When it comes to making money the process is more practical than you can imagine I learned this lesson when I was 5 years old from a couple of things that my parents taught me. To be clear I did not come from a family of business owners and my family does not have a history of college degrees. In fact, when I learned the fundamentals of business my family was living in West Germany just before the Berlin wall came down, my father was military soldier and my mother a stay at home mom that occasionally worked as a cashier.
As a typical 5 year old kid in the early 1990’s I loved playing with my friends outside so much that my parents would have to make us come home in the evening. My friends and I loved being outside so much that we sometimes took our lunch out to our play areas. We often didn’t eat all of our food so the leftovers would bring ants to the play area. I complained to my mother and she asked me a question that became a major pillar to the fundamentals of business “Are you going to complain about the ants or solve the problem?” The other fundamental pillar of business came from an earlier conversation with my father when I asked why our family was living in Germany away from the rest of our family in the United States. My father told me “Son, I have a duty and the military needed someone to train and prepare the soldiers for in the field medical response training in the event of a war (my father was a military trained medic during his years of service). I am not sure exactly how these two lessons at separate times combined in my mind but they did and it came down to a simple business lesson that I put to the test as I started my first business at the age of 5.
When it comes to being an employee or business owner, using your skills to solve problems that matter to others will be vital to your success. However, unless you understand the 3 points below, you will not be successful.
Skills: do you have something of value to offer? Are you good at leading others, thinking through business processes, mathematics, science, tax, cleaning or driving? These are just a few examples of a number of skills
Solving problems is fundamental to every type of business. Restaurants solve hunger and convenience, banks solve ease of money management and financing. The same is true for employees, your employer hires you to help the company solve a problem, cashier collect funds from customers, janitors maintain a clean, functional facility, and teachers help solve the problem of ignorance.
Problems that matter to others. Now, this is the part that makes a huge difference in the pay you receive. The more critical the problem is to a paying customer/employer the greater the likelihood that your pay will be higher to solve that problem.
An example of how you can apply this in your employment would be to find a problem that is critical to your manager, leadership team and figure out how to use your skills to solve it. Next, find a way to tell your story so your manager and leadership understand that you were able to solve their critical problem. This will greatly increase the chances of you getting that raise, promotion or bigger bonus.
Always remember this formula; Your Skills + Solving Others Problems = Money Making; (the bigger the problem bigger the money making opportunity).