How to solve challenging problems, by taking strong ownership.

“Make a problem yours Edward.”  These words have had a profound effect on my way of solving problems and stressful situations.  And they were said to me by an old man I greatly admire and respect. And who has shared many dangerous and difficult situations with me through Africa.

Many of you might not know this, but my job before SBS was as a geotechnical technician.  I did soil testing on mines across Africa. My work colleague was a 72-year-old man called Mr. Jacob.  Our typical project usually consisted of him and me in our 4×4’s driving too far off mines in Tanzania, DRC, Namibia, Botswana, and Mozambique for a month or so.

Any of you reading this that have traveled those countries by car will know that trouble is always just around the corner. From paying exorbitant bribes to cross the borders. To vehicles breaking down and being stranded for up to a week next to the road. Even being arrested on suspicion of being mercenaries!

You get it all in Africa and solving problems yourself is part and parcel of traveling through that amazing continent.  Whenever we got ourselves in a fix, and I got a bit agitated and frustrated he would calmly say with a twinkle in his eye “just make the problem yours, and you will find the solution.”

I carried that advice with me when I decided to build this incredible website and resource that is called success begets success.  I knew next to nothing about building and designing websites.  My whole life before was a blue collar type of job.  However, I followed Mr. Jacob’s advice and made this problem mine.  I claimed ownership of it, and it is paying dividends now a hundredfold compared to the time and effort I invested in conquering this problem or challenge.

What does it mean to make a problem yours?


  •  Take ownership of the problem or challenge:  When you assume responsibility for your actions and realize that you and only you are responsible for everything that happens in your life. You will realize that the only way to succeed at something is to immerse yourself in the problem totally.
  • Commit time and effort to find the solution:  It goes without saying that you have to put in the time and effort to find the solution to your particular problem or challenge. Ask experts and do research the solution will eventually present itself.
  • Don’t give up at the first sign of failure:  Believe it or not, failure is a crucial part of success.  Because through failure, you learn lessons. Either you learn not to repeat the problem. Or you learn how to do the action better to achieve the desired results.

If you are stuck with a difficult project at work or home.  Don’t give up too quickly.  Follow Mr. Jacob’s advice and make that problem yours.   I promise you 9 out of 10 times you will find the solution.

Yours in health, wealth and prosperity

Edward Kruger

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