Your Problem Is Someone Else’s Solution

Decades ago, marketing legend Jay Abraham held a seminar in China. A man came up to the microphone and asked: “What do you do if no one wants to lend you any money to grow your operations?” The man had a small business making and selling motorcycles. He wanted to expand, but he was visibly frustrated having been rejected by many banks and lenders.

After calming the man down a bit, Jay said: “Your problem is someone else’s solution. You don’t need money. You need a partner who already has sales people, multiple locations, and a factory — they just have to be underutilized. Find someone like that, and your problem will go away!”

A year later, the man returned to Jay’s seminar and said: “I did what you told me. I went all over Asia. Eventually, I found a big lawnmower company in Kuala Lumpur. They had a big factory with spare capacity, sales teams, and representation in several countries. We had to bring our own tools, but in the first year of partnering up with them, we each made $20 million!”

Your problem is someone else’s solution. While you think your email list isn’t growing fast enough, there’s someone out there who’d love to send you new subscribers for a small price. While you lack motivation to go for a run every morning, your neighbor is waiting for a workout buddy to help them stick to their exercise regimen.

It’s good to consider problems in earnest so you can choose which one you want to have, but it might be better still to pretend your problems aren’t problems at all — and then ask who might need the solution you’ve already found.