Solve Problems and Make Money
Recession is here – not to stay – but to disrupt the flow of our peace and possibly to create some problems such as displacements, relocation, security and health problems respectively for us temporarily. Education or lack of it is not a shield against recession. Majority of the people that are affected are educated and skilful. There is no escape from recession because the school system, until recently, erroneously prepared us to work only in offices. To tackle recession, we must stop and make changes in the way that we do things – imbibing the concept of finding and solving problems that we are equipped to solve for humanity to make money.
The purpose of this series is to show how people can solve problems for others and make money. When this become a regular habit i.e. when solving problems for others become repetitive, more money will be made and in the process a small scale business will be born. This may start as a cottage business with only one person i.e. the problem solver generally referred to as the Founder! Let us begin with a short popular story by Professor Williams Barclays in one of his books entitled “Through the Year with Barclays”
“A man was driving on the highway and his car broke down. An Automobile Engineer stopped and helped him to fix the car. The owner of the faulty car was very happy. He thanked the Engineer and asked for his bill. The Engineer told him that it was N2,000. The high bill surprised the Car – Owner. He asked for a breakdown. The Engineer told him that the ‘labour cost was N100 and knowing what to do was N1900’. The car owner paid, thanked the Engineer for the prompt repair of his car and drove off.”
The lessons from the story include knowledge, application of it at the right price and at the point of need. In the natural course of human existence there will always be problems like this which are waiting for solutions. The challenge for educated, creative and skilful people is to locate these problems where, far and near, package the solutions at affordable prices and let everybody know that you are the answer to their questions. Recession provides a lot of such opportunities for people who are not fixated to one direction or too rigid to make changes.
Why Should We Solve Problems for Others to Make Money?
Solving problems for others (corporate or individuals) is the concept behind employment. No company will hire a man or a woman if there is no identified problem (or problems) for the person to solve. The bigger the problems that the company has and the fewer the people that are available to solve the problems the higher the value or reward that will be attached to the position. That is the reason why a Neurosurgeon will earn more money than a Cleaner. According to Zig Ziglar, in “See you at the Top”, “If you can solve problems for humanity they will make you rich beyond your imagination”.
Dr Norman Vincent Pearle said that the secret of success is to “find the needs of mankind and fill it”. The basic needs of mankind according to Abraham Maslow are food, shelter and clothing. Civilization and technological advancement have created more needs for mankind. Within these needs, you can find one that you can solve for the people. They will be glad to pay you for filling the needs. Let us review the following examples:
- Madam KK noticed the distance between local “vegetable and fruits” market to the Estate where she lived with her family was very far. She decided to set up a Kiosk in their house – using a small corner in her husband’s car park. Through her discussions with many of the wives in the Estate she was able to find out “vegetables and fruits” that they buy frequently. Her estimated stock at the beginning was N60,000 which after sale would give her N70,000 in two days – after taking care of her overhead. For someone who was unemployed, this was a dream come true.
A business was born in her mind and she decided to plan and execute her dream. She started by buying “vegetables and fruits” in bulk at a good discount from the market. At first she started alone without any Assistant with the minimum capital. Later she became more scientific by buying “vegetables and fruits”, marking up her stock by 25% to take care of her overhead and moderate profit. In less than a year she had been able to employ two young assistants and also introduced home delivery to the services and the Community was happy with her service. The problem that she solved for other housewives in the Estate gave her money, goodwill and resources to help her husband.
- If you have people’s skill and negotiation ability, you can solve problems for either a Landlord and People who are search for accommodation. With little or no capital layout, you can set up an Estate Agency business solving problems for Landlords and Tenants.
If you spend one week to study the needs of the people in your neighbourhood you will discover problems that are waiting to be solved that will give you continuous employment and possibly make you rich. These may include security, food, shelter, clothing, cleaning, healthcare, childcare and schools for children.
This series will focus on the following which are not arranged in any particular order:
- Recession problems and how to capitalize on its lessons
- How the youths and adults can stop the absolute dependency on paid employment
- How to know what the people in your neighbourhood need and how you can meet the need to make money
- How to get rid of the fear of going on entrepreneurial journey
- Simple costing for small business.
The goal is to draw the attention of Readers to adjust their views of work and pay attention to the concept of solving problems and make money during this period of job scarcity.