Pick Up The Rock — Problem Solving

by Paul Grimsley

Not Every Task Is Sisyphean

I dislike articles that start with an assumption that you are doing badly, or that you are in the kind of position where nothing can be done to directly handle the problem, and then the solution is a workaround that never handles the damned situation. What use is that?

If I am walking down the path and there is a huge rock in the way I am not going to spend the rest of my life walking around it, I am going to pick the rock up and move it out of the way.

Life hacks sometimes, like hacks themselves, are based on the notion that you can short-cut a process or somehow eliminate some amount of the hard work all the suckers usually engage in. Sometimes this doesn’t work, or has an appearance of working that is really only a short term fix, and is never going to pay out the long term dividends that you are looking for.

Marketing is full of people that want to shoot you like a rocket up the rankings, and sales techniques are likewise often engineered for a wham bam thank you mam kind of approach. This is great if you really aren’t looking to establish a customer base that you can upsell, or if you don’t care if you burn and churn with your clients.

For you to be in business you must be doing something right — could you be doing something better? Surely. There are not many people who don’t have some room for improvement, but when someone comes in with an attitude of building upon what you are already doing right, that seems to me to be a much better flow.

In terms of hacks and any kind of reliance upon them, there are a number of companies that find a formula and never deviate from it, and they are successful in spite of so-called economic conditions. Sometimes, the person that relies on hacks constantly is purely unable to follow through with a course of action, and so keeps changing around trying to find the perfect recipe for success, when they never really gave a particular method much of a chance to bear fruit. Try and identify when you are speaking to someone whether they work like this, and don’t necessarily throw away your tried and trusted methods of working just because they tell you it is “cutting edge”.

There really are few things that don’t have some kind of solution, and just because you haven't identified it yourself, that obviously doesn’t mean there isn’t one. When you ask someone if they can help you with a problem you want to make sure that the solution they are offering is actually addressed to that issue, not something else. A hack may also create brand new problems that cause you more trouble than just tackling the actual issue would do.

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