Let me ask you a question:
If I told you that the solution to your current business problem was using a new tool or technique that you’d never seen or even heard of before, what would your reaction be?
Your answer says a lot about your mindset – and could even predict your chances at entrepreneurial success.
Adopting a solution-seeking mindset
So how did you react to my question?
Did you start to feel a little panicky wondering what it was or how you would use it? Did you get a little anxious in the pit of your stomach or feel downright upset or let’s be honest, annoyed that you’d have to figure out one more thing? It’s ok, I get it and I’ve been there. But once you got over that how did you feel?
Did you just sort of mentally shrug and say to yourself, “OK, bring it on” or did you maybe even feel excited to have a solution and move forward?
If you came to a positive outcome and were ready to move forward – hooray! That’s what I call a solution-seeking mindset. It means that, when presented with a challenge – like a new skill you need to learn or a goal you have to meet – you face it with the belief that you’ll be able to figure it out. Even if you have a bit of a hissy fit beforehand!
The reality is anything you need to learn probably has half a dozen or more YouTube tutorials, blog posts, and free eBooks ready to teach it to you all about it anyway.
But none of that matters unless you approach the problem with a solution-seeking mindset.
If you focus on the problem, you will stay focused on the problem. If you focus on the solution, you’ll almost certainly find it.
Business will push your limits
Starting a business isn’t easy. It doesn’t have to be complicated, but it isn’t easy. If you’re transitioning from a background of working for others – doing a single job inside a larger organisation – chances are you’ll need to learn a whole new skill-set that is completely different to what you did before. Small business owners might need to be marketers, accountants, copywriters, graphic designers, customer service reps and more – on top of doing their specialty work.
That can be overwhelming in the beginning, without a doubt, and we all feel it. But adopting a solution-seeking mindset will help push you through those barriers and make sure you keep making progress.
If you don’t approach those challenges looking for the solutions, you’re likely to do just the opposite, getting stuck at every stage, mired in self-doubt and disappointment.
The reality in the moment is no different, but how you approach it affects your results dramatically.
It’s also important to remember that the solution doesn’t have to be that you do everything. Maybe in the beginning you have to bootstrap things by figuring them out yourself, but the solution to some problems might be finding the right person to hire to solve the problem, the right teacher to help you learn the skill, or the right coach to help you through a difficult patch.
Cultivating a solution-seeking mindset
Working with people who want to become business owners, I can spot the ones who have a solution-seeking mindset right away. They tend to be life-long learners, interested in all sorts of things, curious about how things work and about how to make something work for them. That’s not to say they treat every new roadblock or challenge with relish. Of course not, we all wish every time we had a new task to do we could look at the company manual on what to do instead of getting into ‘figure it all out again mode’, but wanting to learn and backing yourself to do will really help you.
People with a solution-seeking mindset also tend to see multiple solutions to a problem, and then choose the best one. They might say, “I could design my website myself to save money, or I could pay someone to do some of the hardest coding, or I could hire someone to develop it from scratch.” They realise there’s almost always more than one way to get the job done.
If you find yourself getting shitty when the inevitable problems come up – it’s ok, you are normal! The more you can teach yourself to cultivate more of a solution-seeking mindset, the further it will take you in your business and in your life. When you find yourself dwelling on a problem, give yourself a time limit – say, half an hour or one day – to really wallow in it, then start brainstorming. Look for the solutions, and they will appear!
The new year is typically a time for new projects. I hope this one mindset shift can help you stick with what you have decided is important to you this year.
Now I’d love to hear from you
Which mindset do you tend towards?
Are you more problem focused or solution seeking?
Let me know in the comments and we’ll do an informal poll!