Who do you hang out with? As you look at the different individuals, business coaches, and groups of people that you spend the most time with asking yourself, how do they think and how do they live? One of the things that I recognize as I take the time to look at the world around me is that the majority of people that I encounter are great at finding problems but terrible at solving them. I can’t even begin to describe to you the number of times that I’ve had people come up to me and tell me what I was doing wrong and that I must absolutely deal with and fix the “issue” they were complaining about, as soon as possible. However, they had no ideas, recommendations, or brainpower invested in how to find a resolution. This is the mindset of most people. They find something, a problem, to complain about, and yet don’t have the mindset or the capacity of discovering a solution.
An entrepreneur does not just find problems, but an entrepreneur finds problems and then solves them
When business coach Clay Clark was attending Oral Roberts University, he was simultaneously building his business, DJ connection.com. This business would go on to become the largest DJ company in the country, serving over 2,000 weddings per year. Because Oral Roberts University considers itself to be a conservative place and does not “support dancing and partying”, they banned Clay from marketing his DJ events on campus. While the majority of people would take this and give up, Clay had a different mindset. Clay finds solutions. Instead of just throwing in the towel and saying screw it, I’ll never build a successful business, Clay found other ways to get the attention of the students on campus so that they knew that there was a party coming up very soon. At Oral Roberts University there’s a large garden called the prayer gardens in the center of campus. Within these prayer gardens are fountains. What Clay would commonly do would be to put soap in the fountains so that when the students came out in the morning and walked through the garden, they would see the fountains filled with bubbles. This was his way of announcing to the campus that he was having a party and everyone needed to attend.
Clay was demonstrating the mindset of an entrepreneur. An entrepreneur does not just find problems, but an entrepreneur finds problems and then solves them. In order to build a successful business, you have to start by finding a problem that you can solve in exchange for money. Clay talks about this all the time. Every single morning at 6 AM we have our coaches meeting. This is a time where we go over big wins, burning fires, and all different logistical things relative to our clients, current cultural situations, and anything else that Clay wants to business coach and mentor and develop us in. When starting a business, if you cannot actually solve a problem that someone is willing to pay you to solve, then you have very little hope of being able to build and grow a successful business. Entrepreneurship always starts with the identification of a problem and the quest for a solution.
Take Henry Ford for example. Henry Ford recognized that the current mode of transportation at the time, typically a horse, was not a sustainable solution or even an efficient solution for getting from place to place. He set out to come up with something that could not only be affordable to each person but could also be sustainable for the long term. In his quest to find a solution that could replace the horse, he came up with the Model T. This changed the way not only that we are able to get from one place to another, but it increased the distance we are able to travel and set in motion the start of the automobile industry. Henry Ford identified a problem and came up with a way to fix it. He found a solution that people were willing to pay for, and therefore was able to have the mindset of an entrepreneur and take the first step in building a business.
When Clay Clark was young and realizing that most DJs that he encountered at different events were absolutely terrible, he realized that there was an opportunity for him to create a better experience in the process. He set out to solve the problem of providing an excellent wedding and party experience in exchange for money. What he created became the largest DJ company in America which he later sold for millions of dollars. Because of his tenacity and intentionality to identify a problem and then find a solution that people are willing to pay for, Clay was able to become a millionaire before he was 30 years old. His ability to face any kind of obstacle or situation and view it through the mindset of looking for a solution versus giving up, is one of the core ingredients that has allowed him to become a successful business coach and entrepreneur.
Perhaps you are considering starting a business or are wanting to simply change your mindset and be more successful, one of the first steps you must take is to break out of the old mindset of simply identifying problems and complaining about them, and move towards finding problems in solving them. Whether you are starting a business or you simply work for someone else, if you can become a problem solver that brings solutions to the table, then your ability to contribute and become an invaluable player in whatever environment you find yourself and will dramatically increase. Don’t compromise and sit back and just give in to the common mentalities that most people in the world today possess. Be someone who takes on the mindset of a business coach or entrepreneur. Find a problem and then solve it.