What's Your Problem?
by Bill Marvin, The Restaurant Doctor™

I know, you don't have problems, you have challenges. You might say they are not problems, they are opportunities.

I acknowledge that it is less paralyzing to think of opportunities rather than problems but whatever euphemisms you use, you are still left with a problem in drag! I wonder if the wording ever appreciably changes things for most people.

However, problems (challenges, opportunities or whatever) are a daily fact of life and dealing with them seems to define the job of most hospitality managers. So let's take another look at problems, not from a cosmetic point of view but with an eye toward reaching a different under-standing of what is and what is not really a problem.

Problems
A problem is merely a situation that you don't yet have a handle on.

Think about that for a minute. The only reason you would look at a situation as a problem is that you just cannot quite see how to deal with it. Certainly if you knew how to handle it, you would not be likely to think of it as a problem in the first place.

A nuisance, perhaps, but not really a problem.

If you are honest with your-self, you have to admit that virtually all of the situations you face in life, personal or professional, ultimately have a work-able solution. So when something looks like a dilemma, all you are really facing is an event where the answer is not yet apparent to you. You know there is a solution, you just have to figure out how and where to find it. So there really is no problem.

Conditions
If you have a situation where there is no possible resolution, you do not have a problem, you have a condition. For example, gravity is not a problem, it is a condition.

Now you can love gravity or you can hate it but you are not going to change it! Because gravity is a condition, you are best advised to just accept it and devote your energies to pursuits more productive than complaining about it.

What other "problems" do you face every day (and waste time getting upset about) that are, in fact, really conditions? Government regulations? Taxes? Business seasonality?

Telling the difference
You may well ask how you can tell what is a condition and what is a problem. If making the distinction is interesting to you, see the article "What Do You Think?"

for further information, contact:

Bill Marvin, The Restaurant Doctor
EFFORTLESS, INC.
PO Box 280
Gig Harbor, WA 98335
(800) 767-1055


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