Are You the Sherlock Holmes of Your Small Business?

in Small-business

Horses. Murder. Mystery.

Those are the usual components of a Dick Francis novel. Dick Francis, once the Queen of England's steeplechase jockey, is one of my favorite novelists. Why? Because he writes about two things I love: horses and solving mysteries.

If you're a small business owner you'll probably like books by Dick Francis, too, even if you're not a horse freak like me. Actually, let me rephrase that. If you are or want to be a successful small business owner, you should love Dick Francis novels ... or other kinds of mysteries.

Successful small business people share one thing in common with the main characters in Dick Francis novels: a love of solving mysteries. Look around at some of the people who founded tiny companies that are now huge: Sam Walton of Sam's Club, Gordon Moore of Intel, and Michael Dell of Dell Computers. They all love the process of tackling and solving problems.

Throwing Down the Gauntlet - Are You a Problem Solver?
Last night I was so inspired reading Robert Kiyosaki's "Increase Your Financial I.Q." book that today I am going throw down the gauntlet to all you small business owners out there: I challenge you to become more successful than you ever dreamed in your small business by focusing on one thing-solving problems.

This may sound silly, since business owners always seem to be solving problem, or at least fighting fires. But firefighting and problem solving are two different things. Firefighting is simply running around and dealing with whatever is most urgent in your business. Solving problems means developing final and permanent solutions to problems that plague your small business. Firefighting gives you a small period of peace. Problem solving brings your business a solid revenue stream, real profit, and a solid financial base. In other words, a permanent sense of success even in rocky seas.

Small Business Problem Solving in Today's Economy
What kinds of problems do small business owners deal with in today's economy? To start with, see if this list resonates with you:

- cash flow crunch
- lack of credit
- increased global competition
- failure to find or keep good employees
- clients with shrinking budgets

Sound familiar? Sound bad? It's not. Here's the good news. While everything may be topsy turvy in the financial world, one thing is for certain: all of these problems are amazing opportunities for you to learn how to solve problems.

I know, it sounds kinda like your mother telling you that eating vegetables is "good for you." On the face of things, it doesn't very exciting, does it?

But being a seasoned problem-solver is the on asset you can count on, no matter what the financial markets do. In fact, it's the one reason Robert Kiyosaki gives for being certain that he will survive any financial disaster of any magnitude. He's survived numerous personal financial disasters, so he knows that no matter what happens to the world economy or his business finances, he'll survive just fine. He's got his Sherlock Holmes skills to fall back on.

So ... having said all that, I've had to ask myself, "Am I willing to see problems as opportunities to learn? Do I love a good mystery, even if it's not in a book?" For me, it's a resounding "Yes!" I love cracking the code on a good mystery. I'm as stubborn as a mule in that way. Problems that crop up in my life have a way of sticking in my craw, and I just can't let them go until I get them solved.

Here's a good example: I wanted to learn how to sell retail products over the internet. When I first got started, I knew next to nothing about selling on the internet. I just dove in and hoped for the best. I got lots of nothing, for months, even years. Today, seven years later, that business produces a steady passive income stream and is mostly "hands off." That income pays all my monthly bills, so I can work on cracking the next code.

Are You a Sherlock Holmes for Your Small Business?
What about you? Have you got that Sherlock Holmes propensity for solving a good mystery? Maybe you don't go looking for mysteries to solve, but that doesn't mean that you can't become an excellent problem solver for your own business.

So what about it? Are you ready to stop being a firefighter and start being a problem solver for your small business?

Author Box
Stephanie Valentine has 1 articles online

Stephanie Valentine has been a small business owner for over 15 years. Her blog,, offers helpful tips on taxes, productivity, revenue generation, and more for small business owners. She also writes about online MLM marketing at

Add New Comment

Are You the Sherlock Holmes of Your Small Business?

Log in or Create Account to post a comment.
Security Code: Captcha Image Change Image
This article was published on 2010/03/31