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Problems Versus Purpose

Oct 11, 2007
Would you agree that often times in business we become sidetracked, derailed, out of sync, off target? You and I have heard it said, almost ad nauseum, that to "fail to plan, is planning to fail." But what happens when you have goals, write them down, develop plans to carry out the goals, and yet something comes up or rears its ugly head.

What could it be that often times veers us to the side, derails our good intentions, sidetracks our motivations, and takes us off target and away from our plans and goals? Goals and plans become our motivating purpose, the stuff that compels us onward, that stirs our inner passion. However, problems can soon take us off course, command our attention, lure us away and sabotage our vision and dreams.

Problems come in the form of lack of capital, underestimated sales, employee issues, and much more. Problems can derail the business owner, manager and sales person. Problems can seem as big as mountains, as treacherous as ice glaciers, as perplexing as quick sand. Problems can seem like big caves instead of tunnels. Problems can share light in the tunnel, as if it is the light from the other end, only to find it is the fast moving train coming at you that intends to derail you.

In business it takes an overwhelming sense of passion that motivates you towards success. It is not business as usual, or business in a vacuum. It is risk taking, high motivation, electric energy, and vision that conquer mountains of problems.

If you are going to have a thriving business then problems are absolutely inevitable. I read some time ago, that every successful entrepreneurial enterprise faces the edge of the abyss at least once or twice, or more, before they succeed. Every successful business faces days wondering if the payroll will be met, if the anticipated sales will happen, if there will be enough cash flow to pay the bills, if the bank will foreclose and if that looming bankruptcy will actually become your fate. Every entrepreneur faces problems with employees and even product creation or delivery. Face it. You just can not get away from the problems of life that hit your business dreams and visions.

The question is, What will you do with the problems? Here are some suggested steps to take when facing problems in your business or career...

1. Realize that problems are only obstacles to go over, under, or around. They are detours, not dead-ends. They do not have to be business closers, but are opportunities to explore new possibilities, discover new ideas of doing things. They do not have to lead to ship wreaks, but can mean a trip into uncharted waters, away from the reefs. Problems are not final.

If you are struggling with too much inventory and overestimated sales, get outside the box in your thinking, and discover some new marketing techniques that will make the sales happen. If you are struggling for capital, and cannot obtain a loan since you are a startup, look for angel joint ventures that will help you with capital.

2. Make a list of outrageous possibilities. Write down the first 10-15 ideas that come your way, without determining if the idea is outrageous or not. Way too often we dismiss an idea because it seems impossible. If we had just considered it a little longer, that idea might have flourished and you would have found the way through it.

After writing down your ideas, do not dismiss them, but see if they possibly could bring you an answer to your dilemma. Begin to cross them out one by one, as you contemplate over them, and you will be left with one or two potential possibilities.

3. Do not give up on your dreams and visions. Edison took thousands of trials before he found the way to a light bulb. You may not have to have thousands of trials however you will need to discover what works and what doesn't and not give up until you win.

My last trip to the Orlando airport found me in the NASA gift shop. There I found an Apollo 18 stainless steel coffee mug that expresses my attitude. It says, "failure is not an option." Failure does not have to be an option for you or for me. Find a way, do not give up on your dreams and visions.

4. Be passionate for the long haul. It takes passion to stick in there. It takes passion to believe when no one else does. It takes passion to find a way. It takes passion to go for the gold in spite of the obstacles. It takes passion to try and try again.

Do not let your passion slip away. Do not let the problems overpower the purpose that motivates you. Do not let the temporary conquer the permanent. Do not lose your motivation, or you will lose.

Obstacles will come and go. Problems are there for the conquering. Detours are a part of life. They do not have to be a dead-end. They do not have to kill your dream. They do not have to derail your train. Keep on keeping on.
About the Author
Paul Donihue is CEO of a national business financial solutions company. His new book 11 Ways to KILL Your Business can be found at 11 Ways To KILL Your Business Donihue On Line or Bedrock Alliance Group
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