If you want to be successful in your business or career, there’s a critical question you must answer. It has nothing to do with the size of your prospect list or the amount of money in your bank account – though the answer can help you build both. What’s the question?
“What problem can you confidently solve?”
No matter what your role of what industry you’re in, your primary job is to be a problem solver. The complexity of the problem and what people are willing to pay to fix it will have a significant impact on your compensation, so the more specialized, the better.
Here are three important things to consider as you seek the answer to that very important question:
The Real Problem Isn’t Always What It Looks Like.
When my son was young, we used to frequent CiCi’s Pizza. If I asked you what problem the restaurant solved for us, you’d probably say hunger. But our real problem was that our hectic weekday schedules didn’t allow a great deal of quality time together. When I cooked at home, we’d be on to our separate activities within 10 minutes. Going to the buffet typically meant we’d spend more than an hour together, which gave us plenty of time to catch up. So ask yourself, what’s the real problem your clients have?
Every Problem Isn’t Worth Solving to Everybody.
A manufacturing company is typically willing to accept a certain level of defects in its production processes, but there is a threshold that will signal the need for improvements. Your potential clients may not be willing to invest time, effort or resources into fixing every problem they have. Your task is to identify and solve their most pressing challenges. If you’re a startup owner, be sure you’re testing as you go so that you’re not spending valuable time and resources building in features the market doesn’t care about.
Confidence Breeds Success.
If you went to a mechanic and they said they thought they knew what was wrong with your car and they might be able to fix it, would you trust them with your car? No way! Just the same, the confidence you have in your ability to solve a problem will go a long way with your clients and partners. Here are three ways you can build your confidence:
Knowledge – Knowing your stuff is the best way to boost confidence, so commit to developing expertise in your field. Hands-on experience is the best teacher. Work to build your track record even if that means volunteering your time.
Results – Being able to stand on data or success stories related to your work will give you and your potential clients more confidence in your ability to solve their problem. And when you realize how much your efforts are making a difference, it will motivate you to reach out to more potential clients.
Faith – Sometimes you’re just not prepared to fill the shoes you’re required to step into. When I took my first job out of college as the communications manager for the largest site in my company, many of my colleagues had been there longer than I had been alive. But if I had come to the table like I didn’t know what I was doing, that’s how I would have been treated. Pray for guidance to make the right decisions and for wisdom beyond your experience. God may not always call the equipped, but He will equip those He calls.
When you approach your work and business as a problem solver – not a manager, task-completer or sales person – you’ll be much more fulfilled and inspired to go the extra mile and your clients will thank you for it. Keep these three considerations in mind so that you’re confidently solving the right problem at the right time for the right people.