Challenges are what make life interesting

"Challenges are what make life interesting, and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful."

– Joshua J. Marine, author

I can not stress enough what I love about being an entrepreneur is being able to work on challenging problems and solving them. The reality is that I'm solving problems every day. Good problems too.

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It rarely happens when I want it to, which is always "yesterday," but I know if I stick with the problem and I break it down piece by piece and solve it one piece at a time, I will eventually solve it… Everything valuable you see today is the result of someone solving a challenging problem. Take the iPhone, for example - need I say more?

Steve Jobs took your computer and put it in your pocket. So many people start businesses today with the hopes of making money, and I can assure you the more challenging the problems you solve, the more money you'll make. Still, after you make a little bit of money, you'll also realize that it isn't the answer, but working on things you consider essential is and solving challenging situations generally benefits a large group of people in some way or another.

The problem I solved that changed my business

I started on-site printing years ago, and it was against the recommendation of everyone I had ever talked to.

Well, I did it anyway, and after we did that, we had to figure out how to make the posters fast enough to print them right on the spot. Then, we had to figure out how to train people on how to do it that weren't going to become our competitors tomorrow. It sounds like a severe problem, right?

Solving these problems took some critical thinking - it helped me learn how to compartmentalize the business and keep certain pieces away from others, so I didn't run the risk of giving away the house. Now today, we have found that printing on-site, the frame on-site, and being able to make thousands of posters every weekend gave us such an edge over all of our competitors. 

More than impacting my business, what I realized and learned is that as I grew, my business grew. As we've said before, business is like a plant. Solving challenges reinforced that as I changed, my business (and customers) changed with me.

Solving problems builds habits

As we were solving these problematic puzzles, we started learning who all was benefiting from them - the results started to speak for themselves.

  1. Directors hated photographers because they never shipped stuff and so they received calls
  2. Customers didn't trust us because of other people
  3. The list goes on and on...

Here's how you hunt down problems worth facing

  1. What is the most difficult challenge in your life right now? Start with writing it down, then write down the optimal outcome. 
  2. After that, break the result into pieces and create an action plan that will help you achieve this 1 step at a time until the entire thing is done…. see how proud you'll be.
  3. The greatest challenge right now may be pushing through the noise you're hearing from people who love you, but may not know what's best; You live with your choices, no one else can make your most important life choices for you, if you choose college, starting a business, or getting a job, your greatest challenge right now may be simply choice.

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