By Jeff Shore

Solving a customers problem

I’ve been thinking a great deal about success lately, and I am doing so because many success concepts are glaringly simple, yet easily misunderstood.

A couple of weeks back I wrote a blog post about goal clarity, and I think I hit a nerve of obviousness with those comments. If you are not clear on the objective, why would you even think you will accomplish the goal?

This week I want to take a stab at another glaringly obvious (yet frequently ignored) observation.

Your level of success will be in direct proportion to the size of the problem you are trying to solve.

Not meaning to brag, but I’m a pretty successful businessperson. Why? Because I spend my time trying to help people turn their really top-notch products and services into revenue. When I’m doing my job right, companies make more money. It’s that simple.

Forty years ago I made minimum wage as a high school kid working at a fast food restaurant. Now look, people have to eat – I get that. But I wasn’t solving a huge problem; I was cooking chicken.

The most successful people on the planet embrace the biggest problems.

  • Mark Zuckerberg didn’t get rich because he built a website. He got rich because people were desperate to connect, and he helped facilitate that connection.
  • Sara Blakely didn’t get rich selling Spanx. She got rich because women wanted to look their best and still be comfortable.
  • Paul McCartney is worth more than a billion dollars, not because he writes and performs music but because people are hungry for release from the pressures of their lives.

And there I was just referring to monetary success. I know plenty of people (so do you) who are incredibly wealthy but in different ways. Their lives are rich and full, and they make a tremendous impact in the world. They are problem-solvers.

This is one of the reasons I love sales so much. No one talks to a salesperson unless they have a problem. It might be big or small. It might be emotional or tactical. But ultimately, sales professionals are problem-solvers.

So let me offer a note of both challenge and encouragement.

Are you feeling stuck in your career? Are you feeling like you are not as successful as you should be?

Start by asking the question, “What problem am I solving in this world?”

Solve the problem. Change the world.