Problems are Not the Plague.
Stop avoiding them and focus on the solution gap.
We had 2500 bags of product to produce and a fast approaching deadline. I had picked up labels, gotten them printed, grabbed the shipments of ingredients for the SKU, and driven to my production space. All ready. Wait. Pecans. Where are the pecans? A call with the supplier lead us to realize that the order would arrive Monday instead of today and that was too late. Picking up 40+ pounds of Pecans locally wasn’t an option and I had realized that their production efficiency was less than ideal to finish the order in time. I turned to two of my friends/gracious team members, “We’re switching to a different SKU— I’ll handle it and see you early in the morning”. I got in my car and on my phone in one motion. I spent the evening calling every local store to track down a bulk order of the nuts and spices we needed. I ran around to three different stores to secure the correct amount of cashews and took the labels I had to be printed to the new SKU. 8 hours later we were working on the 2500 units.
No hesitation. Just action.
A year ago I would have stopped and thrown my hands up. “The order didn’t arrive” — “it‘s too slow we’ll never finish” — “I can’t believe this happened” — “how could this go wrong?”.
I have learned through life and this business that the magic is not in avoiding problems, but minimizing the time between recognizing the problem and finding a solution. The more decisions you can make quickly and without waste of emotions — the better. The worry, anxiety, and desire to break down and give up has to be diminished. Some decisions will take time at first — but as you grow mentally and gain more wisdom, many decisions will become easier. I find creativity to be one of the best skills in diminishing the problem/solution gap. The more you face problems with the energy to accept them and address them, the easier it becomes and the better you become at finding solutions and getting to work on them. Usually this happens when you’ve gone through the situation before (learning from previous mistakes or issues). When time is of the essence you can’t afford to stop and breathe every single time something goes wrong. Why? Because things will go wrong EVERY DAY. If you run a company you will face problems EVERY SINGLE DAY. Don’t hide from them. No matter how hard you optimize or eliminate risks, something will always go wrong. Learn to embrace it. Learn to welcome the problem as an opportunity to find a solution. Make being a solution finder your MO. Close the #solutiongap.