Hey, everyone. It's Sam Ovens here, and today I wanted to shoot a quick video called Stop Confusing Yourself. You know, define the problem and solve it. So one thing that I see that is just plaguing most entrepreneurs, and actually, most people in the entire world is that they're so confused. They don't know what to do, and the main reason why they don't know what to do is because they don't know what they want, and when you don't know what you want, you can't possibly know what to do, and then they end up confused and frustrated because they know they should be doing something but they don't know what because they don't know what they want, and they don't know what to do or what they want because they don't know. All right? So this is just a big mess.
Most of the time, human beings, they actually get satisfaction and joy out of having a clearly defined goal and making steady progress towards that goal. This guy actually did a fascinating study, and I've actually forgotten his name because it's like 28 letters long or something. It's a really complicated name, but what I'll do is I'll link beneath this video to the book that I read by him, which is called Flow. And this book's phenomenal. It talks about flow state and how humans, they talk about this place called the zone. You know, you've probably heard athletes talk about the zone or extreme sports people or coders or anyone. They can get into this very quiet zone state, and when they're in that state it's like their sense of self disappears. It's like time slows down, and space just folds in and collapses, and it's like they're just in the work, right? When you're in this zone, you do your best work.
What this guy wanted to really figure out ... He was a psychologist, and he really wanted to figure out what makes humans happy. And so what he did is he got these little pagers, like these little buzzers, and he gave them out to like hundreds of different people randomly selected all over the world, and they would buzz at random times. At these random times when they buzzed, when it buzzed the person was supposed to pull out a notepad, a notebook which they had in their pocket, and then write down exactly what they were doing at the time that it buzzed and how they were feeling, whether they were feeling happy or whatever.
He let these people collect data for a long time, and then he collected all of that data and he started compiling it and analyzing it. What he found was fascinating. He found that when ... Humans reported being most happy when they were doing a task that had a clearly defined goal and objective and they were making steady progress towards that goal without distraction. And also, they were skilled enough to try the goal but not too skilled that it was easy. All right? So it was challenging but not too challenging, definitely not too easy, clearly defined outcome, and they were left alone without distraction to just focus on it and get it done.
This is very true. Like if you have ever experienced being in the zone before, and if you recollect what was going on at that time, then you'll find that there was a very clearly defined goal and you were left alone to just do your thing and get that goal done. When you're in the zone you feel amazing, and it's probably the most ... It's probably the happiest or the best you can possibly feel, really. It's an amazing place to be, and lots of studies have shown that this is really good for your health too. This is where you're most creative. This is where you're most effective. This is where you're sharp, your mind's at its best. There's so much benefit to being in the zone.
It really correlates to why most people don't know what they want and why they're confused and frustrated, because that is not the zone. When you're confused, frustrated, and you don't know what you want, and you don't know what to do because you don't know what you want, then you're in the anti-zone. It's basically just inverted zone, right? And if the zone is as good as you can feel, then this one's going to be pretty shitty. It makes sense, and it starts because there's no clearly defined objective. It's not very fun to be in a position where you don't know what you're trying to achieve. All right? And it's because then you don't know what to do, and you just get totally confused.
What I've noticed is that most entrepreneurs are like this. I've got a company called consulting.com, and what we do is we help people start and grow their own consulting businesses in any niche. We do Q and A calls, and we do like two of them a week, and we have got like three programs and they go for hours long, so I end up doing probably like six hours a week of Q and A, just answering questions, just hundreds of questions. Right?
I've done this for years, like more than four or five years, and so I've ... Over this amount of time, I've answered a lot of questions and I've observed a lot of people and their situations, and what I've noticed is very similar to the study of the zone and having a clear objective because most of the time on one of these Q and A calls, when somebody gets on and it's their time to speak and ask a question, a lot of the time the person will tell a story. They will say things, and then they won't ask a question, all right? A very clear sign that somebody is confused is when they don't ask a question, and they tell a story or they tell a statement instead.
