[ON #7] The Wrong Problem

Yesterday, my friend sent me a tweet by an entrepreneur basically talking about how it was time for him to possibly throw in the towel.

It was really honest and it would be great if more people openly shared such things to show the journey of this game. I’ve linked to the thread in the PS along with my response to it, but I think you should read the rest of this email.


Because it’s important dammit.

Let’s talk about the Pet Rock for a minute. It was a dumb idea. Nobody but the guy who thought of it figured it was a good idea.

And yet it made the guy millions.


Because deep down it solved a problem that some people had.


I know that sounds ridiculous and no doubt a ton of people bought it as a gag, but there were some people that were genuinely lonely and wanting some companionship.

So they bought a rock.

Seriously, stop laughing. I’m dropping truth bombs here.

My point is that if you solve the right problem you can make a lot of money. But it has to be the RIGHT problem.

Too many people are solving the wrong problems but what does that really mean?

You know that to make money you need to solve a problem that your customer has, but not all problems are created equal. Some problems we can live with and some problems need to get out of the way.

Here’s a good example: automation.

Doing too many manual tasks is a HUGE problem and so automation feels like it’s a solution to a real problem. But…

Automation is very general. When people say they want to automate my business what exactly does that mean? Does it mean they’ll automate the stuff that I like to do? I don’t even know what stuff needs to be automated.

And that’s where the problem lies. Telling me that you’re going to automate my business doesn’t lead me to envision a better future. 

It makes me ask questions about what you’re talking about.

So does that mean automation is the wrong problem? It depends. The example I gave shows it’s the wrong problem, but let’s go smaller.

When someone buys one of my offers they automatically get sent a welcome sequence. That’s automation that makes sense to me because I can see how it saves me time and it’s not something I want to do manually.

(Although manually sending thank you emails is probably a great way to get started in building True Fans.)

If I was manually sending out these emails and you came to me saying that I could write the email once and automation would take care of the rest for the end of time, I can envision that future.

I can SEE that it’s going to save me time. Which means the RIGHT problem is being solved.

Sometimes the wrong problem is simply a right problem framed incorrectly. Other times it’s just the wrong problem.

Let’s look at another problem and how it’s framed.

A lot of Creators that use Twitter don’t have a true funnel set up. I could go to them and say, “You have a problem, you don’t have a funnel!”

Is that really a problem for them? They tweet, send out newsletters, and make money, so a lack of a funnel doesn’t seem to be a problem to them.

So what do I do?

In this case, I need to understand who I want to talk to (yeah, yeah, know your audience) and then change how things are framed.

“You’re working harder than you need to get a sale and you probably only selling to the people who come across your offer at the right time. What about those that need months before deciding? How do you sell to them without selling while making sure that when the time is right they think of you?”

Or let’s try another angle…

“What happens when you want to take a break from sending out newsletters and grinding out social media posts? Does your business take a pause? Do you put up the Closed sign? Or do things continue to hum as if you were still grinding for 12 hours on the keyboard?”

Many of you are close to the bigger success that you crave and the thing that is missing is probably how you’re framing the problem that you solve. Because again, people WANT their problems solved as long as they can see it’s the right problem solved.

Here is the tweet I was talking about earlier and my response. I did a decent dive into what I felt the issues were. 

Apparently, people like this kind of stuff so I’ll do more of these breakdowns in the future.

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