Every business has problems. There are no perfect businesses no matter how elaborate the PR spin. Even the great Apple, known for its stunning revenue growth and fanatical customer base has problems.

So how do the best businesses deal with problems? Let’s dive a bit deeper into the way we as individuals deal with problems for some insight.

If you think about your own life for a second, you could probably indentify a few areas where you are stumbling. If you look even deeper and are honest with yourself, you might even say you are ignoring problems.

If you’ve ever watched the TV show Intervention you can see this pattern first hand. The show chronicles the life of a drug addict who is at the end of his/her rope. At the beginning of the program, you get to see how this person first encountered a major problem in their life (divorce, abuse, death in the family etc) which became the trigger for their drug abuse. Instead of facing the problem head-on, they used drugs to numb the pain and avoid the problem. Of course, this never works and they end up having to face an even bigger problem. A good friend of my once told me, “if you leave a hungry dog in the basement, eventually it will get out”.

The truth is; we ALL do this. We ALL avoid problems both in our lives and our businesses. The best businesses have a deep understanding of their problems and are honest about them. They don’t deflect criticism or blame someone else. They are teachable and seek out mentors that can help them. It takes a humble person to admit when they are the one who is limiting the growth or progress of their own company. Sometimes, the biggest problem is you.

So what to do?

  1. Write down the top 10 issues your company is facing
  2. Review these issues with a trusted colleague to ensure you are seeing the right issues
  3. Honestly admit if YOU are the problem
  4. Pick ONE item from the list and WRITE DOWN a detailed action plan to fix it. Don’t move on to the next problem until you’ve fixed the first one

The key here is not to IGNORE your problems. You are going to have to face them one way or another. Start attacking them head-on. Now go solve some problems.