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I’m Not a Problem Solver, I’m a Solution Seeker

Founder of Nikita Hair Shares One of Her Secrets to Success

I’m Not a Problem Solver, I’m a Solution Seeker 

By Inger Nicolaisen

As a self made entrepreneur one of the keys to my success is to not be afraid of problems or avoid them but wish them welcome.

When I was a young mom of 15 years old, without education and a lot of problems, I simply had to solve them. When you are young you like to have fun. So, I spun all my problems into something fun. I stopped myself from feeling annoyed with my problems and started to accept them when they came. And they did... in droves. At times they piled up into big bunch of problems that seemed insurmountable but I learned if I just split them up and took one problem at a time, they began to then dissolve.  I got a "kick" when I managed to solve them.

So, I made pattern out of it: find out what the problem was (as quick as possible) and then on to creative solution seeking!  In my company they start calling me the solution seeker, and they often call or schedule a meeting with me when they are “stuck” in a problem. As I expanded my business and build my organization, I became more and more aware that I had to look for people who DO NOT see how it CAN’T be done.

We are often so preoccupied with problems and limitations that we stand in our own way to finding solutions.   These limitations prevent us from seeing opportunities.  We all have the same number of hours in a day, 24.  Why is it so that some get so much accomplished, while others can’t get anything done?  I know that I as a leader MUST be able to prioritize, organize and delegate. If I am not strong in these areas, I have a problem. The ability to balance these core skills is a minimum requirement  to succeed as a leader.

We are often our own "success blocker”.  By that, I mean that we see limitations rather than opportunities. Standing in our own way, we see the limitations first.  How then can we spark innovation?  Creativity is born from new ways of thinking which are suppressed if you are focused on all the limitations first.  Of course, there are limitations, however they must be considered as potential, possibilities, and solutions.

I have met people who are consumed with problems. They relive the same problems again and again. Year after year, they face the same problems.  Their mother and grandmother also have the same problems, generation after generation.  It becomes a family tradition. The same is true with some companies, where a culture of problems persists.

People who are stuck in the pattern of repeating their problems are boring. I see it as a waste of time. Rather than dwelling on the problem, time is better spent on seeking solutions.  Too many people spend 80% of their time talking about problems and limitations, and 20% of their time on solution. Flip it around. Only allow 20 % of energy on understanding the problem and dedicate 80% of energy on seeking solutions. Imagine how different the world would be if we all flipped it around.

Problems are not obstacles. They are a gift. Because when they are resolved, there has been a development, you gain momentum - and suddenly you are in a new arena, with a new perspective and new opportunities!  With this perspective, we should look forward to real big problems, as they offer the greatest opportunity for development!