Also, another sign that someone's confused is if they just tell their story and then they say, "So what do you think?" You can tell that that person is confused. People who aren't confused are the people who will ask a very clear question, and then all the person has to do is answer it, which is very easy. This is fascinating because what I've learned to do from hundreds of these Q and A calls, thousands of hours of them, is just be like, "What's the question?" And a lot of the time the person doesn't even know what the question is, so then I have to help and I have to be like, "Well, what are you trying to do?" And they don't know. Then when I say, "Well, before we do anything, we need to figure out what are you trying to do. What are you trying to achieve here?"
And just by pushing them to think, "What am I trying to achieve here?" they'll get that clarity and they will say, "You know, I'm trying to achieve this. I'm trying to get more clients. I'm trying to grow my business, or I'm trying to get more systems and processes and automation in my business so that I've got more time." Then we've got some clarity. Now we've set that objective. We know what we're trying to do. All right? Then once they've got that, I'll be like, "Okay, well, what's stopping you from doing that?" And a lot of the time the person is just like, "Oh. Well, nothing. I know what to do," and we're done. I didn't even have to answer their question. I didn't even have to really look at their story or anything like that. All I had to do is just ignore what they told me and say, "What are you trying to do, or what's the problem?"
This is a fascinating thing to learn about problem solving, and it works very well if you're trying to solve problems for other people, but it also works extremely well to use on yourself. The reason why I wanted to make this video is that I've noticed a lot of entrepreneurs, they're out there in the world ... And a lot of people, actually. This isn't just for entrepreneurs. This is for humans. They feel frustrated, anxious, confused every day, and it's because they don't know what they should do or what ... They're doing something but they don't know if it's the best thing that they should be doing. The reason why they don't know this is because they don't know what they want longterm.
So step one to solving all of this, to solving all of this confusion and anxiety and everything, is just to figure out what you want, and sometimes it's hard for people to do. Sometimes you've got to take some alone time to go away and think away from social media, away from your phone, away from other people, and just think like, "What do I want? What am I trying to achieve?" And then when you've got that, write it down and make sure it's clear. What you'll find is that when you know what you want and you've written it down and it's defined, now all we're trying to do is find the best possible action to achieve that objective. All right? But we can't possibly choose an action when we don't know what the objective is. So objective number one, then choosing the best possible action.
A lot of the time ... And you know, Einstein said this. He said, "If I had one hour to solve a problem, I'd spend 55 minutes defining it and five minutes solving it," because what I've found, and what you will find, and what thousands of other people or millions of other people have found, is that most of problem solving is problem defining. It's near impossible to solve a problem when it's not defined, and as soon as it's defined it's basically solved. So that's what you've got to think about with yourself.
Like if you're confused right now and you're spending time on social media, you're posting, you're doing podcasts and blogs, and you're just ... All of your time is just getting scattered between all of these different things, right? You're reading all these books, you're meeting these different people, you're working 12 hours a day and you're ... But you're wondering why you don't have any clients, and you're not making any money, and no one is interested in you. Well that's you've got a problem there, and we need to figure out what it is, and to figure that out we need to figure out what you're trying to do.
And what are you trying to do? Because it looks like, to me, what you're trying to do there is just be famous or popular, and that is not the same as successful with clients. The two are not correlated. Quite often fame, the people aren't very good at the thing and they're just good at being famous. They're not very rich or successful at all. They're just good at being famous. That's their skill. If you want to be famous, then you should learn from the famous people. Right? But when it comes to people who are very good at a specific skill, you'll find that they're working on the skill. They're not working on being famous, and they actually don't care about being famous because that isn't the skill.
It seems so clear when you state it like that, but honestly, most people just get taken for the ride because they don't know how to see. A lot of people, this is what's causing a lot of people right now in entrepreneurship to focus on the wrong things. They see someone who has a fast, fancy car on the Internet and then they think, "Oh, well, that person's doing a lot of this, so I should do a lot of that because that's ... because obviously they're successful if they have that car, and I know they are because I saw them in a photo with that car, and therefore they're doing a lot of social media so I should do a lot of social media." That's some really screwed up logic. If you think like that and you make your decisions like that, you're going to run yourself into the ground because there's too many assumptions in there.
