Every day, businesses face problems that need repair. Sometimes, they are very complex. For example - how can we improve our bottom line, or how can we improve customer sentiment?
No matter the problem, though, there are always two ways to solve them.
First there is the easy way, and then, there is the hard way.
Remember: The tortoise always wins the race.
The Easy Way
Most of the time, when problems arise, we look for the simplest solutions possible. The zero to sixty approach. The quick fix. We start reaching for tools.
As a website developer, I have often joked that there is a giant 'build website' button on my computer. Hardly! But, isn't this the way we treat many things?
I find that as soon as the going gets tough, we start looking for quick fixes, and miracle tools that will make our lives easier. The problem is, they almost never work.
The Hard Way
And then, there is the hard way. This way is far less glamorous, and far more difficult. Most of the time, we know exactly how to fix a problem, but rarely like the answer.
This way, usually involves hard work, and a lot of elbow grease. It requires us to get our hand dirty and promises to take up a lot of our time. We call it the hard way for a reason, but often times, it is also the right way.
As part of our ongoing office renovations, painting is becoming a larger and larger part of what we do. Paining walls, painting doors, panting trim, and even painting desks.
When you are painting, there are a few guarantees. First, there will be corners, and two, they will be hard to paint.
So, we tried tools. We bought a bunch of different brushes and rollers, trying to find the best solution for painting the corners. We tried to solve our problems with tools. We tried the easy way.
All along, we know the answer though. A good old fashioned edging brush, and a steady hand, was the only correct solution. But, it wasn't the easiest.
You see, that edging brush was slow, required a lot of patience, and took a heck of a lot of time. It wasn't easy - but it was the right way.
The Tortoise and the Hare
Our world is fast, and getting faster. The internet is fast, our cars are fast, and our news is even fast. We are always in a hurry, and most of the time it is for good reason. It takes speed to keep up with competitors.
But, with all of this speed, I think we've forgotten that the hare never wins the race.
The tortoise wins.
We've attempted to replace 'focus' with 'speed.' The old story of the tortoise and the hare is a perfect example of this. The hare tried to win the race by going fast and doing it all at once. The tortoise, on the other hand, took the focused approach. He was focused on the goal, and steadily moved towards it.
The tortoise did it the hard way, and he won.
So, what about you? Are you taking the easy way, or the hard way? The quick and broken road, or the one with all the hard work? I find that all of my habits point to the easy way - even when I know better.
They easy way promises to be simple, but it usually isn't. Countless times, I have had to tear it all down just to start over and do it again - the right way.
To do it, the hard way.
Shortcuts, and miracle tools, aren't the answer. They are only things that distract us from doing it right the first time.