The real PROBLEM

Welcome to a little blog series unpacking the logic of the Go Get Em card game! This post is the third in a series of five, discussing what makes the game what it is, and hopefully we'll learn a little something about running a micro-business along the way!

You probably have nothing to offer anyone. Sorry.

Harsh, right?

The sooner you realise that, though, the sooner you can get to the real work of creating something awesome - the work of discovering what it is that people -your people- actually need. What are they missing? What causes them stress, pain, or even just inconvenience?

The idea that you already have the solution to their problems prevents you from truly hearing what those problems actually are.

I almost want to type that out again. Because this principle is one of those lessons that transcends business. It's just good life advice, really! The more enamoured you are with yourself and your own thinking processes - even a product idea that you may have already formed!, the less you will be able to hear people over the sound of your own voice.

Business, in other words, is about listening.

If you were to sit one of your people down, the people that you've identified that you care about, what exactly would they complain about to you? What gets in their way? What frustrates them, what keeps them in a state of not being able to do exactly what they wish they could do?

I grew up with someone unemployed; my beautiful, humble, gentle larrikin of a dad. I am so fortunate to have had a childhood with a man like him in it. By and large, the work force has denied him opportunities on the basis of something outside his control; but talking to him, you can't help but feel that there is so much potential latent within him! What would it mean, I have always wondered, to empower people like my dad, to achieve what they want to achieve? The more I thought about it, the more something like a game began to emerge as *maybe* something that could help. And that's really how Go Get Em came about. Throughout the process, I sat with other change-makers in the unemployment and homelessness space, listening to talks, having coffees. All seemed to agree that this narrative that's out there, of people choosing disadvantage was entirely false. That by and large, the poverty-stricken and disadvantaged are really victims of terrible circumstances. People who have real potential, in other words, who have simply not been given the opportunities to explore that potential.

Until you can describe your customers' problem with tears welling in your eyes, I'm not really sure you've found: a) a problem you can put the emotional energy required into building a micro-business around, or b) a way to articulate that problem in a way that's accurate, or that matters to you, or your customers.

The invitation to find a PROBLEM might appear at first, to be an invitation to think negatively - but the truth is just the opposite; it's a chance to think positively enough about a PERSON, to take their struggle seriously.

What is a problem in life that you care about? Or that more importantly, the people you care about, care about?

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