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What problem do you solve?

Posted by Carole Mahoney on 12/31/15 7:30 AM

I wasn't planning on this being my last post of 2015, but after I saw this image shared by Jennifer Georgino on LinkedIn it got me to thinking.


We are asked from our earliest days, what do you want to be when you grow up? Having a teenage son who now is trying to decide that so he can choose a major and a college- it's not an easy question to answer. I remember being his age and full of anxiety about choosing a path to follow, what if I choose wrong? What if I don't like it, or aren't good at it? And it occurred to me- this is the most important part of the conversation we need to be having when we talk about goals. Because when we start talking about solving problems we are passionate about, we stop worrying if we can and focus on how.

We ask people about their goals a lot. In life, in the their career, and inevitably we will hear about how much money they want to make, they may even have a goal that s tied to something personal like sending their kids to college, retiring early, or taking care of their aging parents. And these personally meaningful goals are important motivators and incentives to change.

But the most important question we ask is, how does your goal make the world a better place? How does what you do, or sell, solve a problem? Why do you care?

One client had a great answer. She works for a data security company and her response was; "These breaches come from hackers will continue to grow. We have a responsibility to protect financial and personal information. Sure, you can get a new credit card. But in healthcare- you can't get a new medical record." 

So ask yourself- what problem do you want to solve? How does it make the world a better place, how does it right a wrong? 

How does that question change the dynamic of your goals, your plans of action, how it is executed? How does that change you from being just another salesperson to being a resource to solve a problem?

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Topics: goal setting