“The marker of success is dealing with NEW problems.” - Lacey Sites
Can I tell you, I’ve got problems.
I’ve got problems, and I gotta say, I’m loving them. I’m even going to go as far as to say I’m grateful for them.
But I have problems.
There seems to be a myth floating around that other people don’t have problems, or that once you reach a certain level of success all problems disappear.
Which is a shame and causing some people to chase entrepreneurialism like they would any other escape or buffer…with the thought that when they get ‘there’, once they achieve whatever version of business success they want, that life will be blissful and problem-free.
But here’s the deal, we’ve ALL got problems, in our personal lives and in our businesses.
So let’s bust this myth wide open. Before we dig in, I’ll share that I’m not immune to this story. Rationally, I know business doesn’t magically become problem-free as we uplevel, but as a recovering perfectionist, I’ve got a habit of thinking that I can make things 99.9% problem-free if I do things ‘right.’
This is such a bunch of hogwash. This type of thinking can cause us to backslide because we think there’s something wrong with us.
I KNOW it’s so much more fun to swallow the candy-coated story of blissful, problem-free success. I also imagine you might be thinking, that doesn’t sound very positive (the myth of being positive all the time is a topic for another blog).
Upleveling doesn’t mean we suddenly have everything figured out and never have another issue to deal with, but it does usually hand you better quality problems. And this IS a positive thing!
It’s the old, repetitive, problems that keep us stuck in limiting thoughts and sabotaging behaviors. NEW problems, on the other hand, are a sign of progress and growth.
This is the distinction we want to get clear on.
When we’re unaware of our problems or not solving them (or solving the wrong problems), problems get a bad rap. Repeatedly coming up against the same roadblock over and over again until it becomes a pattern is when we find ourselves stuck.
As my coach said the other day (yes, coaches have coaches, too!) , “The marker of success is dealing with NEW problems.”
I told her I was going to quote her on that because it’s so damn good. If we want success, we want to reach for and deal with new problems.
This is incredibly important to notice and be aware of because with every new level of business growth there tends to be a new set of challenges.
If we’re not accepting that problems come up and are just a part of life and running a business, a new problem can have us doubt ourselves and feeling like frauds. That imposter syndrome we worked so damn hard to eradicate can pop up its little beady face and say, ‘See, I told you, you don’t actually know what you’re doing, otherwise this would never have happened.”
Thinking it’s rainbows and moonbeams all the time when we reach ‘success’ can also set us up for a fast spiral into disappointment and anxiety. It can send some of us high achiever types into a frenzy of MUST DO MORE.
Our goal shouldn’t be to get rid of problems completely. Instead, I’d invite you to deal with old patterns and repetitive problems and reach for better problems. New problems are better problems. They are the marker of growth and forward movement.
This doesn’t mean we need to expect problems or invite them in, but our perspective when noticing new problems will affect how we approach and solve them.
For example, let’s say you run a business that sells t-shirts. For the longest time getting anyone with a heartbeat to buy your shirts felt impossible. Then, you hire a coach, you get clear on your messaging, you work through some blocks, and you open up the floodgates of sales. You’re selling shirts left and right, and this is awesome. You’re officially upleveling.
Then, someone asks for an exchange, an order gets lost in the mail, and someone else says your shirt sizing is off.
These are business problems. They’re real. They have to be handled and solved. But, they’re new, amazing problems to have! Previously your problems had been, I can’t get anyone to notice or buy my shirts. Now your problems are all about dealing with the sales of those same shirts. These challenges signify the growth of your business.
It’s easy, though, to think in this situation, “Well, shit. I guess my shirts do suck. What was I thinking, thinking I could be a business owner? This is too much to handle. This sucks.”
We might feel frustrated and decide these problems aren’t “worth it” and sabotage our success by not dealing with them instead of seeing these as high-quality problems.
Embracing new problems as markers of growth and new opportunities to uplevel allows them to become a positive and normal part of business. Of course, when we see new problems through this lens we solve them much faster.
Trying to whitewash our lives and business of problems, discomfort, or anything negative is not only impossible and unattainable, but it also sets us up to fail, stay stuck, or feel disappointed.
Instead, let’s make a commitment to ourselves to stop avoiding and buffering our current problems and get the support we need to solve these, so we can open ourselves up to a new level of success and better problems.
I hope this week’s blog will remind you that our businesses aren’t an escape. There isn’t a get out of jail free card waiting for any of us when we get ‘there’. The only way we can avoid new problems is by staying stuck.
I also hope this will not only normalize what happens for all of us as we uplevel, but will also allow you see fulfillment and gratitude in the opportunity that comes with better problems.
Wishing you new problems and your version of success!
P.S. Ready to get out of your own way and bust through some of your old patterns, so you can UPLEVEL your business and get support solving new problems? I’d love to help you. Click here to learn more about working together and schedule a free consultation.