Problem-solving is underrated.
It was 2005 and the world was on a collective high. It seemed that everyone wanted to expand reach, build competencies, buy companies, double staff and achieve double-digit revenue growth. Confident in the economy and my prospects, I had just left my role as Chief Strategy Officer with iCrossing and was looking to take a short sabbatical before making my next move.
Barely a day had passed when I received an unexpected employment proposition from a respected firm. I demurred, insisting that I needed a short break. Looking back, the response was a harbinger of things to come: “Well, if you won’t work for us, will you help us solve a problem on a consultant basis?” Of course, I said yes.
From 2005-2008, I built a strategy practice around the needs of growth companies. Start-ups and established companies alike knocked on my door, seeking corporate strategy counsel, growth plans, acquisition target recommendations and scenario building. We were all at the right place at the right time, and life was good.
Then the recession hit. Hockey-stick growth dreams and early retirement plans were replaced with humble pie as clients learned that much of their revenue was built on easy consumer access to plastic that fed an insatiable demand for goods and services.
The story might have ended there. I contemplated closing shop and writing a book over the harsh winter when something very interesting happened: Multiple companies came calling to solve problems. As turned out, the smart companies decided that survival depended upon evolution and transformation, and were looking for an experienced problem-solver.
Thus, Luminary Labs was born. As it turned out, problem solving is a skill that is never outmoded.