Eddie Mugulusi, Founder at Fab Creations.
For a long time I have heard and read that successful entrepreneurs are good problem solvers. I did not realise just how important this was untill I began reading biographies of some truly remarkable entrepreneurs both in and out of Uganda. One thing became clear to me. Successful entrepreneurs always find a way to turn failure and challenges into a gift that allows them to focus on ways to resolve their problems and grow through difficult times.
I am not a newbie to challenges and I am sure you aren’t either. However many times we have a problem in dealing with them. We spend much time focusing on the actual problem and let our mind wonder off to all those other negative things happening in our lives. It does not occur to us that we’d do so much better if we instead spent that time focusing on practical ways to solve those problems.
Just like most startups struggle in the early days, we too at Fab Creations faced numerous challenges. For instance within the first year of operations of the manufacturing enterprise, we faced an exodus of workers. The business had only began and was not bringing in adequate revenue to consistently meet our payroll on time. As such, a good number of the workers became increasingly impatient and decided to quit. This was a real blow to the business because some of those people were key staff heading departments. Their quitting disrupted crucial operations in our day to day and haulted our entire progress temporarily. Things went from being difficult to nearly impossible. At the factory, you could feel the mood had been dampened to a great degree. It was clear, if this was not handled well, it threatened our very existance. Did we dwell on this and waste time away crying about it? Not at all.
According to an article on this subject by Matt Mayberry, a speaker and maximum performance strategist, he says that ‘taking the time to fully analyze your situation, while focusing on solutions instead of problems, can revitalize your mind and help you focus on where you are headed’. As a business we chose to focus on the bigger picture. Losing workers became a blessing in disguise. We empowered those who remained and aggressively skilled them to build capacity in all departments. The new smaller team became even more efficient than the one before. Our cost of operations also reduced greatly with this smaller team and before long the business began to consistently meet it’s payroll.
From experiences such as this one, I have since looked at and approached oncoming problems with a solution based mindset. Like Matt Mayberry says, ‘If you think long and hard enough, regardless of how bad your situation may be, the solutions are there. This type of thinking can be a total game changer for you and your business.’