Do you ever feel like you’re on an endless merry-go-round of business and marketing ideas, in search of the one thing that will solve your problems?
You hear that you need a sales funnel to book yourself solid; or social media is a must-have for connecting with your audience; or scaling your offers is the way to grow your income.
(By the way, NONE of those are true. Keep reading and I’ll explain.)
So you latch onto a specific solution to solve the problem you’re facing.
And this might sound smart. You have a problem, and you’re looking for a solution.
But there’s a big problem with jumping to solutions too fast:
More than likely, you’re not choosing the optimal solution to your problem. You’re simply choosing the one you’ve heard about most recently, the one that everyone else seems to be doing. The one that’s buzzing with your online business friends.
But here’s the thing.
There are a lot of ways to achieve a particular goal. And if you begin by latching on to a solution, then the solution you have in mind may or may not be the right one to help you reach your goal.
You end up wasting a ton of time and money and energy going down a path that ends up being completely wrong for you. Do this often enough and you begin feeling like a failure. You might question your abilities. You might even question your dream of ever having a successful business.
And so, before you dive into finding answers to the problems that keep you up at night, you need to ask yourself a critical question first.Click to TweetBefore you jump onto the current trendy business tactic, ask yourself this critical question….
The Critical First Question when Problem Solving
That question is:
Why do you want to hire help? What’s the ultimate goal in doing so?
Why do you want to scale? What’s the ultimate goal in doing so?
Why do you want to [FILL IN THE BLANK]? What’s the ultimate goal?
The smart people I work with have learned a lot about business from a lot of different folks. So they’re savvy to the ideas that might support them and their businesses—things like funnels, hiring help, scaling, and creating offers, just to name a few.
But the problem is, they’re often jumping to implementing a solution without making sure it’s the right one for their ultimate goal.
“Well, I want to hire help because it will mean I can work less. That’s obvious, Jenny,” you might be thinking.
But someone else might want to hire help because they don’t know how to do something and they don’t want to learn how to do it themselves.
And someone else might want help because they want to do more of the work they love and less of the stuff they don’t enjoy doing so much.
There are a lot of reasons for hiring, scaling, and changing your offers, etc.
So first, get clear on why you think you need that.
Here’s an example.
I was talking with a smart woman who runs a six-figure coaching business. “I need help figuring out how to streamline my content creation for my monthly coaching membership,” she said.
On the surface that seems like a smart thing to get help on.
But after a few questions of digging, it turns out her real goal is to work 20 hours a week—down from working more than 40 including nights and weekends!
She jumped to the solution to what she thought was her problem … when she was ignoring the real problem she was facing.
Before you try to implement any new tactic or how-to in your business, make sure it actually helps you reach the ultimate goal you’re trying to achieve!Click to Download21 Winning Ways to Book Yourself Fast!
How to Find Your Ultimate Goal
The very first thing you have to decide is what you really want! There’s no right or wrong but you do have to be clear.
And it’s not always as straightforward as it seems.
After 10 years of coaching entrepreneurs, I’ve found that most folks know what their ultimate goals are. They just need help digging to make sure it’s what they truly want—not what others say they should want.
The way to do that is simply to keep asking yourself, “Why? What’s the ultimate goal in doing so?”
Here’s an example of a recent exchange I had with a client.
Client: “I want to scale my business.”
Jenny: “Why do you want to scale? What’s the ultimate goal of scaling?”
Client: “Crap, because that’s what everyone says I’m supposed to do! … Okay, I’ve thought about it and I want to scale my business because I want to serve more clients.”
Jenny: “Why do you want more clients? What’s the ultimate goal of having more clients?”
Client: “Because I want to help more people and make more money without having to work more hours.”
Jenny: “Why do you want to help more, make more money, and not work more hours?”
Client: “Because I want to make a good living and still have time for my family and also more ‘me’ time. I need to take care of my own health and have time to be creative.”
This client went from thinking, “I need to scale to make a good living,” to “I need to make a good living that still makes me have time for my family and myself.” Now, she can go in search of the best solution to help her get that. It could be scaling, or it could be something else. Something better.
You can coach yourself through this process. Just keep asking yourself why: “Why do I want that? And why do I want that?”
Continue to ask why until your ultimate goals become crystal clear.Click to TweetConstraints are good, because they help you find the solutions that are right for you.
So You Know Your Ultimate Goal … Now What?
Your next step is to decide on your top priority. Then your second. Then your third.
Don’t have more than three priorities; two are better; one is best.
Everything else comes later.
In the case of the client example above, her priorities might be to meet her financial needs and have enough free time to take care of her family and her health (exercise regularly, prepare healthy food, etc.).
These priorities are important, because they set the parameters when you’re choosing the best possible solutions for reaching your goals. Any solution you choose to implement needs to work around your priorities.
With these priorities crystal clear, my client can then say, “Okay, I want to increase my income. But I must stick with the constraints of my priorities. Meaning, I can only reach more people or grow my income in ways that won’t sacrifice time for family and self-care.”
As you can see, now that you’re clear on your goals and priorities, you can begin to explore possible solutions.
Now, you’re more likely to pick solutions that actually will get you closer to your goals and work around your priorities.
As you consider your options, remember what got you in trouble in the first place: jumping to a quick solution that’s top of mind.
Instead, you might need to do some digging, brainstorming, and inventing new ways of doing business. You’ve got to break the mold of typical business execution if you want to break the mold of how you spend your time in business.
This is what it means to have success on your terms.
The word “constraints” might have a negative connotation. But in this case, they’re good, because they help eliminate the strategies, tactics, and scenarios that aren’t aligned with the things that are important to you.
Post a comment below and tell me …
- If I could solve one problem in your business, what would it be?
- What’s your ultimate goal for solving that problem?
If you aren’t sure, tell me what’s on your mind and I’ll coach you through it. We’ll find the root problem and ultimate goals together.My Personal Recommendation for You7 steps to create a thriving online business