Really, if we boil business down to it, all business is solving problems for other people. We want to look at a market, like what is the niche that we want to pick? Let's say it's accountants, right? Let's say we're really ... And how do you pick your niche? Well, you pick your niche based on what you're interested in. Curious about, passionate about, interested in, who cares if you don't have experience in it. It's just a thing of interest. It's a love decision. It's not a logic decision.
So you pick the niche based on passion, and then you look into the niche, and you look at the participants in that niche, and you start talking to them and researching them. You basically want to understand them. You're not trying to offer them anything. You're not trying to think what to offer them. No. You're just trying to understand what problems do these people have, what's their day like, and you understand them. When you understand them, and you talk to enough of them, and they tell you their problems, then you ... A passion appears, and now you see that there's a common, widespread problem that exists amongst the majority of participants in the niche. Now you've found something.
Now what do we do that we have a problem? Then we think, "Well, how could we solve it?" And how do we solve it? Well, we can look at, has anybody else solved this problem, or has anybody else come close, or how can we fix it? And then when you think how you can fix it, then you can come back and offer it to someone, and they should be willing to pay you money for it because that's why people spend money. The whole reason why the global economy ticks and does what it does is because people are out there every day wanting something that they don't have and buying to try and get it. Right? Buying happens because people are trying to find ways to get to a place where they want to be. All businesses are are providers of possible vehicles to get people to where they want to be.
So if you want to be a good provider of these vehicles, then you need to understand the people and what they want so you can provide something to help them get there, and that's all it is. Using first principles, that is as simple as this thing is. I see a lot of people think it's Facebook ads, it's funnels, it's ... I've even seen people say, "Oh, it's just Sam's accent." Seriously. Yeah, it's my accent. People need a slap, you know?
They literally just think it might be like that it's the suit that someone's got on, or some dude's got a watch on, some guy's got a car, or some dude's Twitter account. People need a slap in the face and they need to understand that these things are smoke and mirrors. These things aren't real. They're things put out there to confuse people, and the only thing that really matters is, are you solving a problem? Is it important? And are you actually solving it for people? Because there's people who try to solve problems but they don't quite solve it. Then that doesn't quite work. You need to truly solve the problem.
That's as simple as business is, and really, this transcends business and it goes into life itself. All life is, really, is solving problems, and the best way to solve them is to define the problem. It just makes everything so simple. So the whole point in making this video, and it's just a quick one today, was to stop confusing yourself and to sit down and define the problem. So in life, right now, if you're confused and you're anxious and you're a bit ... you just don't know what you should do, or you're doing something but there's this feeling inside you that you don't think it's the best thing you should be doing, but you're just doing it to do it because if you weren't doing it, you wouldn't know what else to do. All right? So if you're feeling like this and this is your situation, then take some time to sit down and define what you want. Like what is the objective?
Step one is define the objective. Once that is done, then that tells us what action we should take, and the action we should take is the best possible action to try and achieve that objective. How do we know what that is? Well, we want to see if other people or other companies or anyone in the world anywhere at anytime has had this objective and actually obtained it, or gotten close to it, and if they have, what means did they use to achieve that end? What means they used is what means you should use, and whatever means that is, that's what you should do. If you can't do it, learn how to do it. Then by doing that, then you should get close or you should achieve the thing. It's really as simple as that.
This process of just defining a problem can just totally change a business in one minute. Sometimes I get on these Q and A calls with my customers, and in five minutes with some words, we have completely restructured their entire business and life in five minutes. I'm not really performing any magic. A lot of people might think, "Oh, Sam's just really good at all of this stuff, or he's really smart at this sort of stuff," or something like that, but it's not true. I just make it simple. I'm just like, "What are you trying to achieve? Okay. You don't know, or what is it? All right, well, think. What do you want? All right, we've got it. Now, what's stopping you from getting it? All right, well, then how are we going to get you to do it so that you can achieve it?" Simple as that.
To show you, I'll give you one ... I'll end on one example here, because this one is ... I find this one quite amusing. What I noticed is that there was, in my training programs at the beginning, there were people who succeeded and got really good results, and then there was some people who didn't really succeed, and then I wondered why. Is it because these people are way smarter than these people? What is going on here? And so I decided to investigate it, and a lot of the people who don't get results, they don't do the course. That one's quite simple. You don't do the course, you don't do any work, obviously you don't get the results.
