By: Shama Hyder, Senior Contributor, Entrepreneurs
Retrieved from: Forbes, “How To Become An Entrepreneur: Find A Problem And Be The Solution”
Entrepreneurship isn’t an easy or simple profession, but as with any field, there are basic principles that govern success. The most fundamental truth in entrepreneurship is this: find a problem and be the solution. If you want to become a successful entrepreneur, your business must fill a gap, solve an issue, or provide a product that didn’t previously exist.
That’s exactly what entrepreneurs Carl C. Schuessler, Jr. and Barry Murphy did. They understood that the healthcare crisis in America is ongoing and many employers are struggling to navigate it. They found that employer-provided health insurance can be a confusing road to navigate, and it is difficult for employers to provide quality benefits at a cost that respects the corporate bottom line. With failed solutions from traditional health insurance carriers, many employers have given up on trying to find good, yet affordable, coverage for their staff.
This is the problem Mitigate Partners set out to solve. Now, they act as the problem-solvers, consulting with businesses on employee benefits, risk management, and cost containment. Their success—they have 30 independent offices across the United States—can be attributed to that basic entrepreneurship principle. They are the solution to a problem many business owners are facing.
Hopeful entrepreneurs can learn from Mitigate Partners’ experience and take these three steps toward building a business that solves people’s problems.
Be on the lookout for problems to solve
If you see something, say something—or, in this case, do something. Schuessler’s inspiration for founding Mitigate Partners came after reading the Time magazine article by Steven Brill, America’s Bitter Pill, which uncovered America’s broken healthcare system. At the time, it was the longest article ever published by Time Magazine. The article gave fuel to Schuessler’s frustrations of being unable to help his clients with their healthcare costs using traditional carrier approaches. He also became aware of many other advisors and consultants who were trying to reform the healthcare system.
Identifying a problem and the dialogue around that problem is the first step toward becoming a solution. In your entrepreneurial journey, read magazines, newspapers, blogs, and social posts to understand what issues people are facing in modern society. Use these as a starting point for your business.
Connect the problem to your passion
One thing is for sure: you cannot sustain a career as an entrepreneur if you are not passionate about your work. This is another principle of entrepreneurship that Schuessler finds important. He was extremely passionate about the healthcare system and about providing solutions for employers. Enthusiasm for his field is what drives him and motivates him to spread the message of his business.
As you take up your journey to entrepreneurship, take time to identify your passions and your strengths. There will always be an intersection between a societal problem and a passion of yours. Perhaps you are deeply passionate about food, and you discovered that your local community faces high rates of food insecurity. There is an intersection between a problem and your passion that makes room for innovation, growth, and creativity.
Be convicted, committed, and creative
Once you have identified where your passion connects to a larger problem, it’s time to start the brainstorming process. Let your passion drive you to come up with innovative solutions to the problem you’ve identified. Write out ideas, talk about them with friends, and run them by people you trust. Schuessler says pushback is inevitable and every entrepreneur should be prepared to champion their ideas and their dreams, even when others doubt them.
Mitigate Partners devotes much of their time to changing how people think about insurance and healthcare. If you’ve found a major problem in society, it’s likely that you’ll spend a large part of your journey convincing people that old ways of thinking are coming up short. Know that this is the hard work of entrepreneurship, but it’s also the meaningful work that motivates change.
Entrepreneurship is an incredibly rewarding field that gives people the power to make measurable changes. Stay informed about your community and the world around you, and identify where your passions can solve problems in society.