How’d you learn to solve that problem?

The other day a colleague of mine had a problem with a computer program he was working with. I was able to offer him a quick solution which impressed the heck out of him, which was great, until he asked me how I was able to do that, and I had forgotten! He quickly became less impressed. I spent the rest of the day obsessed with trying to remember how I did learn to do whatever it was I did.

I got to thinking about it, and I recalled that I knew how to solve it because I HAD to! In fact, it got me to pondering how over the years, as a sole practitioner, I’d often find myself up against a deadline. Right about that time Murphy’s Law would show up. I had an unscheduled problem and a deadline to meet, which meant that I had to get that problem solved and get on with it! So I’d stay after it and experiment and tinker until I found the answer. It was frustrating at the time, but in the end it was quite a feeling to know I could solve my own dilemma. Downright empowering, in fact!

One important characteristic shared by entrepreneurs is a can-do, refuse-to-quit attitude. As Tom Peters said years ago as he urged larger organizations to think like small businesses,  small businesses succeed because they have to! Rarely easy, often nerve-wracking, but when it all comes together there’s a sense of satisfaction that’s hard to describe. The next time you find yourself up against a challenge, remember that solving it will be rewarding in more ways than one.

Fall down seven times. Get up eight.” – Japanese Proverb