Good Business Books

The Obvious Solutions

The search for solutions to our everyday problems, both personal and professional can be clouded by the complicated means in which we try to analyze and solve our problems. More often than not, the answers to our problems are quite obvious, but knowing how to look for the obvious is a challenge we all face.

Sometimes the best solutions to a problem are the simplest ones.

In the book, "Obvious Adams: The Story of a Successful Business Man," Mr. Adams reminds of how sometimes the answers to our problems are too obvious that we miss them, or rather that we don't know how to look for them. Throw away the complex excel spreadsheets, the countless hours of problem solving, and take a step back for a minute, gather the facts, and look for the obvious solution to the problem.

Problem solving is an everyday matter, especially for new and emerging companies, but lets face it, a lot of us are not great problem solvers. It's not that we're not smart, don't have all the facts, or don't try to solve the problems, we simply overcomplicate the matter at times and end up trying to solve the wrong problem or taking too much time and analysis on one problem that we don't have the time to manage and resolve the multiple problems that have arisen.

"Obvious Adams: The Story of a Successful Businessman" is a quick read that I would highly recommend to everyone. Its simple language followed by its simple methods to addressing and resolving problems may seem obvious to readers, but the underlying principles apply to all of us seeking to resolve problems in the most efficient manner possible and serve as an excellent reinforcement of simple and obvious problem solving strategies.

Five factors that should be considered when you formulate your solution as summarized by Jack Trout in "In Search of the Obvious":

1. The solution the problem must be simple
2. Does it resonate with human nature? Meaning, if you explained the problem and solution to your family members, would they understand it?
3. Write your solution down on paper (this is to keep things short)
4. Does it explode in people's minds? When you explain your solution, do people say, I can't believe I didn't think of that, it is so obvious?
5. Is it the right time? Timing can have a profound impact on the implementation of a solution, the start of a business, than anything else. There is a reason, why the saying the right place at the right time.

The five factors, while simple in nature, are an effective means for removing the complicated clutter that can clog our decision making at times. Not only can it be used for solving problems, but this process can and should be used when writing down an idea for a new business. If you cannot clearly articulate the problem your business is solving or why customers should buy from you; recheck your value proposition. Business solutions may be complicated to execute, but at the surface they should be simple and obvious to anyone that you explain it to.

Rather than struggling to search for a complicated answer to a complicated problem, break it down into smaller digestible pieces, and look for the obvious, just like Obvious Adams has taught us.

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