The Secret to Solving Problems is to \’Go The Extra Inch\’

Do you get bogged down in problems and don\’t know where to start?              

Here are some suggestions to help you …

My wife is a children’s tutor.

I love listening to her with the kids, because she really gets them challenged and wanting to know more.

It’s like listening to a work of art at times!

Unlike a schoolteacher, she doesn’t have a fixed agenda, and she doesn’t have to get them over particular hurdles, and she does it because she’s passionate about it, not because she needs the income.

Indeed, she knows that academic success bears no correlation to success in later life … in fact it’s ‘soft’ skills such as determination, organisation and the ability to get on well with people that are the real success skills in life.

So, while she’s teaching them sums, shapes and words, she actually focuses on the these ‘non-technical’ skills.

One of the key things she teaches them is: even when you don’t know the answer, in fact especially when you don’t know the answer, the key is to keep calm, remember the rules and take one step.

Never let fear or ignorance stop you from taking action: Write something down and keep going.

And then, as if by magic, the answer starts to appear.

It’s wonderful how enlightening the children find this. Coming from the competitive environment of school, where getting the right answer as quickly as possible is everything, and is what’s rewarded …

(And, let’s face it, there’s always someone else quicker than us, isn’t there?)

… they find this approach liberating, exciting and enlightening.

Suddenly there’s no sum that’s too frightening, no shape that makes no sense and no word that they get bogged down on.

Life just got a whole lot easier.

It’s a bit like Yoda’s quote in Star Wars:

“Do or do not. There is no try.”

The key is: “Whenever you’re stuck on a question, don’t keep staring at it. Pick up the pen and do something.”

The answer always shows up if you keep working on it.

And of course, it’s the same in business: if you have some key rules (Slow Selling), then, when you’re stuck, you just slow down, remember the rules and take the first step: as we like to say in Slow Selling … ‘Go the extra inch’.

And we can also make this idea work for us when we’re setting goals.

The Power of Setting ‘Inch by inch’ Goals:

IBM’s salesforce was one of the most dominant ones in the country. But ironically, their sales teams had the lowest quotas. Why?

Turns out, it’s a great psychological trick. Since the quotas were so low, the sales guys weren’t afraid to pick up the phone and start dialling. Thus, they continuously broke past their quotas by reducing the resistance to getting started.

So, whether it’s setting goals or finding solutions to problems … When we set out to achieve something, we build a grand vision in our minds. But, so often this just sets us up for failure and makes the problem worse. The key to the big is the small.

The takeaway is simple — remember the power of the ‘extra inch’ to get started and set goals that don’t scare the sh*t out of you. Even if they seem low, don’t worry. Everything is fine if you’re doing it every day. Taking small steps every day is better than once-in-a-while grandiose action.

Think about it this way — you need to get your car out of the garage to go anywhere. Don’t think about taking a long drive yet; all you have to do is get out of the garage.

Once you’re out of the garage, the possibilities are endless.

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Slow Selling is a UK based not for profit organisation for leaders and managers in independent businesses.

Our systems deliver peace of mind and confidence to caring leaders and managers who have limited time and resources, and want to grow their business … all without sacrificing principles or profits.

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