HOW TO BECOME A PROBLEM SOLVER
BE A PROBLEM SOLVER
Life is governed by basic principles. Likewise success has it's own laws. For one to become successful there are things that must be done. In our discourse today, we will take a look at one of the principles success. For one to acquire wealth, that person must be a problem solver. If you take a look at the history of successful men and women, one obvious thing you will observe is that their primary focus was to provide solutions to a particular need in society.
As usual we will use case studies which will prove that if others can do it, we also can do it. Men who added value to society and went smiling to the bank. To create wealth is very easy. Just take a close look at your environment, discover what they are lacking, provide that item and people will comfortably part with their money.
He was used to taking treated bottled water. On this particular day under the blazing Lagos sun, he had no enough money to buy himself the usual bottled water and at the same time be able to transport himself back home from work. He was very thirsty but the situation was helpless. He thought of what to do, because he could not risk consuming the 50k nylon water popularly called "ice water."
As far as he was concerned, if he could be going through this experience, some other persons must have gone through it, and still some people are going through it. So he began to ask himself questions. Why is it that you cannot enjoy treated water at a cheaper rate? Those who cannot afford the cost of bottled water, put their lives at risk by drinking the 50k water known as "ice water".
Then an idea came to him. Why not package treated water at the rate affordable to the general public? With this and many more questions, he came out with sachet water at N5.00 instead of the usually N50.00 bottled water. Today it is popularly known as "pure water." Within the next six months he became millionaire, and left the market by the time it was flooded by other businessmen.
I belong to the school of thought that insists the best way to make money is to solve problems. The slogan used to be that the economy is bad, that there is no money in this country. But it is in this same country that telecommunication companies are making mega bucks. Why? Because they provided solutions to people's needs.
DMT is making it as a company today by providing mobile toilets to the public. We all know what it used to be in public functions where this service is not available. I can never be tired of telling the story of cowbell sachet milk. What they did was just to solve the problem of non-availability of milk to the low-income earners in the country and the rest has been history ever since. In fact that singular act changed the face of business in this country.
The truth of the matter is that as far as the earth is still in existence, there must be problems. The only thing you need to do is to find solutions to those problems and that breakthrough you are looking for will be yours. Look around you, don't go too far. In your immediate community is the starting point. What are the problems people are going through that you can provide solutions to? All you need to make that change is within if you but search.
The story is told about a young man who for years after graduation could not secure a job. From one interview to another, yet nothing happened. From one aptitude test to another the story still remained the same.
As he woke up one morning to set out for another job interview, thinking he was going to fulfil all righteousness, after all he has come very close to securing one, but at the end of the day the story will be same "We will get back to you"
When he got to the bank, the interview could not hold as scheduled, so he had to wait for hours. Fortunately for him, he was not able to secure the job. But as he was leaving the bank premises, he had a strange feeling that was very unusual. I mean he has just lost another chance to work in the bank like his mates, so has every reason to be in a mournful mood. But the reverse was the case, though he couldn't place his hand on what was happening.
At home he began to play back what happened in the bank. While he was waiting for the interview to commence he discovered that those who came to withdrew money where not going with a satisfied look on their faces. In fact, one customer had a heated argument with a bank staff.
The problem happens to be that as soon as people collect their money, they are left to find ways to protect the money. And he began to think. Is there no way somebody can provide the customers with something to protect their money as they leave the bank? What can be provided? Who can provide it? The questions were coming very fast.
And soon the answers came, why not? Yes, something could be provided. A nylon bag. And who is the best person to provide it? Him of course, after all he has no job as at present and the business requires low start up capital.
He went to the market bought the nylon bags at N5 each and positioned himself in front of the very bank that refused him employment and began to sell his wares at N20 to those who were in need of it. Now almost every body was in need of it.
At 300 per cent profit people were willing to even pay more to protect their money. If you withdrew, for instance, N100, 000, do you think N20 would be too much to use for it's protection? And the money came pouring in. Within a short while, he started buying from the manufacturers at a cheaper rate and engaged the services of 20 youths who he placed in front of other 20 branches of different banks making more than 300 per cent profit per bag. Before people could get into that business as is our culture, he had made millions and re-invested his money into other areas.
In your bid to provide solutions, be ready for rejections. Be courageous. For it's only you and no one else will prove to the world that you can do it. This was the kind of adversity Booker T. Washington was confronted with. As a youngster, he and his brother had walked nine miles each day to school in order to start their education.
At age 12, he had left home for good to attend high school, supporting himself, doing chores and housework similar to what he'd done at home on the farm. At age 20, he was ready to start college. So, in 1885, he used every penny he had to travel from his city to Highland College. He felt excited over his admission to Highland College, for getting an education had always been his driving goal. When he got to Highland College, however, his hopes where dashed. Even though his application had been accepted, school officials rejected him when they discovered that he was black.
For a few years after that rejection, he tried to establish a business, but his desire to continue his education drew him back to his goal. In 1890, after several rejections by other institutions, he was accepted by Simpson College, which accepted students regardless of race. He opened a laundry to support himself and studied painting and piano.
He excelled in arts. One of his works won first prize at the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago. His writings were published in newspapers. He became a trainer for the school's athletic teams. He joined the campus' military regiment, where he rose to the group's highest rank-Captain. He later changed his major from art to agriculture.
He went on to receive his degree in agriculture. His excellence in the fields of botany and horticulture prompted two professors to encourage him to stay on as a graduate student and earn his master's degree. He did. And in the process, he worked as the assistant botanist for the College Experiment Station, developed expertise in plant pathology and mycology, and became the first African American faculty member at Iowa State College.
In April of 1896, he accepted an offer from the Tuskegee Institute to become the school's director of Agriculture. His agricultural research and discoveries improved farming throughout the country, and he was especially successful at helping poor, black farmers. His development of an extension programme to take the classroom out to the people made a real difference in the lives of thousands. While at Tuskegee Institute, he earned the respect of such innovators as Thomas Edison and Henry Ford, as well as that of several Presidents of the United States.
Look around you, is there a need as little as N5 can solve? That could be the breakthrough you've been praying for. Forget that certificate, forget your background, your pride and every other thing that constitutes a hindrance to your wealth creation dream. Be a solution provider, that way wherever you build your tent, people will surely come after you. Remember the story of sachet milk or that of pure water. Are they a success today? They solved a problem in society and the businessmen involved smiled all the way to the bank.
The key is in your hands. Use it!
To your success!