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Accept the Problem

Whenever you hear someone saying "It should work," you know they will have a problem solving their problem.

The key to solving a problem in Excel is to assume that you made a mistake. You are human (unless of course sales of this book are so great they're now reading it on Mars) and humans make mistakes.

If you think you didn't make a mistake then you won't look very hard for the solution. If you think you did, you'll look more carefully.

Today it is easier than ever to find out what's causing your mistake because thousands of people like you have already made the mistake and posted it to a website that Mr. Google knows about.

But, Google doesn't always have the answer. More experienced Excel users will know right away what is causing the mistake. This is because they had the mistake, fought with it and found the solution. The next time it appears their mind is aware that this issue can occur.

So what do you do if you have a problem?  First step is to look for something that looks different. This is where your intuition kicks in. What's new? What haven't you done before? What's changed?

This will often point you to the cause of the problem. But if that doesn't work, then you need to simplify until you have something that works then add back things until you identified the problem.

Now if you can't solve the problem you'll become an Excel hater and if you do solve it, you'll love Excel. Just remember you did something wrong (it doesn't mean you're a bad person, it means you're evil ;) and keep looking until you find the solution.

Just reading this book won't teach you Excel. You'll have to suffer a bit by solving problems.

OK, enough of my commentaries turn the page to learn Excel.