Seven Reasons You Need To Adopt This Problem Solving Strategy…

Shocking confession dead ahead.

I get stuck just like everybody else.

Despite the image that follows me around, I’m not superhuman. I may have more mental models about business that make me more effective that the majority. And I may have experienced success at a level greater than the norm. But I can still get stuck just every other entrepreneur on the planet.

The big difference is that when I do, I know how to get “unstuck” fast.

And one of my big secrets for doing that is what I call my “collaborative circle”. A handful of peers I connect with on a regular basis. And especially when I’m facing a particular challenge.

I’m sure you know who some of mine are… Mark Ford, Jay Abraham, Todd Brown, Michael Cage, Dan Kennedy just to name a few.

Now, maybe you don’t have access to “heavy hitters” like these. But I promise you, there are people in your life you can connect with that can offer all the same benefits. And you need to do it now.

Let me tell you why…

Seven Reasons You Need A Collaborative Circle…

  1. They let you test your assumptions. There’s always the option of trial and error to discover what you don’t know. And experience is a great teacher. In fact it may be the best way to learn. But you don’t always have to travel that road. Especially when those in your collaborative circle may have similar experience in what you’re trying to do. Save yourself some pain and suffering once in a while and learn from others.
  2. They challenge your beliefs. We are powerless against our beliefs. They literally control all our actions by coloring how the world shows up for us. And they are probably the hardest internal obstacle we have to overcome. A powerful, trusted collaborative circle can get you to at least re-think your beliefs when it’s most important.
  3. They help you focus your vision. Face it. Without a clear outcome in mind, you’ll never achieve what you’re after. For the simple reason you’re not clear what your outcome is. But what I call “fuzzy outcomes” is something that can affect all entrepreneurs. It’s too easy to simply shape an attractive end without considering all the details. Your collaborative circle can help you get out of the fog and get laser focused on what you want – and what’s required to get it.
  4. They’ll point out what you’re ignoring. We tend to ignore the things that we don’t want to see. That’s human nature. We don’t see what we don’t want to see, we don’t hear what we don’t want to hear. Rather we see and hear some “version” of that. Ignoring what you simply don’t want to see is a recipe for disaster. One your collaborative circle can keep you out of.
  5. They’ll hold you accountable. This is really important. The human condition is such that you can’t trust yourself to do ANYTHING! You’ll always find an excuse, a reason, a justification for not doing what you say you’ll do. A solid collaborative circle will hold you to account and speed you on your path to achieving your goals.
  6. There’s the creativity factor. This may sound shocking, but creativity is nothing more than connecting the dots that no one else has. And more dots isn’t always the answer. Often “perspective” trumps how much you know. The more (and more varied) perspective you can have, the more dot’s you can connect. And the more creative you can ultimately be.
  7. Then, of course, there’s problem solving. Collective wisdom can be the key to overcoming even the most frustrating, most stymieing, most immovable roadblocks. I think the video below makes my point…

So I know you’re all nodding your heads. “Yeah Rich, that’s true!”

But let me ask you, what are you doing to build a collaborative circle? Do you have one? How were you before you got involved with it. How often do you get together? What breakthroughs have you had because of it? Let me know what’s so in the comments section below.

“Tweet-ables” to share with your friends:

Seven reasons you need this problem solving strategy >> via @richschefren (Tweet this!)

Here’s what I do when I’m stuck >> via @richschefren (Tweet this!)

How Leonard, Raj and Howard solve the Sheldon problem… >> via @richschefren (Tweet this!)

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  • Andy Iskandar

    Hi Rich,

    This is something I’ve been trying to assemble. But maybe how I’m seeing this is different to what you mean here. I see it as a “collection” of mentors who are on levels above me, which is what I’ve been trying to “assemble”. Is this what you mean?

    The main challenge I have is how do I move the relationship forward such that they deeply care about my success? What’s in it for them?

    P.S. By the way, you mentioned nine reasons but you listed only seven. :)

  • Robert Bridge

    Lots of takeaways there Rich, well done.

