The presence of problems always denote an opportunity for progress. Great men in the world’s history are men who viewed problems, limitations and inadequacies that way. Charles Kettering said “Don’t bring me anything but trouble…” Why?
Charles Kettering is an American inventor, engineer and businessman who successfully registered and owned 186 patents. He made that statement because he understood the reward for trouble (problems). No wonder his home was the first in American history to have air-conditioning, according to Wikipedia. He founded his own company, Delco and headed research at General Motors.
[tweetthis]The presence of problems is a sign of progress in disguise #coaching.[/tweetthis]
Problems (or trouble) will strengthen your character, will and doggedness if you do not allow it to break you. Seeing problems as a means of making progress will totally make it easier for you to convert them into business ventures.
So, how do you see problems? If you see them as limitations and turn away from them, you have probably turned down the prospect of becoming one of the greatest people in the history of the world. There are many problems in the world. That shows that there is progress around the corner (for you and for the country you live in) if you can learn to explore problems and solve them. This is the reason for our dicourse today.
A need can arise as a result of a problem just the way a problem can from a need. Bear this in mind as we study this.
WHY IT IS IMPORTANT TO STUDY PROBLEMS
It is important to study problems. A problem can easily be solved if it is studied. Someone once said that “If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.” There is no neutrality. Another reason why problems should be studied is because “problems are the price of progress” as we saw earlier.
[tweetthis]A problem can easily be solved if it is studied. #coaching[/tweetthis]
So, when the problem is well studied, then proffering a solution will no more be a big problem
Problems can become business ventures. Only studying them can make this possible.
It is also important to solve a problem in order to identify the cause of the problem. And we all know that the best way to solve a problem is to handle its cause.
[tweetthis]Problems can become biz ventures. Studying them can make this possible.[/tweetthis]
HOW TO IDENTIFY PROBLEMS
- Watch out for genuine complaints and protests: What do people always complain about in your area? Are these genuine complaints? If they are then they can lead you to identifying and solving a problem.
- Be genuinely concerned: If you are really concerned about where you live, you will be able to identify the problems there.
- Watch out for difficulties: What difficulties do you notice people go through in the place you live? I used to live in Baruwa-Ipaja in Lagos State. While people used to drive all the way to Iyana Ipaja before connecting the express, another major express was just behind us, separated by a large swamp. A group of guys came together, created a wooden pedestrian bridge and charged people to cross. Soon, they had enough funds to make the bridge bigger enough to allow cars cross and make it out in less time. They make a lot of money daily.
- News: You can easily identify problems when you listen to news. The news media tend to always report “negative” things because thats what get people’s attention. Headlines like “20 die in plane crash,” “University staff to go on strike” are very familiar headlines. These are problems and it shows that listening to news is a very easy way of identifying problems.
- By reading widely: If you want to discover a wide range of problems, you have to be versatile. This comes by reading wide. Don’t limit yourself to just one field only. Be interested in medicine, engineering, economics etc. This will give you an edge over those who only show interest in just one field.
PROBLEMS ARE OPPORTUNITIES
Problems can become opportunities if one decides to make them so. If you decide to look into every problem you see and study it, you will be able to find one that you can solve someday. What is problem to A may not be a problem to B. So as you study problems in a bid to turn them into opportunities, don’t forget to study them in relation to the people who are involved. Look out for problems that are needs. Those that are needs are easier to turn into opportunities.
HOW TO TURN PROBLEMS INTO BUSINESS VENTURES
When you identify (or discover) a problem (or a need), the first thing you should do is to STUDY it. Give detailed answers to the following questions;
- Is this a problem people are aware of?
- What class of people does it affect?
- How many people does it affect on the average i.e. how many tens, hundreds or thousands of people?
- What is the age range of the people that the problem affects?
- What are the means in which I can solve the problem?
- Is anyone else already solving the problem in any part of the country or world?
- If yes, what innovations can I create to solve the problem better?
- What resources do I have at my disposal to help solve the problem?
- Would people be willing to pay for the problem to be solved for them? Remember they will pay for the problem to be solved only if they recognize it as a problem.
- Can I write a business plan out of this problem?
- Who are those that would want to support me on this?
STEP 1: Take out time to move around your community or city with a pen and a notebook. List all the needs you see around, no matter how small they seem. List all the problems.
STEP 2: Get somewhere quiet and ask yourself the questions above. Don’t take a broad view of all the needs. Ask the question for each of the needs/problems. Think thoroughly on the book. Use a fresh page for each need or problem. Do the same thing to the others; no matter how many days it will take you to finish all.
STEP 3: When you are through, look out for the need you have proffered more solutions to. The one you have more solutions to is probably what you should start with. Then ask yourself a next question; “how do I start?” Don’t procrastinate.
STEP 4: Defeat inertia and start immediately. Do at least one thing a day that will lead you to meeting that need. Set goals for yourself.
STEP 5: Get access to the internet and get all the information you need. It is always good to start with smaller needs and then, moving on to bigger ones.
STEP 6: If you can immediately start getting paid for the solutions you have, go ahead and quickly register a business and open an account for it. Don’t stop learning!
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