Problem Solving It's Usually the Big Obvious Shtty Answer Ep 155



In a detailed discussion on problem-solving for entrepreneurs, the speaker, along with his partner Leila, emphasizes the importance of confronting the "big, obvious" issues in business rather than seeking complex solutions. He argues that most problems, whether in marketing, sales, or customer retention, often stem from a failure to execute the fundamentals effectively. He advises against the allure of new tactics and stresses the need to improve and maintain established processes. By being brutally honest and taking the perspective of an outsider or a coach, business owners can identify and address the simple yet critical shortcomings that impede their growth. The speaker encourages entrepreneurs to focus on consistent execution and to tackle problems one at a time, ensuring each aspect of the business pipeline is solid before scaling up.

Summary Notes

Problem Solving in Entrepreneurship

  • Entrepreneurs frequently engage in problem solving, yet many struggle with it.
  • The speaker emphasizes the importance of addressing problems with simple, obvious solutions.
  • They note that often the answer to a problem is not complex or hidden, but rather straightforward and clear.
  • The speaker suggests that problems in business are usually due to fundamental flaws rather than advanced or technical issues.

"And I think that the number one thing that I get pulled on the phone for, and I get comment, you know, I get tagged in and I get DM'd, is because people have problems and they don't know the answers, right?"

This quote highlights the commonality of entrepreneurs reaching out for help with problems they cannot solve, indicating a widespread challenge in finding solutions.

"And the truth is that it's usually the really shitty obvious answer."

The speaker is stating that the solutions to problems are often the most straightforward ones, suggesting that people overcomplicate the process of problem-solving.

The Unsexy Truth About Problems

  • The speaker reveals that the unattractive reality of problem-solving is that the solutions are often obvious and unexciting.
  • They emphasize that in business, particularly in marketing and sales, the most basic elements are usually what need improvement.

"And the truth is that it's usually the really shitty obvious answer."

This quote reinforces the idea that the most effective solutions to problems are frequently the most apparent and simple ones.

Marketing and Advertising Challenges

  • The speaker discusses common issues with marketing, such as ineffective advertising and poor lead generation.
  • They argue that the problem is often not with complex algorithms or targeting but with the quality of the ad creative, offer, and messaging.
  • The advice given is to communicate clearly and simply, as if explaining to a young child.

"It's usually because the ad sucks, right? It's usually because the creative is not compelling."

The speaker is pointing out that a lack of success in advertising is often due to poor quality of the ad itself, rather than external factors.

"One of the biggest things, the biggest advice that I can give for copy and creative and marketing is just be ridiculously clear and assume you're talking to someone who's in the third grade or less."

This quote suggests that clarity in communication is crucial for effective marketing and that one should aim to make their message understandable to a very broad audience.

Conversion and Sales Optimization

  • The speaker addresses issues with website conversion and sales processes.
  • They argue that looking for hacks or advanced strategies is less important than ensuring the basics, such as clear headlines and congruent messaging, are in place.
  • Simplicity and clarity are again emphasized as key to improving conversion rates.

"It's like, man, my page isn't converting. What are the hacks to get the pages to work better, right? It's like, I got to do load times. And sure, stuff works. It's important to have fast load times. It's important to have all that stuff. But usually it's because the headline doesn't make any sense and it's not connected to the ad that they clicked on."

The speaker is explaining that technical improvements can help, but more often than not, the real issue with low conversion rates lies in the basic elements of the landing page, like the headline and its connection to the ad.

Scheduling and Availability

  • The speaker mentions that poor scheduling rates on thank you pages may be due to inconvenient availability rather than technical issues.
  • They suggest that entrepreneurs should consider their customers' convenience when setting appointment times.

"It's probably because the availability that you have is shitty, right? You get horrible times, and it's unlikely that the person can make those times because you're only doing it for the 30 minutes that you can do every other day, and that's not convenient, right?"

This quote indicates that poor scheduling rates can often be attributed to offering appointment times that are not convenient for the customer, rather than technical problems with the scheduling system.

Sales Techniques and Customer Retention

  • The speaker touches on sales performance and customer retention issues.
  • They advise focusing on fundamental sales techniques, such as understanding customer needs and offering compelling guarantees.
  • The speaker suggests that issues with customer retention may be due to the mediocrity of the product or service rather than external factors.

"If, for example, you suck at sales or your sales numbers are terrible, right? And you're like, man, I've got to learn some super secret selling stuff. Not really. It's probably because you're not going through the basics of labeling the pain, asking them why they even came in today, like, figuring out what's been missing in their life and why the solutions they've done in the past didn't work, right?"

The quote emphasizes the importance of mastering basic sales techniques, such as identifying customer pain points and presenting tailored solutions, rather than seeking out complex sales strategies.

"And then you're like, man, my retention is horrible. Why are people leaving? It must be because the Facebook algorithm is attracting weird humans into my gym. It's like, or your classes suck."

Here, the speaker suggests that customer retention issues are often due to the quality of the service provided rather than external factors like the types of customers attracted through advertising.

