We’re all looking for ways to overcome obstacles. Most of our lives are spent figuring out solutions to problems, right? And as an entrepreneur, you also tend to own the obstacles and problems associated with your business as well. Luckily for you, owning a business creates incredible problem-solving skill. If a problem arises, you can’t just ignore it, right?
While some problems seem insurmountable, there are a few tactics to help identify and understand the opportunities that exist within the difficulties we face. And facing problems with creativity can drive innovation and positively impact the marketplace.
Here are a few tactics to transform those obstacles into golden tickets.
Take a different perspective.
If you’re caught in between a rock and hard place, it can be hard to see the situation from a new angle. Bring in fresh eyes, a new hire, or someone who has absolutely nothing to lose or gain from the situation. Get their honest opinions and really take into account what they’re saying. Sometimes dealing with the same issue can put blinders on your eyes and only a new person can help break those blinders off. Also, having a new perspective can have a disarming effect that allows for trust and empathy to spread into a situation that previously may have been characterized by antagonism and animosity.
Visualize the end, then reverse-engineer the solution.
You know the old saying: “If you don’t have a goal, how will you know when you reach it?” It stems from truth. If you’re facing a problem, picture the end and what it looks like. Perhaps you have an employee that isn’t performing well. The ultimate end would be letting him go, right? So work backwards from that point and figure out when would be the best time, what projects he’s working on, how soon you’ll need a replacement, etc. That’s a very simple example, but you get the point. Don’t get caught up in side trails and what ifs. Working backward from your goal will provide the best results, every single time.
Affect what you can control.
Not all of us are CEOs or owners. Some of us are salespeople, marketing specialists, or other roles that may not have final say in things. That’s okay. Affect what you can control and don’t let the decisions of your supervisors or managers dim your light. You can propose new solutions, try things a new way, or find a new product that will make everything easier for those in your office. Good work! Take pride in being an amazing team member. And don’t get down if the budget won’t allow for that product, or one of your solutions isn’t utilized. If you have a solid leadership team above you, you’ll be amazed how receptive they are to your ideas.
An impasse may require a complete reboot.
This is a fancy way of saying that if you’re facing the same challenge over and over again, with no results, sometimes rebooting the whole thing from the beginning is necessary. Maybe a team manager you’ve had on staff for ten years isn’t in the right position and it’s time for her to move on. Maybe that disastrous project is being run by the wrong team. Maybe some of your junior leaders have lost sight of what’s best for the company and have become selfish in their choices. It can be a hard process, but carefully examining the issue and being willing to start fresh is sometimes the best option.