Here in Wisconsin, this winter has been BRUTAL at times.
I’m talking 40-50 degrees BELOW ZERO with the windchill. School closings. Studio closings. More school and studio closings. Snow, snow, and more snow.
SO. MUCH. SNOW.
If you live in an area that gets a lot of snow, you know EXACTLY what I mean by the endless snow (If you live somewhere warm, I’m penciling myself in for a visit next year! Ha!)
Now, I will be the first to raise my hand and say that I actually do love winter (and snow) but this year was, as my kids say, “A little EXTRA”.
After big snowfalls, my sons will often help out our neighbors by shoveling the snow on their walkways and stairs to the front door. They are pretty good snow shovelers, I have to say, and I admired how they turned a no-school-day into a side hustle.
But, while shoveling the front steps of one neighbor’s home, they were having an unusually tough time. The snow was multiple feet deep, the stairs were icy underneath, and the incline was pretty steep. They came back home and told me it was TOO HARD; they didn’t think they could get the job done.
Well, of course, I didn’t agree! I figured I’d show them how to do it, so I bundled up and followed them back over to the house.
No sooner had I picked up one of their shovels and started to work and I knew they were right. It WAS too hard. In fact, while digging together, we uncovered a tiny sign the neighbors had on the very bottom step. It said:
Stairs icy. Please leave packages by garage doorway.
And there was our lightbulb moment: THE GARAGE!
We abandoned shoveling the path UP the mountain of snow on the stairs and shoveled the path to the garage instead. Problem solved. We just had to change the plan.
After we were back home and warming up, I realized that SO many times in life I’ve been in this same situation: there’s a seemingly impossible problem that I’ve been working too hard to solve using the expected solution. But what’s really needed is an alternate path; a new route to follow.
Maybe it seems obvious, but when you’re in the MIDDLE of dealing with a problem, it’s so hard to step back and see the full picture!
I bet you’ve been there too. As business owners, we can easily fall into the trap of thinking we know how to handle a problem and then pushing and pushing (or digging!) our way through it. We sweat it out, grind it out, and plow straight ahead without looking to the right or the left to see if there are any ALTERNATE PATHWAYS.
What we really need to do in those moments though, I think, is to pause and consider other solutions … solutions that might be faster or better! Just like the path to the garage. Sometimes the simplest answer really IS the best one.
So the next time you are faced with what seems like an insurmountable problem, do what my boys did and ask for help. Look for the signs (even the real ones!). DECIDE that you’re committed to finding a way. Whether your obstacle is snow or something else, choose to not give up … just reroute your path. <3