In this episode, Rick and Matt discuss how entrepreneurs are problem solvers at heart. Problem-solving is inherent to all entrepreneurs, as you begin problem solving when you first start a business. First, you must identify a problem or a need that customers have in order to create a product or solution for the problem before you take it to the market.

Business owners need to be problem solvers multiple times a day. The paradox arises when our entrepreneurial instincts lead us to believe we can solve all problems a business experiences. This is an unrealistic expectation that can lead to a lot of frustrations. If you are a perfectionist or have unrealistic expectations, you need to prepare yourself because there are certain problems that you will only be able to manage and never solve. It is really hard for some people to accept and understand that. More often than not, most problems will not be 100% solved, they’re just going to be managed.

Common Fitness Problem Solving Examples

Schedules Change

One example with our Alloy personal training business is we are always managing schedules with staff and clients. Schedules vary all the time. We have a CRM to help us manage that process. We use one of the best CRMs in fitness, but technology is not foolproof when the power goes out, it doesn’t work. It’s never going to be perfect because it is technology, so that would be an example of an unrealistic expectation. Stuff happens to every business, every day.

Processes and Situations Can Vary

In business, we create standard operating procedures(SOPs) to help guide everyone on the right way to do things. But you are dealing with people and people change, so you can’t expect an SOP to solve every situation or apply to every situation. You can ask yourself why someone would choose to do something different from exactly the way we laid out in the SOP. Well, you’re dealing with human beings and they have their own ideas or suggestions. It’s just the way people are wired.

Real Estate Situations Are All Different

With real estate selection and build outs, we have high-level vendors we work with to assist our franchisees. They operate at a top level and do a great job, but there are so many moving parts to a lease negotiation, site selection, and build out. You can’t create a 100% fix for every scenario, so it needs to be managed. We realign expectations with franchisees by guiding them through the process. There is an average for how many days it takes to find real estate, landlord response rates vary, space availability changes, etc. 

There is a healthy friction between pushing for perfection and having an emergency over every minor problem. You can’t get stressed about solving every little thing that pops up, but to say some things just need to be managed is key. It is a constant process with constant leadership managing problems. Part of that management means you need to get your head right around how you look at problems, so that they don’t crush you. This comes through experience and doing it.

If you’re getting into entrepreneurship, there are many things that you can always improve on and you should always push for the best. But understand when you get people involved in processes or technology, things are going to come up. We’ve already built systems, support, technology, and processes for Alloy franchises. 

In this episode, Rick and Matt share how problem solvers manage situations. Be realistic and don’t sweat the small stuff! 

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  • Key Takeaways.
  • An entrepreneur is a problem solver at heart (06:40)
  • The paradox of problem-solving (07:24)
  • Most problems can’t be solved, just managed (08:20)
  • Managing your expectations (09:40)
  • Major solves in Rick’s career (17:03)
  • There’s nothing that fixes all things (19:32)
  • Be very realistic about problems (22:11)
  • Don’t sweat the small stuff (26:12)

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Mentioned in this episode

Rick Mayo 

Matt Helland

Alloy Personal Training Franchise


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