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Problem Solving 101

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Everyone encounters problems in this life, what matters is how you deal with them. Effective problem solving is both a mindset and a skill. If you learn how to creatively solve problems for yourself and others, you’ll be on your way to living the good life! Here’s how you can become a master problem solver:  

Define the problem

To solve a problem, you must first define it. This isn’t always easy to achieve, whether you’re experiencing problems personally or you’re trying to help other people. The secret to finding the heart of any problem is to keep asking questions until you uncover the real issue. It can take a lot of digging, but it’s always worth it. As Albert Einstein once said, “If I were given one hour to save the world, I would spend 59 minutes defining the problem and one minute solving it.” If you work hard to properly define a problem at the outset, it will be much easier to solve it.

Create a roadmap to the solution

Trying to solve a problem is like trying to climb to the top of a mountain – to succeed in your goal and make it to the summit, you have to break the journey into small and manageable steps. You also have to remember that reaching the top is really only half the battle because you have to find a way to safely descend, too! When you’re working to find a solution to a problem, take the time to think about and thoroughly prepare your roadmap, charting the possible obstacles and challenges you might encounter along the path and planning ways to surmount them.

Implement the solution

Wilbur Ross once said, “It is important to have a sound idea. But the really important thing is the implementation.” When you have properly defined your problem and then created a roadmap to solve it, it’s time to take action! While it’s important to think things through, you can’t use overthinking to avoid action. Do your analysis, but don’t get paralyzed by it. Instead, work to effectively implement the solution. If you’re a doer, not just a thinker, you’ll become known as a master problem solver and you will be sought out for your extremely valuable skills.

If you can successfully solve problems, you will always be highly compensated in the marketplace. Even better, you’ll become a trusted adviser for your clients and they will be eager to refer you to their circles of influence. To learn more about successful problem solving, listen to the latest episode of “It’s a Good Life.”

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