Thomas Edison Will Never Hire This Person

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Photo by Robert Wiedemann

Most of my coaching clients want to know how to solve problems, I tell them to make decisions and act on them quickly if they are correct, they will have a head start, and if they are wrong, they can pivot and change course.

Most of us do not like to make simple decisions because our brains keep telling us, it can not be that simple. However, most of the time, solutions are that simple.

There is an amazing story about Thomas Edison, Edison used to call it the Light Bulb Test. He had a simple task that he would ask anybody who wants to work for him to complete, he would hand them a light bulb and ask them “ Could you determine the exact amount of water the light bulb can hold?”

Some applicants will start measuring the light bulb, all the complex angles inside the bulb to determine the bulb surface area which allows them to determine the total volume of the glass bulb. This approach will take about 20 minutes to complete by any experienced engineer.

Other applicants approached the problem by filling the bulb with water. Pour the water into a measuring cup and read to determine the exact amount of water the bulb could hold. This approach could be done in 2 minutes by anybody.

Edison will only hire the second type of applicants because he always believed that making a decision quickly and choosing a simple solution is better than overthinking most problems.

In your business, are you overthinking your problems?

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This blog focuses on personal & professional development for business owners. I solve small business big problems.

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