“Find out what you do best;

Then find out how you can pay most of your attention to doing it;

Get someone to pay you for having paid most of your attention to mastering that one thing.”

– Genius Turner

Are you solving the right problems? Do you know what questions to ask?

How many problems is your business facing? Most business owners tell me they’re facing problems they haven’t experienced before.  The world is shifting rapidly and it’s hard to keep up. One day you think you have everything under control and the next day it feels like a tsunami is looming on the horizon.

Your problems can feel so overwhelming that you lose sight of why your business exists in the first place.

Whatever your business is, it exists to solve problems for other people. Successful executives know this. Your focus should be less on internal problems and more on the problems of your existing and potential customers.

Next, focus on what your team loves doing. What are the skills and talents of the team and how could those skills be used to solve one of those problems?

Strong leaders know their business is a bridge. They bring viable solutions to solve their customers’ biggest problems.

Close-up of barista pouring foamy milk into a coffee drink serving as the bridge to coffee drinkers desire for drink.

Consider this simple example of how a business is a bridge.

You wake up late and don’t have time to make a cup of coffee at home. While driving to work you’re feeling a bit sluggish. You crave your favorite java drink. A drive-thru coffee shop is on the way. The barista is your bridge to getting your favorite morning drink. It’s no secret coffee shop chains research locations to ensure they provide easy access to their solution of a caffeinated beverage to solve your problem of tiredness.

Leaders do their homework on how to best solve problems for others. They trust that their internal problems will be diminished if they bring viable solutions.

So how can you do more of this?

Here are 3 questions to get you started.

Diverse group of young office workers sitting around a table talking and working together.

1.  What does my team love doing?

This is knowing the people on your team and what each person is good at doing. A leader can help each person identify their strengths, but only each person can identify what they love to do. One of the mistakes leaders make is thinking they know what others love doing. Anyone can do something they dislike for a while. But ask someone to do something they don’t enjoy, even if they’re good at it, and they’ll burn out.

Know what each person on your team loves doing. This doesn’t have to mean their job description is made up of only these tasks. Just make sure it includes some of what they’re the most skilled AND passionate about.

2.  What problems can my team solve by using their talents?

Think about the specific strengths of your team. How can these strengths become solutions for your customers?

This involves being aware of the problems others are facing and seeing how you can become the bridge to solving their problems.

Get creative on how to expand the types of problems you and your team can solve. Out-of-the-box thinking helps you see more ways to use the strengths of your team. Perhaps you can solve more problems within a specific industry sector, or maybe other industries might find your solutions novel to their problems.

Rodin pewter statue of the thinker sitting on a wood desk with wooden paneling in the background contemplating modern day work life.

3.  Who is facing these problems?

This last question focuses on understanding the people who will benefit from your solutions. These are the people willing to pay you to do what you love. Knowing this helps you create targeted marketing to find your customers.

One of my clients knows his team is great at understanding and maximizing the production process. They are logical and rational and love to solve problems. They have high attention to detail. They can break down complex problems into specific steps to make the process understandable to everyone.

This leader knew that his team could help make the production processes more efficient for potential clients. His team could gather data, create reports, and make suggestions to improve workflow.

Finally, he determined the people who needed him the most were companies that had strong sales and marketing departments but struggled in the production process. His team could provide information for reducing waste, improving efficiency, and reducing costs. Marry those skills with a client who has a strong sales team and you’ve got a winning combination.

It all starts with a willingness to trust that your problems will be solved if you focus on using your greatest strengths, and the strengths of those on your team, to solve your customers’ biggest problems.

How can YOUR answers to these 3 questions start your business on the path to success?