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4 Intelligent Problem-Solving Steps we can all adopt from Elon Musk

“Is your cucumber bitter? Throw it away. Are there briers in your path? Turn aside. That is enough. Do not go on and say, ‘Why were things of this sort ever brought into the world?'” ~Marcus Aurelius

Einstein said it best “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”

Obviously, I haven’t met Elon Muskyet – but I am a big fan of the man. A genius-level Entrepreneur that started with a dream and outsmarted the competition.

As a serial Entrepreneur, I know what it feels like to stay on your toes all the time. To sacrifice your sleep, your family, and sometimes your personal space just so that you can initiate your business.

Related: 6 Must-Do things before you quit your job

I am just an ordinary Entrepreneur who is floating on the surface. For me, I am surviving. It is a long road ahead and I might be successful or not. But in either case, you, on the other hand,need to gear up for your success.

You need to equip yourself with the basic tools that can make you successful. After studying Elon Musk from quite some time now, I figured out a specific pattern with which Elon Musk solve his problems.

These are common skills that can be acquired by anyone. So, here I am laying down my understandings on problem-solving methods that you call can adopt from Elon Musk:

These are simple steps that you can use to solve any problem whether it is a personal or a business-related problem.

The key is to follow the steps in the same manner as described here:

Step 1: Identify the problem you want to solve

“It’s so much easier to suggest solutions when you don’t know too much about the problem.”~Malcolm Forbes

The first step you need is to know the problem in and out.

For instance, when I started my eCommerce website, the initial reaction I got was that “My product is too expensive” this was the realization phase.

For Elon Musk, the first problem was how to raise investment for his dream?

If you don’t know what is the problem you’re facing, you won’t take the necessary steps to solve that problem.

To know what is wrong, you can ask for feedback. Feedback from friends and even from customers can help you get your first step right.

solving problems with elon musk

Step 2: List reasons why you cannot solve the problem

The second part is to list down your limitations.

Your limitation might include “My parts cost is too high” or “The CFO doesn’t want to spend more money on innovation.”

For Elon Musk, it was building trust among the stakeholders. Because launching a rocket is not an ordinary thing.

But the good news is, you don’t have a problem with that intensity. Your problem is small. So, you can list down the steps on paper, what are your limitations.

How to solve a problem by Elon Musk?

Step 3: Screw the limited resources

The next step is to know what you can do to solve your problem.

Do you have the resources to solve that problem, or you will be required to hire external resources to solve the problem?

Sometimes it is best to hire people with a different perspective.

A solution for an over-expensive product might typically be moving manufacturing overseas – but then quality control and shipping costs can increase. A CEO and CFO might agree to cut one department to give more resources to a high-performing team, but layoffs might decrease office morale and severance packages reduce the financial benefit in the short term.

Step 4: Execute & test your hypothesis

Once you’re done with the first three steps, now is the time to execute.

If your core desire is to develop an inexpensive product that is effective, then you might design a new product made with more sustainable and inexpensive materials, or with a completely unique engine or operating system.

If the core of the company is to tackle innovation & product development, you need to introduce new departments or you can simply combine departments to get the creative juice flowing the company.

You need to have an open-door policy so that you can analyze the problem and execute the solution based on all the facts that are available to you.

Execution without giving a thought is a suicide mission. You need to lay down facts and execute. Once the execution is one, you need to compare the results and see what is working and what isn’t.

Related: eCommerce Checklist for first-time Entrepreneurs

For instance, for someone who is willing to start a business you need to test thebeta version of your website before you really launch a fully-fleshed website.

This beta version will give you results, and you can then analyze the results to do something about it.

To end it all

Elon Musk is a highly successful and intelligent Entrepreneur. You can learn a lot from him. His biography is a great read for everyone who wants to start their own business or are struggling with their business.

Use the above tips to solve your business problems. You can always mold the steps in accordance with your business needs.

But ensure that these steps can do wonders for your business.


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Yousuf Rafi

A Caffeine dependent non-mainstream person trying to elevate small talk to medium talk. I know I will win, not immediately but definitely. I do most of the talking in my head. However, for other things, I prefer writing blogs.

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