How To Solve Problems
Jim Rohn, the wonderful motivational speaker, said to go inside first and see if you can come up a solution. If that doesnt work, go to a book or internet sources to see if you can find an answer. If that doesnt work, ask someone else who is where you want to be. This is good advice. Lets explore further.
1. Go inside. You have an extraordinary amount of wisdom right inside yourself from your past experiences and from your natural preferences. One great way to get your answers from within is to take some time to get quiet. Make a list of teachers youve had that made a positive impact on you. Some may have been conventional teachers; others may be people you met who were not in a classroom. You can even consider famous people, people who have died or you havent met in person but you learned something valuable from them. Now choose one that jumps out at you right now.
Now write out a dialogue between you and this person. Ask him/her for advice. I can bet you will find some powerful insights into how to solve your problem
2. Get some more information. When someone tells me theyre stuck on a problem, I quickly assess whether it is a lack of information that is the real problem. It often is. Im amazed at how many people dont take the time to seek information through books and the internet. Often there is someone out there who has solved a problem similar to yours and you can quickly get ideas about how to solve your problem.
3. Ask someone else. If you still cant figure out how to get past your problem after going inside and doing some research...now is the time to ask someone else. Most people are willing to share information and help you IF you show them that you have done some research prior to asking them. Its startling how many people ask me for advice and information and when I ask them what theyve done so far to solve their problem...they say nothing.
Ill give you a concrete example. You want to run a tour business. You dont know where to start and feel overwhelmed every time you think about this idea...but it just wont go away.
First, you take time and journal with your teacher within. You have a dialogue and get encouragement from the teacher that you are on the right track. You even get some ideas about where you would like to lead tours and get a strong sense of the feelings of satisfaction and joy youll get when you achieve this goal.
Now you think, I dont know how to start. What insurance do I need? How do I hire a bus? What kind of outdoor microphone will I need so that people can hear me? How will I find people to enroll for my tours?"
So you go to Google and type in how to lead tours. You get nothing useful. So you try, how to be a tour guide. Bingo. You get a great article with lots of information and a link to an online course on the topic. You subscribe for the course. You then do an Amazon search and find a book that looks great on this topic so you order it.
After youve taken the course and read the book, you are about 100% confident that youd like to achieve the goal of becoming a tour guide but youd like to talk to some people who are actually doing it to get the real scoop on what its like and maybe ideas on how to break into the field.
Now, if you dont already know someone in the field, its time to look up a few people in the field, approach them by email to request a 20 minute informational interview by phone. Send an email that says that you are interested in entering the field, youve taken a course and read about the field and now want to get some real world information.
Tell them that youll have 5-10 questions prepared before the call and that youd be happy to email the questions to them prior to the call. You might want to ask what the best part of their work is and what the worst part of their work is. Dont ask specific salaries, though you may ask what would be an expected range of pay for a beginner and for someone advanced in the field.
People are generally very happy to help out, happy to share information about work they love AND they will be impressed that you did your research prior to seeking them out.
So go ahead. Whats a problem you have? Try the 3 steps above and get unstuck now!