Do you ever encounter problems, challenges or obstacles in your business? If you answered ‘no,’ then you can stop reading and continue to rake in the fortune you must be making. For the rest of us, the answer of course is ‘yes.’
For the most troubling problems, the biggest challenge is in your inability to come up with new and innovative solutions. This is because when you try to solve a problem, you probably use the same approach every time (‘let me sit here and think about it until I come up with something?’). The next time you try to solve a problem, try applying any (or all) of these approaches:
1) Be Obvious – Cances are, whatever your problem is, there is some conventional wisdom about how to solve it. Ask yourself why you are not following it, and evaluate for yourself whether your reasons are valid. Sometimes the easiest solution is the one right in front of us.
2) Be Contrarian – The opposite of being obvious, being contrarian means to consider doing the opposite of what conventional wisdom says. If the standard advice is to buy, think about selling. Instead of working more, work less. Note: This does not mean you should automatically DO what the opposite is; it just means to let your mind wander over the opposite to get it working in another direction.
3) Start Where you are – Sometimes we get so caught up in the long term goal that we lose sight of where we are. Think about your problem and what you might do right now to solve it. Usually this results in frustration because we don’t have a fully formed solution. But just because an idea is not fully formed does not mean that it does not have some validity. Start with your current idea and watch as new ideas present themselves.
4) Chunk up – If you can’t figure out how to achieve your goal, try looking at the bigger picture. If your goal is to earn $10,000 this month and you can’t figure out how, think bigger – maybe you want $10K because you want to earn six figures this year. Then start to brainstorm ways of earning six figures. Don’t get so caught up on your problem that you lose sight of the bigger picture.
5) Chunk down – The opposite of chunking up. Think in terms of smaller details. Continuing with the $10K example, if you can’t think of how to earn $10,000 this month, can you think of ways to earn $333 per day? Maybe, but even if you can’t it gets the mind working in a new way.
6) Take a REAL Break – Stop working on the problem for a bit and let your subconscious work on it. This requires two things. First, you need to actually give your mind a break and recharge. Switching from thinking about one problem to another will not do it. Get away from the problem an your work, even if for only five minutes. Second, make sure you are not dwelling on the problem. Taking a walk to get away from work is great, but if you continue to mull over the problem your not really giving your mind a break from it.
7) Move – Get the blood flowing! Exercise, walk, run, stretch, whatever. Be it from blood flow, endorphins, or a change in focus, physical movement enhances creativity. I do some of my best thinking while shooting baskets. Find out what works for you and do it.
There are many different techniques you can use to solve a problem. Try the few above to start, and then come up with your own. Use them well, and watch yourself create new and exciting solutions faster than ever.
Avish Parashar is a professional speaker who runs seminars on creativity, teamwork, productivity, leadership, and communication using the principles of improvisational comedy.