I Have Question

“One who asks a question is a fool for five minutes; one who does not ask a question remains a fool forever.” – Confucius

I get it, asking questions can feel awkward, even like you are admitting you don’t know, and our pride and confidence just won’t allow us to do that sometimes!

But we need to, especially if we are business owners.

How do you otherwise find out what you don’t know?  How do you further explore that which you thought you knew?  If you don’t know what all you don’t know then how can you know?

I don’t know about you, but that circular thought has me confused!

“Better to ask a question than to remain ignorant.” – Proverb

In ancient times, and even on some college campuses today, a philosopher or wise person would sit under a tree and many people would gather and sit on stumps or the ground in a circle at their feet. 

They would ask questions and commit time to listen to the answers, and the discussion, and to being taught.  They were there to gain knowledge for themselves, but also to then take that knowledge and give it to others.

Maybe that is why a think-tank or mastermind is often referred to as a RoundTable discussion…hummm…I guess I will have to ask.

“Part of being successful is about asking questions and listening to the answers.” – Anne Burrell

Asking questions does 4 things:

  1. Gives insight, possibly even about things that never crossed your mind
  2. Allows you to explore different perspectives and points of view
  3. Immerses you in cultural differences and the wisdom of others
  4. More than often leads to innovative thought and action

Here is the thing – as I chat here about asking questions many of you may be thinking “I do!” – I ask my boss, my parents and elders, my friends, experts in my field, mentors, or even my dog all kinds of questions. 

That’s great!  But there are 3 people you may be forgetting to ask:

  • Your clients/customers
  • Your PAST clients/customers (or those that said NO)
  • YOU!

Think about it…if you don’t ASK your clients/customers about their experience, their expectations (met or not), their desires, needs, fears, and dreams, then how can you serve them?  How can you improve your business, your processes, your products and programs?  How can you grow?

“There is no stupid question; stupid people don’t ask questions.” – Olivia

We are all confident in what we do, what we provide for others and how it can help, but OVERconfidence to the point of not asking for feedback is egotistical and actually makes you and your business vulnerable to failure.

ASKING is not a weakness and it has a multitude of benefits including (1) it can prevent you from repeating mistakes; (2) it can lead to innovation; (3) it encourages new opportunities for growth.

Who doesn’t want that?

When it comes to asking YOURSELF hard questions remember, you are not questioning yourself and who you are but rather asking yourself how can you stretch, how can you grow, what do you want your life to be? 

Think of it like a rubberband.  Asking yourself those probing questions is like stretching the band.  If you don’t ask – you don’t stretch.  And a rubberband that is not pulled tight is useless. 

“The first step to receiving an answer is being brave enough to ask a question.” – Kaitlyn Bouchillon

It takes courage to ask questions of yourself, your clients and your past clients.  I get it. 

But how else will you know?

“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.  The important thing is not to stop questioning.”  – Albert Einstein

Knowledge is having the right answer.  Intelligence is asking the right question

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