Are you in business because you want to get some benefits out of it, or because you genuinely want to solve problems for people?
This simple difference is what makes or breaks entrepreneurs.
No matter whether we are talking on a very small scale (e.g. a freelance copywriter) or a disruptive business (e.g providing a revolutionary way of transportation), business is all about solving problems.
Unfortunately, many people forget that.
They come at business from the perspective of “I want to make money. How am I going to do that?”.
As a result, they are doomed to failure from day one. Nobody will pay them to achieve that objective that they want to achieve. The only time when people will pay somebody, is when that somebody solves their problems.
Forget about what you want.
Entrepreneurship is, in its essence, an incredibly selfless endeavor. It is only when you genuinely are in the game for the primary reason of solving people’s problems, that you are going to win.
Here’s an interesting thought to keep in mind:
The person who starts out by simply volunteering to help people solve their problems has more chances of winning than the person who starts out with a ‘grand plan’ to revolutionize this and that industry.
Because that person is developing a mind-set of solving people’s problems. He or she does not only learn how to discover what people need, but also how to give it to them.
When it comes to solving people’s problems, direct interactions with real customers is the best way of learning.
How exactly you get that experience doesn’t really matter.
Start small. From wherever you are.
If you really want to get into business but don’t really know where to start or if you are simply not making any real progress, then just take a step back and start thinking how you can help people.
It doesn’t matter how small scale that is.
You might be a decent blogger, so you can help some small businesses around you to turn their crappy blogs into a lead-generation machine. Or, you might be a great coder, so you can start helping business around you with their technical problems.
Yes, that is going to result in freelance work.
And yes, freelance work can be an incredibly tedious process (lots of work & headaches for very little financial outcomes).
But at the end of the day, you are going to get some real business experience. You are going to solve problems for real people. You will get paid to learn more about your business.
And here’s the thing: over time, you will get some ideas on how you can turn what you are doing right now into a real business that can be scaled and automated.
But you will have to start from somewhere.
And that somewhere isn’t just dreaming up some grand plans that only work in theory, but which you simply can not turn into reality.
If you ever want to get anywhere in business, then you need to make the transition from a mindset of selfish desire (i.e. “I want to make X amount money!”) to a mindset of problem-solving (i.e. how can I be most helpful to people?”).
Perhaps you have some ‘grand vision’ for this great business that is going to change the world.
And yes, I believe you that this might be a fantastic idea.
But the question is:
Are you really going to be able to execute on that? Are you really going to be able to make that happen? Are you really going to be able to impact people’s lives with that as you are right now?
My guess is that you have a lot of learning to do before that. And that all starts with learning how you can really be of service to people. How you can solve people’s problems in a way that they are willing to pay you money.
And not just once.
Your customers must be so amazed by your services, that they are willing to come back to you over and over again, while also recommending you to their friends.
It is only when you reach this point, that you know you have become capable of doing something meaningful. And that’s when you might be thinking about your grand project.
So, can you honestly say that you have the mindset of a problem-solver?