When a problem needs to be solved in business, are you doing more work than necessary or making it harder than it has to be?
In this episode of the podcast, we dive into how we can often assign the wrong solution to a problem, and how to avoid that by getting to that 30,000 foot view and finding the true, root cause issue.
[00:25] A story about the root issue not being addressed
[03:12] Where we mess up in business when problems arise
[05:19] Examples of problems like this in Kate’s business
[6:53] Finding sticking problems in your business and finding the root cause
When we're trying to figure out why something isn't working in our business, it's incredibly easy to miss an obvious root issue because we get hyper-focused on the wrong things. This is why we have to, as business owners, gain the ability to remove our perceptions about what might be going on and view the problem from a birds eye view. This will give you a lot more clarity on where the problem is actually stemming from and how to fix it for the long-term.
Hi, and welcome back to another episode of the Three Day Workweeks podcast for millennial entrepreneurs. Happy to have you back. Today we are going to talk about when we try to solve a problem, how we may be doing extra work. That's not even necessary because there's something else that we need to look at.
I'm gonna start with a story. I was in the Atlanta airport not too long ago. It was crazy busy. It. I couldn't even get into the Sky Club. I didn't even bother trying to get into the Delta Sky Club because the line was like wrapped around the door. It's just nuts. If you guys have traveled over the last few months, you know that it's just craziness.
So I went into the restroom and the restroom was slam packed and as you know, a packed, any kind of place that has a lot of people going through it can get kind of dirty. . And so there was an attendant in there, a woman who was picking things up. And what I noticed was that all sh she had one of those little graber claw thingies that people use if they can't reach or whatever.
So she had one of those grab her claw things. And what I realized she was doing was she was picking up tiny pieces of toilet paper. That was all she was. It wasn't even trash, it was just tiny pieces of toilet paper and it made it look dirty. And I can imagine that it would be such a pain to clean if any of that toilet paper got wet and gross and whatever.
So this is this woman's soul job and she that was the only thing that I saw her. and it, what it made me think, Now this is just from my observation, obviously I don't know what's going on behind the scenes, but it made me think what I saw, like once I went into the stall was, Oh, this is happening because they have really terrible toilet paper.
It's like the paper, thin stuff that just turns into basically confetti. You can barely even use it or get it off the roll without it just crumbling and going everywhere. And that made me think like, why don't they just change the toilet paper? Cause I'm sure they changed, they went to a more inexpensive toilet paper so that they could save money.
But now they have this woman here cleaning it all up. And I don't, I , just can't see how. Those two things wouldn't cancel each other out, if not her time being even more expensive than the cost savings on the toilet paper. So bringing that back to business, oftentimes we try to, when you're at this six figure mark and you're trying to create consistency, you're working to get into multiple six figures, you or seven figures, and you and inevitably will have problems.
You oftentimes will probably think, Okay, a system needs to go in here so that this problem doesn't happen again. Or you may just sidestep it and try and avoid it and just pretend like it's not happening and just we'll deal with it later. We'll deal with it later. But in reality, and this is something that we do in our Smarter Not Harder program, is to first peel back all the layers and figure out what actually needs to be happening.
So in reality, , there may be a root cause to this problem that you're having that if you were able to go back to the beginning, like the an onions not a great example, but dominoes. Think of dominoes. So if that first domino never fell in the first place, it wouldn't have the domino effect where it knocked down every other domino after.
It. So the toilet paper, if they had a little bit better quality toilet paper, they wouldn't have to have, hired the woman to pick up the pieces. Literally or like an assembly line. When you think about why is something happening at the end of the assembly line maybe it shouldn't have happened in the beginning, in the first place, and I see so many times that I work.
With entrepreneurs who have either avoided a problem because they think the solution is going to have to be so complex to fix it, or they've tried to put some kind of convoluted system in place to fix the problem without actually taking a minute, pausing, peeling back to that 30,000 foot view, which a CEO should be in.
and looking holistically at the business and what's going on with that specific problem. Is there something that happens way early on that we could prevent this problem from happening in the first place? For example, in a business example, in my professional organizing business, one of my lead organizers wasn't booking the jobs on site like we normally do when she was at a consultation.
What I was trying to coach her through sales stuff or whatever, just making assumptions of what the problem was. Come to find out the problem was that the app that she was using to look. The proposal link where we have people pay was not giving her the correct link. So it was just that she needed to be looking at it in a different app because every time she looked at it, it would change the link and it wouldn't be right, and then they couldn't pay.
So it was technical difficulties. It wasn't even a sales problem, which a sales problem is so much more complex than just a tech problem. A very, small tech problems. So when we went back, when we found the root of that problem, it was so much easier to fix than coaching her through. How to close a sale because that wasn't the actual problem.
It was the technology that was the problem. And I think that a lot of business owners can either just throw up their hands and say, I don't want to deal. I don't want to. I it. I don't want that problem . I don't even wanna begin to solve that problem, or they just dive in head first and throw out solutions without getting the entire picture and figuring out that root cause.
So I would encourage you if there's some kind of sticking point in your business, this is my favorite thing, is to find sticking points in a process is take a look at the root cause and see if there's something. That at the first, closer to the first domino that you can stop it from ever falling in the first place.
So I hope you enjoyed this episode. This one is extra short and sweet, but share it with someone that you think it might help. And take a screenshot. Tag us on Instagram. We love to hear that you're listening to the episodes. We'll make sure to repost you and. Save if you're on YouTube and if you are on a podcasting app, make sure to subscribe and leave us a review so that more people can hear this awesome content.
And I loved hanging out with you guys today. I will see you on the next episode.
Always cheering you on,
Owner + Founder, Kate Waldo + Co.
P.S. Curious how you can grow your 6-figure business while slashing your workweek in half? Click here to learn about the Smarter Not Harder© program!