boss?
  • Will he/she understand?
  • The bank called today and you’re three months late on the loan you used to finance that big expansions you felt that you had the customers and orders to justify. What do you do? Will they understand? Will this affect future collaborations
  • Your child’s school called and your son/daughter is being disruptive in class.
  • How do we deal with him/her?
  • How do we reach them?
  • What are the circumstances?

I could go on and on but you get the picture and this is just the stuff right off the top of my head. I’d bet that if we tried, we could come up with a list of problems so long and complicated that it would boggle the mind.

I was currently analyzing a problem that has been nagging and hindering the startup of a business that I am involved in when I had an epiphany. I am always going to have problems. The issue is not that I have problems or that you have problems, but the issue is about how we view those problems. It’s all a matter of your perspective. Problems are simply – OPPORTUNITIES in disguise. Let’s notice some simple facts:

1. You will always have problems – that is a fact. And as a businessman, that’s great!

I know, you think that I’ve lost my mind, but it is true. Problems provide the opportunity to showcase your talents. Even if you are on the very bottom rung of the business/corporate ladder, you are able to demonstrate your expertise by how you handle problems.

Those people who become adept at problem solving will quickly move to the head of the class. As they say, “the cream rises to the top”. Your boss and his or her boss will begin to notice that your skills are noteworthy. In the business world, a problem solver is highly valued because they are able to:

  • make the project come together
  • facilitate the collaboration of strong opposing personalities
  • meet the deadline
  • bring the project in under budget

Problems create the opportunity to showcase your talents and abilities. Do you have special skills? How will you ever be able to demonstrate them without problems? It’s kind of like being an exceptional athlete. No one really knows how good you are until you operate against the pressure of an opposing team.

2. We would all prefer to lead simple and predictable lives – but as an entrepreneur I value problems!

Problems give us the chance to flex our solution-producing muscles. Every new product that succeeds is the answer to a problem that someone identified. Then, they sought to offer some way of overcoming or dealing with this problem. Viola, a new product or service is born. Think about it, every book on entrepreneurship tells you to find a need (another name for a problem) and fill it.

Do you have a problem with the way something works or doesn’t work? Scott Kay did andthe Rotater was born.

Provide a solution and then market it. It may be the next big thing. The possibilities are limited only by the limitations that you place on yourself.

3. Problems provide a measure of our dedication and persistence.

It is easy to maintain a positive outlook when everything is going according to plan, but it is the problems and adversity that will test you. It is when you are struggling to make your lease payments and publicize your business while all your friends and relatives ask, “why don’t you give up and get a real job”, that your mettle is tested. Can you take it? Are you a quitter?

As my friend Stephen Hopson says over at Adversity University, life is about adversity.

Problems are opportunities in disguise. Use them to showcase your skills, talents and your perseverance.



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