Trouble Shooting

Trouble Shooting

Key Questions: (Buried The Lede Again, But You Can Scroll Down For Them)

I had a small business years ago in Los Angeles.  I was installing and repairing air conditioning and heating systems, repairing household appliances and had a friend with an appliance sales company, so when she would sell new built-in appliances I would get the lion’s share of the installation jobs.  The work ebbed and flowed but in general there was enough money in it to keep my morale high.


It was enough to bother with. This point is crucial in business. “Is what you want to pursue enough to bother with?

I got really good at my work. I was able to diagnose a job over the phone and go to the job site ready with the correct replacement parts if any were needed.


Keep in mind that every machine comes out of the factory with a wiring diagram and schematic folded and placed in a plastic bag at the rear of the appliance, or in the case of an air conditioner the diagram would be glued to the inside of the access panel.


Though I could read and follow these diagram, flow charts and schematics I preferred to simply get acquainted with what the machine was supposed to do and the sequence of actions leading up to a particular function and then ask the homeowner the following question – “Please tell me, what is the machine NOT doing?


I found that to be a magical Key Question, “What is the machine NOT doing?” Not just in my service business but even now when I’m asked to help trouble shoot problems in business and stalled idea development, because when you know what the machine (or YOU) is supposed to be doing and then understand what it isn’t doing all you have to do is address that thing that isn’t happening.


The question becomes, is there a ‘Trouble Shooting Guide’ when you get stuck during, what seems like, a right process you’re following?


Yes there is. The guide is comprised of twelve 3-step processes that help trouble shoot where things are going off the rails. These processes help you determine what isn’t happening, then helps get you back on track.


Advisory Board:

Are my expectations realistic? Am I fixated on a particular outcome? Am I seeking correct council? (An assembly or meeting for consultation, advice, or discussion.)


Advisory: “having or consisting in the power to make recommendations but not to take action enforcing them.”


Again, it’s up to you to implement sound advice and and council. Are you a good student? Can you apply sound concepts? Is it up to you? Yes it is 🙂

Two Things To Know:

In the case of a business or person all you really need to know are two things, 1) what is supposed to be happening or being delivered, and 2) what is not being done or not being delivered?  When you have an intimate understanding of a situation then you can quickly assess the problem and repair it.


What The Heck!

So, we want to get from ‘here’ to ‘there’ in the shortest, most timely, swiftest, efficient way possible! 🙂 (There’s my redundancy brain speaking).


As an inventor or an entrepreneur we tend to sink our teeth into a project and not let go until we succeed. This is a bitter sweet relationship; the relationship between you and your idea, product or service especially during the building stages.


And even after when we apply all the ‘best practices’ and education we’ve consumed we sometimes feel stuck. Something is NOT working.


Again, the question becomes, is there a ‘Trouble Shooting Guide’ when you get stuck during, what seems like, a right process you’re following?


After all, you did everything expected of you. You followed your coach’s advice. You did what you were told, and so on.


YES, there is a trouble shooting guide to diagnose your activities and get you back on track. This book is being edited and I will be releasing it late January. Stand by 🙂


Three Points To Consider, Your Expectations And Motivation:

Remember, there are twelve 3-step processes that comprise the ‘Trouble Shooting Guide’ – here’s one process that helps un-stick you when you are wondering what is going on, and why things are stalled or moving more slowly than you’d like.


Everything starts from an idea for a product, service or business. Even a song begins with an idea. But if our ideas are great why don’t we act on them?  Once you get an idea the progression rolls out like this…


  1. Think it (you have the idea)
  2. Decide on it (decide what it means to you)
  3. Act on it (you will only act on something in DIRECT proportion to what it means to you)


Action Steps:

  1. Write down the idea or concept in as clear and vivid detail as possible.  Draw a picture if that is more powerful.
  2. Write down clearly and vividly what this idea means to you.  Then write down what this idea means or does not mean to others (are they excited or indifferent?  What are their comments or concerns after you told them about this?).  Then, again write down what this idea means to you in clear vivid detail.
  3. List out the action steps that will help bring this idea to life then go into action and get something done!  Keep in mind that as you continue along this journey more activities will reveal themselves to you so this list will grow.



So, clearly vet your idea through ‘Opportunity Analysis’ and the ‘Opportunity Cost’ processes.


How committed are you to this idea? What do you want out of it? Money? Is it a altruistic endeavor? Is it a labor of love and money is not a motivation?


The most important point is number Point 3 above… “You will only act on something in direct proportion to what it means to you.”


If you’re not moving on this idea or are stalled, check your motivation(s) and you might find that you need to adjust or rearrange your motivations.


Most importantly, the point really is you will have to adjust your expectations!!





Featured Image courtesy of Naypong at


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