Are You Overthinking It?

Back in August, when hurricane  Isaias rolled through and dumped more rain than ever on the East Coast, I ended up with water in my basement. Luckily it wasn’t much, and my floor is tile, so clean up was easy, but it meant determining how it got in and fixing the problem.


Turns out there was a hole in one of my basement window well covers, so off to the local hardware store I went for a replacement. I’ve been in the store more times than I can count over the years, but this time while waiting to check out I noticed something out of the corner of my eye and turned around to find a gray and white cat walking up the aisle.


Being the curious person that I am, I asked the gentleman who was helping me how long [she’d] been around and he told me the story behind her arrival. In addition to just about anything you could ever need for home maintenance, the hardware store also sells bird seed, and a few years back it was becoming a major problem. Every night while the store was closed, the mice would come out, chew through the bags and leave a mess behind to be cleaned up in the morning.


Their first solution was to put all of the bird seed in big galvanized trash cans with lids and haul it to the back of the store each night, only to come in every morning and have to haul it back out to the shelves for purchase. It seems after a few weeks of this, the employees got tired of the extra heavy lifting and the owner of the store came up with a better solution. He took a trip down the road to the local animal shelter and rescued a cat…. She lives in the store and is on patrol at night when no one else is around, and within a matter of weeks, they no longer had an issue with mice. They also eliminated the need to move the birdseed every night.


Often times when we encounter a problem or issue, we spend hours and hours working out elaborate solutions when there may very well be a much more simple solution if we can think just a little bit outside of the box.  And sometimes a fresh perspective from someone a bit removed from the issue is all it takes to land on the ideal, and often simplest solution.


Is there an issue in your business that you’ve been overthinking? And who might you be able to reach out to for help in finding the simplest solution? Usually, the answer is much closer than we realize and often just one connection away (phone call, email, text) … so don’t be shy about reaching out.

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