Find an problem, solve it and then monetize that solution.
If you want to become successful, you need to think like a self-made millionaire and that’s how they think. They see obstacles and figure out ways around those obstacles.
People will pay handsomely for solutions to every day problems.
The burgeoning electric revolution had problems. The DC current that Thomas Edison had been working on was costly over long distances, and produced dangerous sparking from the required converter. Nikola Tesla’s Alternating Current offered safety at a lower cost. It is Tesla’s system today that provides power generation and distribution to North America and much of the world.
18 Farmers in China
Communism had problems. In 1978, the farmers in a small Chinese village called Xiaogang gathered in a mud hut to sign a secret contract. They thought it might get them executed. Instead, it wound up transforming China’s economy in ways they never fathomed.
The contract was so risky — and such a big deal — because it was created at the height of communism in China. Everyone worked on the village’s collective farm; there was no personal property.
In Xiaogang there was never enough food, and the farmers often had to go to other villages to beg. Their children were going hungry. They were desperate.
The farmers agreed to divide up the very land they did not own, among the families in Xiaogang. Each family agreed to turn over their government-mandated crop allotment to the government. However, the farmers all agreed that any crops they grew, in excess of that mandated requirement, would be kept to themselves, to help feed their families.
At the end of the very first season, they had an enormous harvest. One of the farmers, Yen Hongchang, confessed that their harvest, that first year, was more than their harvest in the previous five years combined.
That huge harvest gave them away. Local officials figured out what the farmers were doing and word of what had happened in Xiaogang made its way up the Communist Party chain of command.
At one point, Yen Hongchang was hauled in to the local Communist Party office. The officials swore at him and treated him like a criminal.
But, fortunately for Mr. Yen and the other farmers, there were powerful people in the Communist Party who wanted to change China’s economy. Deng Xiaoping, the Chinese leader who would go on to create China’s modern economy, was just coming to power.
So instead of executing the Xiaogang farmers, the Chinese Communist leaders decided to hold them up as a model for the rest of China.
Within a few years, farms all over China adopted the principles in that secret document. People could own any excess they grew. The government soon launched other merit-based economic reforms, and China’s economy started to explode.
Since 1978, 500 million people have risen out of poverty in China, thanks to the Xiaogang farmers.
The electric car had problems. It took a very long time to charge the inefficient batteries that powered the first electric cars. Even worse, the electric cars had a short range, about 125 miles. Lastly, those electric cars had poor acceleration.
Elon Musk decided to focus his efforts on the development of batteries that allowed electric cars, for the time, to travel 300 miles one one charge. Musk’s batteries also delivered far more power, enabling his cars to travel from zero to sixty in 3.1 seconds – faster than the best gas-powered cars.
Problem solvers, like Tesla, the 18 farmers and Musk transform the world in which we live and are rewarded financially for their solutions.
Seek out problems, don’t run away from them. Inside every problem is a solution waiting to be found. Those who seek solutions to problems will find success waiting for them on the other side of those problems.
Tom Corley is an accountant, financial planner and author of “Rich Kids: How to Raise Our Children to Be Happy and Successful in Life”, Effort-Less Wealth, Change Your Habits Change Your Life, Rich Habits Poor Habits and “Rich Habits: The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals.”