I have been guilty of wanting success in order to overcome my problems.
- I want to make enough money, so I can eliminate my debt.
- I want to have enough time, so I can be with my family.
- I want to make the right connections, so I can help more clients.
My thinking for too long has been, “If I can succeed, then I can solve my problems.” In essence I have been looking for enough success in one area to solve my problems in another area.
Recently, my thinking began to change after a conference and a conversation.
The conference was a marriage conference hosted by a client. The speaker was Dr. Doug Weiss, a well published psychologist who has appeared on numerous radio and television programs.
During the conference Dr. Weiss made the comment, “Often we want promotion without problems, but if you want promotion you have to solve problems.”
Those words helped me realize I’ve had the cart before the horse. I need to solve problems and then success will come, rather than reach for a success that will solve my problems.
I know it sounds simple, but how many times do we live with a “lottery concept” believing if we can “hit it big,” then we can fix our problems. In reality if we will determine to solve our problems, then we will “hit it big.”
The conversation that changed my thinking happened with a friend. We were on the way to an event in which I was attempting to secure new clients. During our drive my friend said to me, “You’re not here to answer people’s questions, you’re here to solve their problems.”
That is a difficult approach for me because the teacher in me wants to understand people’s questions and give them adequate answers. But I had to accept that people often ask misguided questions because they don’t really understand their problem.
It’s easy to give myself credit for patiently answering people’s questions, but if the questions are wrong then my answers are useless. I have to focus on solving the client’s problems, and when problems get solved success follows for the client and for me.
How about you, in what ways have you striven for success in hopes of eliminating problems?