Solve the immediate problem

March 8, 2011

Problems come up. They’re inevitable for you and your colleagues, friends and family members. And when you’re running a business, a lot of things can happen quickly, a contract falls through or there’s an unhappy customer calling. You can differ, you can wait until tomorrow and you can let it hit you in the face when its too late to do something about it. What’s more important is that when there is a problem you can solve, you get in its way. You solve it and it’s over. And if you can do it without spilling your beer, we salute you.

During spring training in Florida in a Toronto Blue Jays and Atlanta Braves game, Atlanta Braves second baseman Dan Uggla lost control of his bat and it went flying into the crowd. You know, one of those uncontrollable bats that you can only watch and cringe at. Normally, these just end up somewhere in the midfield. Not this bat, it went straight into the filled stands. Step in Mitch Davie. He’s enjoying the game and having a beer on a beautiful Sunday afternoon. In a split second, instead of letting the bat produce very certain welts on fans close to him, Mitch Davie puts his arm out to save his fellow fans. He solved the problem right in front of him while everyone else put their arms out to protect themselves. Brilliant.

Mitch Davie kept his eye on what the most important problem at that moment and solved it not only for himself, but for his peers as well. Instead of waiting for it to hit many people around him, he made the decision and solved the problem. And he did it all without spilling his beer. When was the last time you solved the problem in front of you?

about the author

FreshBooks is the #1 accounting software in the cloud designed to make billing painless for small businesses and their teams. Today, over 10 million small businesses use FreshBooks to effortlessly send professional looking invoices, organize expenses and track their billable time.