When I first started in 2016, I had a client who was having trouble maintaining an organized schedule for his small business. So, he wasn’t always on task, and he wasn’t always on time. Reviewing our administrative services, he thought I might be able to maintain a schedule for him.
I asked if he was comfortable using his Outlook or Gmail calendar, or if he had tried any apps. He said he had tried a few, but he really preferred to use a physical date book. I can relate to that. By nature, I’m very organized and my natural tendency is to keep a date book next to me at all times.
I asked why, if he had a date book, he was still unable to keep on schedule.
He admitted that he often stopped using the date book because of all the amendments that he had to make. His meticulous nature couldn’t handle all the scratched out appointments and ink-filled pages. It drove him crazy that every time he went to write in a new appointment, he had to see such a mess.
So, I asked him why he wasn’t using a pencil.
Often we look at a problem and can only think of complex fixes. In this case, hiring someone to maintain an organizational system he really didn’t like or want. He would be wasting time, spending money, and given that he didn’t want a digital system to begin with, almost guaranteeing failure.
Even though the results of the problem were big, the problem itself was simple.
As small business owners, we often get so bogged down in the complexities of our businesses that we fail to see the problem as a simple one. If we can take a moment to recognize which problems are simple, we can apply the simple answer and move on to the more complex problems that truly require our energy and resources.