But then I wondered why, so I was like, "Why don't they do the course?" So I started investigating that, and then it turns out that really just their lives are so chaotic, and they've got so much going on, and they're so distracted, and they're listening to like 50 different people every day on 19 different podcast, 15 different email lists. They're two pages in on 19 books, they've got another six coming from Amazon, and they're in six courses. They've got four businesses, and they're thinking of starting nine more. This is a bit of an exaggeration, but I'm not kidding you. This is basically what it looks like. That's why they couldn't do the course, and that's why they couldn't do the work, and that's why they couldn't achieve the outcome, yet they're puzzled as to why they don't have the outcome.
So I realized that the course didn't have to be that much fancier. It didn't have to go into more tactics, it didn't have to go into more granular detail. The main obstacle and problem I had to solve was I had to help people just clean up their damn life, because until you get rid of all the baggage, you're not going to have the head space to do anything. Someone in that space, which I just explained before, they're not going to be able to watch a video and take it in, and they're not going to be able to implement something because they're not in the right head space because they've got so much baggage attached to them. And then so how do we deal with it?
Well, we just teach them how to get rid of their baggage, and that's a lot of what we do in our program, is just tell people how to get rid of all of that crap. Like how to stop drinking, how to just stop going out and partying, how to stop wasting time going out and buying meals all the time and prepping for the whole week, and how to get enough sleep, and how to delete all of the apps on your phone and then turn your phone on airplane mode and then put it away in a drawer somewhere, and then how to stop using social media, and then how to unsubscribe from every email list, and how to just get rid of every piece of distraction in their life. Because you need to focus to get something done, and it's hard for people to focus. People sit there and they wonder why they can't focus, and it's because ... This one fascinated me too. Like why can't these people focus?
Well, they're sitting there with all of this distraction and they're trying to focus, and trying to focus in the face of such distraction is very hard. What is the opposite of focus? If we take focus and we turn it upside down, what is the inverse of focus? It's distraction. So if we don't do distraction, then what are we doing? If we don't do distraction, we're doing focus. That's how it works. So instead of getting people to try and focus, I just got them to get rid of distraction, and that is the secret that I use too. I am not really good at focus. I can't sit there with all of this distraction and just focus all day, every day, all the time. It doesn't work. I don't have the willpower to do that, and it's just hard.
So instead I get rid of the distraction. On my phone I've got like four or five apps, and no one texts me, no one calls me, and I have my phone on airplane mode most of the time and in my drawer. I only have one screen on my ... Here. I run my whole business just like that. I don't have lots of stuff around me that's distracting me because the less things you have, then the more focus you have because if we get rid of distraction, then we're focusing. So that's my recommendation to you too, is to focus on getting rid of all the junk and all of the baggage and everything that you're carrying around with you, because if you just do that, then you will do ... You'll be way more successful, and it's way easier to do that than it is to learn some ninja Facebook ad and funnel tactic. All right? And that Facebook ad and funnel tactic, [inaudible 00:22:22] even going to work anyway if you've got all this baggage attached to you.
So sometimes the answer is so much simpler than what we think. We want to look at the tactics. We swear it's going to be another course or something, but it's not. It's just getting rid of the crap in your life so that you can focus, and that's my advice for you. Get rid of the crap, focus, get rid of your phone. That thing is a disaster. Smartphones and social media ... Smartphones, social media, and alcohol are probably the biggest distractions and most toxic things for you if you're trying to succeed in anything, so you get rid of those, then you'll be way more successful. And then if you're still confused, sit down with a pen and ask yourself, what are you trying to achieve? Then what is the best way to achieve that? And then whatever that is, do that task, and don't do anything that isn't that task until it's done. That's how you get things done. It's really that simple.
So that's it for this video today. If you enjoyed it, just click that like button, and also subscribe to my channel on YouTube. I release a video like this every week, once every week on a Tuesday. I also do customer interviews with some of my customers with consulting.com, and we share their stories too. Also, let me know what you think in the comments section below. If you enjoyed this, or you've got a question for me or some feedback, just let me know in that comments section. I'll be checking that personally.
So thanks everyone for watching, and I'll see you in the next video soon.