Be Grateful For Your Problems

Why I love when things go wrong…

I spent the last 6 months in Rio De Janeiro Brazil in a co-living/working space with other entrepreneurs/digital nomads. It’s my first time working side by side with other people who aren’t directly involved in my own business.

It was a fascinating experience to see how, despite having drastically different businesses, the problems that we face, and the solutions we implement to overcome them, are all incredibly similar.

For example one of the people working here is a day-trader who has been having an off week. We had a conversation about how he deviated from his routine, and because of that his work has suffered.

Another person runs an NGO teaching Tennis to kids in the Favela. He hired his first employee this week and was expressing some of the mistakes he has already made in onboarding someone for the first time.

As we discussed, it dawned on me that I love problems. I love when things go wrong.

Why? Because problems are an opportunity to take a look at what went wrong, and ask why it happened so that you don’t do it again.

In both situations we were able to look at the situation objectively, ask what went wrong, and then come up with a solution.

Both situations gave us an opportunity to discover a silver lining. Rather than looking at things as a problem, we saw it as an opportunity to learn from our mistakes and grow.

I became grateful for the problems I’ve experienced as a business owner. I realized that every time something went wrong, I came up with a system so that I never had to deal with it again.

The temporary pain of a problem seems to take on the gravity of the world when you’re in the middle of it, but in the long run this problem will be miniscule.

Even better, if you handled the situation properly, you will look back on that problem as a turning point in your life that helped you for the better.

Every problem, every obstacle, every small instance of adversity, will only help you as an entrepreneur and a business owner in the long run.

Every time you train yourself to identify what went wrong, and then develop a system to make sure it doesn’t happen again, you build the problem solving muscles in your brain.

More importantly, from a mental health perspective (which is the hardest part of being an entrepreneur), you change your relationship to adversity.

Rather than being stressed out by the problems you are experiencing, you instead become grateful for the opportunity to learn.

Rather than ruining your day (or even week/month), you can maintain a healthy mindset and make sound business decisions (Instead of bogged down with anxiety).

The next time you’re having a bad day or something goes wrong you should

1) Write down what went wrong

2) Brainstorm how you can prevent this problem from happening again in the future

3) Implement your favorite solution from the brainstorm

4) Document results and create next iteration

By following this method you will become a better problem solver and have a happier, healthier mind that is ready to make tough decisions and glide through life unflustered by the inevitable challenges that will arise.

Be grateful for your problems – they are opportunities to become a better version of yourself.


Also published on Medium.

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