Continuous Problems and Growth

  • The speaker acknowledges that problems in business do not cease but grow in magnitude with the business.
  • They stress that the ability to confront and address these problems head-on is what enables entrepreneurs to succeed.

"When we look at the problems that we have in our business, because, believe me, the problems don't stop. They just get bigger and heavier because there's just more stuff on the line."

This quote reflects the ongoing nature of challenges in business and the increasing stakes as a business grows. It underscores the importance of problem-solving skills in entrepreneurship.

Identifying Obvious Problems

  • Entrepreneurs often avoid confronting the possibility that their product or service is merely average.
  • Being average makes it difficult to stand out and succeed in a competitive market.
  • A lack of customer progression or upselling may indicate an initial dissatisfaction with the service.
  • Simple problems in business often have complex causes and require in-depth analysis to resolve.

"Because entrepreneurs, a lot of times we don't want to face the fact, right? We don't want to say, what if my trainers aren't that good, right? What if my sessions are just average, right?"

This quote highlights the common reluctance among entrepreneurs to acknowledge that their offerings might be of average quality, which is a critical barrier to success.

"No one's ascending, right? No one's taking our upsells, no one's buying semi private, no one's driving pt, no one's driving nutrition and accountability, which we branded as hybrid, but is actually just nutrition and accountability."

This quote suggests that customers are not interested in additional services, which could be due to their lack of satisfaction with the initial service provided.

Simplistic Thinking vs. Complex Reality

  • Entrepreneurs may incorrectly assume that issues require complex solutions when the answer might be straightforward.
  • Simple questions can have long, complicated answers, reflecting the multifaceted nature of business problems.
  • Acknowledging the basic issue, such as a poor product, is the first step towards a comprehensive solution.

"And it's usually because simple problems have complex answers, right? And that's one of the, like, I think Trevor Cashy says a lot. He's like, short questions have long answers."

This quote emphasizes that while the problems might seem simple, their solutions are often complex and require extensive analysis.

Examining People and Processes

  • Analyzing individual employee performance can reveal whether changes in staff correlate with business downturns.
  • Employees may claim to follow procedures, but their actions must be verified with data.
  • Business success requires consistent execution of effective processes, and neglecting them can lead to negative outcomes.

"One of the first things that we do, especially if we had something that worked and then stopped working, is we examine the people."

This quote underlines the importance of evaluating staff performance when a previously successful business model begins to fail.

"We try and be reasonable and listen to people, but a lot of times they're just not executing the process that already worked, right?"

This quote implies that despite reasonable efforts to understand employees, the failure to execute proven processes is often the root of business issues.

The Danger of Complacency

  • Complacency can lead to decreased effort in key business areas, such as lead generation and customer retention.
  • Neglecting successful strategies can result in a decline in business performance.
  • Business outcomes are influenced by a delayed feedback loop, where the consequences of actions or inactions may not be immediately apparent.

"For example, if you were doing great with lead Gen for a while, right? And then the big C word comes along, complacency, because you're like, you know what? I got this on lock."

This quote warns about the risks of becoming complacent after achieving success, which can lead to a decline in effort and eventually, results.

The Importance of Consistency and Follow-up

  • Consistent application of successful strategies is crucial for sustained business growth.
  • Regular interaction with customers is necessary to maintain low attrition rates.
  • A lapse in maintaining established business practices can lead to increased customer churn over time.

"So you might stop doing some of your retention stuff that you were doing, that you were doing well. You were talking to members, you were reaching out to them, and then all of a sudden, your gym grows and you stop doing those small touch points."

This quote indicates the importance of consistent customer engagement and the negative impact that neglecting these practices can have on customer retention.

Identifying and Addressing Business Problems

  • The first step in solving business problems is to confront the big, obvious issues that are often avoided.
  • Goodwill towards a business can be depleted if underlying issues are not addressed, leading to increased attrition.
  • It's important to look at changes in processes and how those changes have affected business metrics.
  • Detaching emotions from the analysis of business problems is crucial for objective assessment.
  • One should approach their business issues as if they were advising a client, stepping outside their own perspective.

"And then as soon as there's no goodwill left, the attrition starts spiking, right."

This quote underscores the consequence of not addressing the main problems within a business, which can lead to a loss of customer or employee goodwill and an increase in attrition rates.

"The hardest part is letting go of your emotion when you're looking and appraising your business."

This quote highlights the difficulty business owners face in removing personal bias and emotion when evaluating their business to make rational decisions.

Self-Coaching for Business Insight

  • Business owners often have a deep understanding of their business, which can be accessed by adopting a coaching mindset towards oneself.
  • Asking oneself what advice they would give if they were their own business coach can lead to valuable insights.
  • It is common for business owners to give advice to others that they themselves struggle to follow.
  • Recognizing and adhering to one's own advice can be challenging but is necessary for consistent business improvement.

"If you were your own coach, a lot of times you actually have pretty good insight into what the nice thing is that your subconscious mind knows everything that's going on in your business."

This quote suggests that business owners inherently know their business well and that adopting a self-coaching perspective can help them tap into this knowledge for better decision-making.