  • Rich Schefren

    Hey Andy … Looking to surround yourself with A-list mentors might require you to subscribe to a membership program or two. (If they’re real A-listers, it’ll be worth the investment.) But apart from that, don’t think that anything less that that isn’t worth your while.

    You want to connect with smart, successful individuals who can challenge you. I’m sure you have enough family and friends who will tell you your ideas are great. You want people willing to tell you your ideas suck and that there’s a better way to get things done.

    And don’t underestimate the value that you could bring to the table. Remember (and I can’t recall who said it), “if you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room.”

    PS thanks for the heads up… My next post might have to be 10 reasons you need an awesome editor :-S

  • Rich Schefren

    Thanks Robert…

  • Mark Yurik

    Dreamed about having said ” collaborating ” circle. Wish had one. Thinking, how does one collaborate when major competitive advantages (secretes) are at stake? Similar to your MP3 re secretes revealed in why X succeeded massively and Y didn’t. X knew the secrete, the game changer. Further noting, being an introvert, reaching out, when asking others ” hey you want to do…” or …. most all have an instant excuse handy. So yes, very very very frustrating when wanting to bounce ideas off a wall and there is no wall there? Where does one locate walls (attract)? aka collaborating circles?

  • salsabor_tropical

    Great article, I use 6 active clients that I go to, and also involved my staff in the process. I basically ask them as I expose an idea to them would they buy it, would they support it, having a close relationship with your client is extremely important because they are the ones that will buy a product or service.

  • Rich Schefren

    Hey Mark… I think if you’re worried about people in your circle stealing your ideas, you’ve probably got the wrong people in your circle. A collaborative circle should be a supportive environment. A group where ideas are shared. But I sense something else at work here. My guess is that your concern that once an idea is shared, it can only benefit one person is a little off. It might be making you suspect about sharing. And that’s not where you want to come from if you’re inviting people into a collaborative circle. Give that some thought. And thanks for sharing!

  • Rich Schefren

    Great answer! Active clients are one of the best resources you can leverage. Your staff is excellent too – provided they’re willing to call you out when you’re off track. Thanks for sharing!

  • Mark Yurik

    Thinking, hummm OK, share with able people, myself trust. Find a random sampling of those invited provide an immediate excuse and or share they are content with their lives as is, in a perceived sense of being non-driven to crush a market at will. May explain why upper 3% enjoy an ideal life because they are not content. Hummm is it me? Don’t think so because myself has empathy, gratitude, a sense of fairness and charisma. Hummm In mean time will devote time and thought to your reply. Thank you Rich.

  • Mark Yurik

    Foot Note: Irony is since college days always felt deep down that ” maximize shareholder equity ” didn’t sit right w myself. Point is sharing would be to create a win win win for the team and for the most important stake holder ” the customer “. But I get it now, answers tend to arrive when I awake in the a m. Now understand whom to seek out. For clarity, upper 3% deemed inaccurate for that many may enjoy the life they live and are content in their own way. Thus, that was an unfair statement in that we’re all unique and seek what is most ideal for oneself.

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  • Dan Kalis

    Rich, thanks for writing this… but how is a “collaborative circle” different than a mastermind group? I’m not saying that in a critical tone, but truly wanting to know the difference?

    By the way, by the end of 2016, my family and I will be moving to Delray/Boca, so I hope you (and Todd and Mark) will be part of my local collaborative circle! I send you a FB PM while I was actually in downtown Delray Beach a few weeks ago, but hadn’t heard back. And, we met and shook hands briefly at TNC2016.

    Speaking of accessing “heavy hitters,” through some recent new relationships and attendance at TNC, my brother/partner and I were able to arrange a phone consultation and an lunch meeting (in the same week) with someone we very much respect and admire, in this category (Roland Frasier), and now are fortunate to consider him part of our “circle,” and are excited to continue that momentum of upping our association big time, while also doing anything we can to provide value to those from whom we can learn, stretch our thinking, and be introduced to more brilliant people.

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