In the early 1800s, an epidemic commonly known as “childbed fever” was wiping out as many as 30% of all childbearing mothers per year. Doctors were perplexed by the mortality rate of the mysterious disease. They were constantly looking for a cause and cure.
In 1846, Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis began a study that would change the course of humanity.
Childbed fever, or puerperal fever, as it is scientifically known, is “any bacterial infection of the female reproductive tract following childbirth or miscarriage.” It’s an extremely painful condition resulting in high fevers, swelling and severe abdominal pain.
Dr. Semmelweis became obsessed with finding a cure when he started a new job in the maternity ward at Vienna General Hospital. He witnessed many deaths firsthand.
He began his observation by recording the number of puerperal fever deaths in two different maternity wards. The first one was staffed by doctors and medical students. The second one was staffed by midwives.
His results were even more confusing. He discovered that women died at a rate of five times higher in the ward staffed by doctors and medical students.
Little by little, Semmelweis continued ruling out various possibilities that he thought could be causing the deaths. One notable difference between the wards was that the ward staffed with physicians and medical students was also performing autopsies.
The first thing he did was order the physicians to wash their hands and equipment with soap and chlorine after each autopsy. Interestingly enough, he chose chlorine, not because of its disinfecting properties, but because he thought it would help mask the odors.
This simple act immediately resulted in a huge drop in “childbed fever” deaths.
Simple solutions can often solve significant challenges.
Case in point: Several years back, I hired a marketing company to manage my google campaigns. I thought to grow my business; I needed to spend thousands of dollars. I could have bought a used car with the amount of money that I wasted!
While there are exceptions to every rule, you usually do not need to make complicated or significant changes to see big results. You do not have to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on courses to become successful. Simple can go a long way toward building your business.
If you own an online business, you might send handwritten thank you notes to your most loyal customers, letting them know they are not just a number to you.
Maybe your side hustle is Craigslist or eBay, you might post more than one image, giving you a little bit of an edge over your competitors.
Perhaps mowing lawns is your side hustle. Consider asking your customers if you can place a sign in their yard, allowing you some free advertisement.
Small things often have a way of becoming huge for your side hustle if you’re willing to put in just a little extra work.
Sometimes the solution is as simple as washing your hands.