Problems are important. It’s a message I hear from various people. Motivational speakers, coaches and everyone else are talking about the power of our problems.
Problems can be the light on a candle that helps us find our way out of a dark place. They make us consider what’s possible, what we can do, how we can get to a better place.
Both Dr. Venus Opal Reese and Lisa Nichols talk about the message in your mess. They remind us that our story full of problems is really a story full of breakthroughs and openings.
I’ve told many clients, students and family members that problems are opportunities to find solutions. In a recent conversation, a friend was concerned about a job interview. My response was, “Your fears will help you develop good questions”.
I’m learning that entrepreneurs are very good at identifying problems. In fact, solving our personal challenges often evolves into a business success. Even what appear to be tragic circumstances are transformed into amazing services for others.
Madam CJ Walker is known as America’s first self-made woman millionaire. She faced many problems on the way to this success. Madam Walker was born to parents who’d been enslaved who died when she was 7 years old. She endured abuse and maltreatment from a relative, got married at 14 and was widowed at age 20.
She had a severe scalp condition that caused her to lose her hair. Her search for a solution to her problem led to her hair care business. Her severe scalp problem was the light that she used to develop a treatment system. She healed herself then went on to help others.
Madam Walker created a solution to a problem that many Black women were facing. She went from town to town doing lectures and demonstration, selling her products.
As her success grew, she turned to solving other problems like financial insecurity among Black women. She hired women and opened a school. Women sold her products, built businesses, bought homes and paid their children’s tuition for school. They thrived and helped create thriving communities.
Madam Walker was also a civil rights activist. She joined the fight against lynching and worked to convince President Woodrow Wilson to create federal law against it.
She was a philanthropist supporting educational and housing efforts. When she died, she left a significant amount of money to charity.
Often we begin with a finding a solution to our difficulties. Our healing releases us from our difficulties. We find freedom and relief. We also realize that we’re not alone. There are people looking for relief from the same problem.
I’ve heard several business trainers ask the question, “What problem are you solving?” It’s another way of saying, “What relief do you offer?”
Freedom and relief are fuel, they’re energy to help us advance. And they’re the other side of problems.
Problems and solutions are like Yin & Yang. Even though they appear to be opposites, they’re really complementary forces, partners.
Madam CJ Walker’s shows us that the partnership between problems and solutions is energy, power to advance our lives and change others’ lives. Solving our problems makes us better problem solvers. Not only can we help ourselves, we can be of service to others.
Solved any problems lately? Of course, you have. How will you use your knowledge and be of service? There are so many options: products, blog posts, tweets, services, donations, workshops, retreats, presentations, and social action among other things.
One thing is certain. Many people will benefit from your service. I believe the whole world needs you.
© Sandra Y. Lewis