"Sometimes I feel like I coach other people's business better than I coach my own. And sometimes I break my own rules."

This quote reflects the common experience of business advisors or owners who find it easier to analyze and solve problems in businesses other than their own, highlighting the challenge of self-application of advice.

Business Fundamentals and Scaling

  • Addressing business problems often comes down to getting the basics right, rather than seeking advanced or complex solutions.
  • Business owners should ensure that fundamental processes such as lead generation, nurture, sales, retention, and ascension are effectively managed.
  • A business can only scale when all parts of the business pipeline are functioning well without any aspect underperforming.
  • Scaling involves testing whether business processes that work at a lower capacity can handle increased demand without breaking.
  • Business problems are ongoing and require continuous attention and resolution.

"You might just not be doing the basics right or the person that you put in isn't doing the basics anymore."

This quote emphasizes the importance of maintaining a focus on basic business processes and ensuring they are executed correctly as a foundation for business success.

"And then once you get all the way to the end and nothing else has fallen, that is how you scale."

This quote explains the process of scaling a business, which involves ensuring that all business functions are solid before attempting to increase the scale of operations.

"I promise you that this cycle literally never ends."

The speaker is making it clear that the process of addressing business problems and scaling is ongoing and never truly complete, implying that continuous improvement is a part of business management.

Importance of Fundamentals in Business Operations

  • Business success often hinges on adherence to fundamental practices.
  • Many business owners overlook the basics, leading to operational issues.
  • Consistent execution of fundamentals is key to maintaining a smoothly running business.

"It's usually the fundamentals. And I'm not even just talking gyms, I'm talking like, I could talk with other business owners who are 10, 20, 30, whatever million, and they'll ask me advice on whatever, and I'm like, are you doing this? And they're like, I'm not sure. I'm like, you should probably check because it's probably not happening."

This quote emphasizes that even successful business owners often neglect the foundational aspects of their operations, which can result in inefficiencies and problems.

Problem-Solving Approach in Business

  • Start by identifying the problem before addressing people or processes.
  • Only after ensuring that problems are not due to execution should you consider redefining processes.
  • Constantly changing processes can hinder success; stability and repetition are more profitable.

"So first start with the problem, then go to the person, and then only those things. If you really feel like you've done all of those things and you have people consistently executing, then you can look at the process and see if you want to redefine it, but only do that once you've been able to consistently get all of the other pieces in place."

This quote advises business owners to prioritize solving problems and ensuring consistent execution by their team before contemplating changes to established processes.

Entrepreneurial Tendency to Innovate vs. Need for Consistency

  • Entrepreneurs often have a desire to innovate and make new changes.
  • Consistent execution of proven methods is usually more profitable than constant innovation.
  • The challenge is to balance the excitement of new ideas with the effectiveness of improving existing operations.

"The people who are more consistent make more money. They continue to rinse and repeat until they are bored to death, and then they keep going and doing it again. Because honestly, that's what it is."

This quote highlights the correlation between consistency in business practices and financial success, suggesting that the discipline to maintain proven methods is crucial.

The Non-Sexy Side of Business Improvement

  • Business improvement is often about small, incremental changes rather than big, flashy ones.
  • Detailed oversight, such as reviewing sales calls and ensuring tasks are completed, is essential.
  • This meticulous approach is not glamorous but is necessary for real business improvement.

"That takes 1% improvements. That takes looking through recordings of salespeople and listening to whether they're labeling the pain, listening to whether they're asking for the sale, listening to whether they overcame obstacles and actually tried, right?"

The quote underscores the importance of attention to detail and minor improvements in the process of enhancing business performance.

Avoiding the Pitfalls of 'Lifestyle Entrepreneurship'

  • Some entrepreneurs focus more on the appearance of success than on actual business practices.
  • The speaker warns against being distracted by the allure of a 'lifestyle entrepreneur' image.
  • True business success requires attention to operational details rather than just social media presence.

"And most people don't do that because they're too busy being lifestyle entrepreneurs and taking pictures on Instagram about how successful they are."

This quote criticizes the tendency of some entrepreneurs to prioritize their image of success over the real work required to achieve and maintain it.

Continuous Improvement and Scaling

  • Scaling a business involves repeating and maintaining core practices.
  • After scaling, the cycle of problem identification and process improvement begins anew.
  • The speaker encourages self-coaching and applying advice one would give to others.

"The thing that gets you to scale is to do each of those five things and do them and maintain them so that you can go right back to the beginning and break it all over again as you scale."

The quote explains that scaling a business is a cyclical process of maintaining core functions and then reassessing and improving them as the business grows.

Encouragement and Community Support

  • The speaker encourages listeners to be proactive in solving problems and improving their businesses.
  • There is a sense of community among entrepreneurs, and mutual support is important.
  • The speaker expresses appreciation for engagement and feedback, such as likes, comments, and reviews.

"Keep being awesome and keep grinding because we're all in it together. So, lots of love and I'll catch you soon. Bye."

This closing quote offers encouragement and solidarity, fostering a sense of community among listeners and entreating them to continue working hard and supporting each other.

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