Wherever you go, you constantly have to put out fires – at home, at work, on your car, etc. Does this sound like your life? We’re hard-wired to subconsciously create problems. Then once the problem is noticeable, we find a resolution. Such is the cycle of life.
However, a number of problems give you bigger headaches and a larger pain in the ass. And this problem seems to occur to often. Unfortunately, what we are not good at is identifying the problem at hand and addressing that problem. We’re good at finding temporary solutions.
As a metaphorical example, say that we had a car that was continually low in engine oil. So what would we do? Duh, we’d fix it, but how? Too commonly, we fill the engine oil every time the car begins to show that it is low in oil. However, shortly after the engine will continue to leak and it will display low in engine oil again. So we fill the engine oil again.
We are good at finding temporary solutions. But, what we need to address the larger problem at hand and find a resolution. Whether it is patching the leak or completely changing the engine.
Feed a man a fish, he’ll eat for a day; teach a man to fish, he’ll eat for the rest of his life. Don’t let laziness and apathy drive problems for you. If you had to clean your room, you wouldn’t throw a blanket and cover up all of your dirty clothes and trash.
A family member or friend is running into financial trouble. He is finding difficulty meeting ends and is in some serious debt. Would you loan this family member or friend money? It may sound incredibly uncaring, but no you should not. Loaning them money is like throwing that metaphorical blanket or replacing the engine oil. In fact, it’s worse than the two examples provided above because on a fundamental level, you’re undermining their growth and silently stating, “I acknowledge that you don’t have the capability to sustain your lifestyle. Therefore I will catch the fish for you and give it to you.” You’re stunting the growth of your friend or family member. If you don’t teach that person how to fish, then you’re not addressing the problem at hand. Does that person have a behavioral issue? How does he/she budget and spend his/her money?
Your business seems to attract new customers all of the time, but it has low conversion rates in creating repeat customers. Well, then correctly identify the problem, whether it is the value of the product, the customer service from your team, etc.