There’s a story, a rather colorful one, painted by a UPS commercial that has etched itself deep within my mind. The story starts with daydreams—seemingly unrealistic goals that often find a home on a sticky note or in the quiet corners of a sketchbook. These dreams, this company proposes, are the first step toward problem-solving. These are the seeds that, when planted in the fertile ground of problem-solving, sprout into businesses that move mountains. That’s UPS for you—a behemoth of 400,000 problem solvers, a united front ready to turn your wildest dreams into reality.

That story resonates with me and my own career journey. Why, you may ask? Well, it’s simple—it mirrors the value I have always put on being a problem solver. This little commercial feels like a moving picture of my professional ethos.

Let’s take a trip down memory lane. Picture me, just a cog in the massive machine that is the corporate world. What defined me in that vast sea of individuals? I don’t think it was my work or passion—but my ability to solve problems. I was a knife, honed and sharpened on the whetstone of challenges, ready to slice through any issue that arose.

Here’s the secret sauce: to solve problems, you must first learn to listen—to really listen. And when you speak? It’s not a loudspeaker of opinions; it’s a clear, crisp conversation. It’s the art of transforming complexity into simplicity, of taking tangled thoughts and weaving them into a tapestry of clarity.

And then, there was Ascendio. A place where—together with an incredible team—we morphed from problem solvers to dream enablers. I didn’t just tell our clients we would meet their needs—I promised we would turn their biggest goals into their biggest achievements. Together, we would navigate the labyrinth of their challenges, chipping away at them, one at a time.

And what happens when you do that? When you unearth challenges, tackle them head-on, and transform them into stepping stones? That’s when magic happens. That’s when dreams transform into reality. That’s when a daydream, a simple thought, becomes an achievement—an achievement that stands tall, a testament to the power of problem-solving.

In essence, being a problem solver, just like UPS’s army of 400,000, is about helping dreams take flight. It’s about transforming the easier-said-than-done into the proudly-done-and-dusted. And that, my friends, is one of the most valuable lessons from my career journey.

Stephen Boudreau serves as VP of Brand and Community at Virtuous Software. For over two decades, he has helped nonprofits leverage the digital space to grow their impact. To that end, Stephen co-founded RaiseDonors, a platform that provides nonprofits with technology and experiences that remove barriers to successful online fundraising. He is an avid (but aging) soccer player, audiobook enthusiast, and the heavily-disputed UNO champion of his household.

Copyright ©2023 Stephen Boudreau.