Creativity & ProductivityEntrepreneurship

Be a Solution or Be The Problem Someone Else Has To Solve


In most places of the world, especially Europe and North America, the end of summer is approaching. To most students, it marks the end of the summer break or vacation, but to those that have graduated this year, it marks the beginning of a whole new chapter of their lives: The Great Unknown!

We live in one of the most wonderful times in human history where information is no further than the fingertips; just a click away. There are so many opportunities out there and inequality seems to be a thing of the past, or is it?

Jobs are becoming fewer and fewer, some are obsolete and the battle with robots has even gone to another level. Software and computer programs are now doing what we thought could be reserved for the intellectuals that were being developed in university.

The new inequality in this generation is not just with Artificial intelligence but also the change in the economy. It is dawning on the minds of many millennials that the jobs they may be or have studied for are becoming fewer and fewer due to the many changes in the global economy. The rules have changed and are still changing. It is no longer get a degree and get a job anymore. The new rules seem to be while getting your degree, what other skills can you acquire that a robot or some software won’t be able to replace in the next 20 years? Or maybe you should ditch the whole “get a job” concept and become an entrepreneur?

Whichever you choose, whether you choose to go with the traditional path of a good steady job or the big risk of starting a business that will create jobs (those looking for jobs will thank you), below are things to consider that might change the way you look the economy and your world.

You need to understand that jobs do not seem to be the solution to our problems and that is the solution and the solution to the problem is the problem itself. Say What!!!!???

Yes, ponder on this quote:

Happiness is not the absence of problems, it’s the ability to deal with them.”
― Steve Maraboli

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Let me elaborate, you, my friend are a problem solver.

your very existence is about solving problems ( or maybe you are the problem someone else has to solve….. Hmmmm)…. You just have to learn to embrace it with the employment and job question. Your going to university was an act of problem-solving either to solve the money question or the purpose/nobility of work question. You have been doing it all along. Now it is time to apply it to your employment or business.

Think about it. What is that one problem that is plaguing your community or nation to which you have the skills to solve? What part of your college or university acquired skills can use that you have acquired on or off campus?

An example of 6 groups of people defied the traditional norm by becoming problem solvers:

  • Mark Zuckerberg – The problem of connecting with people. (Facebook)
  • Strive Masiyiwa – Telecommunication in Southern Africa and Africa at large (Econet Wireless)
  • Beno Potgieter and Thatoyaona Marumo –  On-demand cleaning services in South Africa (Domestly)
  • Patric Bat-David – Life Insurance and start-up coach (PHP Agency, Inc and Valuetainment)
  • Pat Flynn – online entrepreneur and business coach for upcoming entrepreneurs
  • Tim Ferriss – author of The Four Hour Work Week and Entrepreneur


A ship in the harbor is safe, but that is not what a ship is built for.”

– John A. Shedd

It is wise to direct your anger towards problems- not people; to focus your energies on answers – not excuses.”

– William Arthur Ward

This is what differentiates us from the animals. We are problem solvers. You have the ability to solve any problem facing you and that is your shortcut to prominence.”

– Dr. Sunday Adelaja

4 Questions To Ask Yourself

1. Why did I start studying in the first place?

Did you start studying in your respective field only for the money it promised? Let us be honest, in as much as you may have loved what you were studying, money was also a motivating factor. Apart from the monetary gains, what drove you to do it?

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2. What problems can I solve with the Skills I have acquired, for Free if Needs be?

In as much as the current objective of the 21st century of working is making money, what is it that you are skilled at that you can do in the meantime while you are seeking for a job. You never know, you could start a nonprofit organization or a profitable business this way. Before you know it, it might be a lucrative business

Kim Lavine, in 2001, started making microwaveable pillows for her kids, and when her husband lost his job she started selling them from her truck. Fast-forward to the future: she is now a millionaire and owner of other businesses.

3. Are the skills you have transferable to another industry?

Rowan Atkinson, also known as Mr. Bean, was an engineer doing his masters in electrical engineering when he started his acting as Mr. Bean in the 1980s.

What skills, formal or informal, can you transfer to another industry?

4. What do you know about business and money?

You might argue that you never intended to go into business, therefore, you want to leave that area to businessmen and economists. Truth be told, everything is business and the way money is managed by you and those around you affects you in the long run. Even if you properly look at the “family” from history until now, you will realize it is the first business everyone gets to be part of at least once in their lives.

The only way we can weather the current economic and employment storms that plague our generation is to start solving not only the problems we have been trained to solve at university but to develop skills that will help us solve problems that might be out of the scope of our traditional training. I mean, is it not why we keep buying the newest version of smart-phones, because of that little extra that it can do compared to last years version?

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