4 Lessons Entrepreneurs Can Learn From NASA

Thriving as an entrepreneur requires creative problem-solving. However, tackling issues head-on is a delicate dance, demanding sharp-witted thinking and a calm response all at once. People like Jerry C. Bostick, the flight dynamics officer on Apollo 13, make problem-solving look easy.

When an explosion in one of the oxygen tanks rendered the spacecraft useless, panic could have easily set in. According to Bostick, calmly laying out the options seemed like a more productive option, which is why the crew evaded an almost catastrophic outcome. As an entrepreneur, here are some ways you can learn from Bostick’s incredible problem-solving capabilities.

Take Out The Guesswork

Though hypothetical reasoning has its place in problem-solving, it’s far more effective to work the problem. In other words, don’t devise solutions that aren’t rooted in reality. Gene Kranz, the flight director who oversaw the Apollo 13 mission, warned that the situation would only worsen if they relied on guessing.

To ensure a safe return, Kranz and his staff started looking at the circumstances methodically. By defining the problem, determining goals, creating alternative solutions, and implementing their methods with confidence, they averted a crisis. In essence, with problem-solving, practicality goes a long way.

Adapt As Needed

Even the most proactive and structured entrepreneurs can’t account for everything. When stumbling blocks arise, it’s imperative to adapt. Otherwise, you’ll fail to make it out unscathed. Simply put, change is inevitable, so it’s best to divorce yourself from any stubbornness.

Nokia is a prime example of how agility bodes well for long-term success. Though Nokia started as a paper company, it began making military equipment years later. These days, many know Nokia as a prominent cell phone manufacturer. What Nokia so elegantly demonstrated is that good things come to those who embrace change and adjust accordingly.

Question The Problem

When problems rear their unexpected heads, our first response is to develop a solution immediately. This knee-jerk reaction will only provide a temporary fix. With that said, continue inquiring until you’ve covered all your bases. While it’s essential to rely on your instincts, problem-solving involves more strategy.

When you ask yourself why something is going wrong, it treats more than just the symptoms. It also remedies the problem and, in turn, keeps it from happening again. The more you practice this habit, the more effective your problem-solving will be.

Think Positively

When Bostick was faced with a seemingly insurmountable problem, he refused to let failure be an option. Thanks to his unwavering optimism, they eventually reached a feasible solution. When negative thinking takes hold, it thwarts our ability to think logically and creatively.

Positive emotions, on the other hand, encourage awareness and attention. With that in mind, we can all take a page out of Bostick’s playbook. When you cast pessimistic thoughts and feelings aside, it makes way for pragmatism. As a result, positivity prevails, making it easier to resolve problems promptly and efficiently.

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