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Lessons from a 5-year Old

I learned one of the secrets to a successful business, career and financial life when I was 5 years old and I never forgot it.  As a kid, my friend’s mother used to make us homemade popsicles.  Pour kool aid (very sugary drink) in an ice tray, put a popsicle stick in the liquid then freeze it to make a frozen popsicle.  The trays she used had six spaces but there were only three kids so we often had extras.  The extras created a huge problem, because they would attract ants when they would melt.

I went to my mother and expressed my frustration about the ant problem and she helped me learn something that changed me forever.  She said; “Instead of getting mad at the ants, what can you do to fix the problem?”  A couple of days later I came up with the idea to give the extras to other kids in the neighborhood in exchange for a nickel each (I later learned that this is called a sale).  I eventually became one of the riches 5-year old’s in the neighborhood.

One of the secrets to a successful business, career and financial life is to “solve problems.”  When you think about it, every business owner is in the business of selling solutions to their customer’s problems.  In a career, an employer hires you because they need you to help solve a problem.  Even if we don’t realize it, our financial life is deeply tied to our ability to solve problems.  The better you and I get at solving problems,  the better our lives will be.

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