If you are fiercely independent, you may have a love/hate relationship with problem solving like I do. My problem started in fourth grade and continued through college and for many years to follow. When problems arose, phrases like, "I can figure that out" and "I know how to solve this" involuntarily popped out of my mouth.
I was obsessed with a do it yourself mentality toward problem solving. There was no honor in asking for help and how would I be able to show all of my work when asked?
In pursuit of an answer, no problem was too big or small to not rob me of time and energy. Whether in books, magazines, government pamphlets, Google, Yahoo or Wikipedia, there had to be an answer or solution lurking somewhere for me to discover.
You probably heard your teachers say as many times as I did, "You need to become a self sufficient problem solver." Therefore, we should all know how to:
- Solve algebraic equations for two unknowns,
- Explain the Krebs Cycle and
- Avoid splitting infinitives.
Our teachers had good intentions, but while self reliance is important, the value of reliance on others is more important.
Yes, you can do it all yourself. But, why would you want to do all of it?
Solving your own problems may be keeping your business growth tight reined. Asking for help from others is not evidence of weakness. It's a show of personal self confidence in admitting that you don't know everything and aren't willing to invest hours or days of your time in an attempt for the right to say Eureka!
As an example, I had a hap hazard system for backing up my computer files. My back-up schedule was sporadic and I was saving data to CD's and jump drives. I knew there had to be a better system.
Old me most likely would have spent hours researching the alternatives and then painstakingly developed a solution. New me just asked computer wizard Len what the back up solution was for me. " Carbonite.com", Len answered, "automated, online back-up and storage, about fifty bucks a year."
Answer, action, accomplished.
Are you wasting time researching business questions like these?
- Am I paying too much for liability insurance for my horse business operation? Pick up the phone to call and ask a knowledgeable insurance agent.
- Can I evict a boarder with less than thirty days notice? Call an attorney familiar with horses and ask about the law in your state or province.
- Do I have to pay overtime for every employee who works over eight hours in a day? Call and ask your accountant.
The bad news: You have an endless list of questions needing answers.
The good news: Someone else, just a phone call away, already knows the answer.
If you ask, they'll tell.