Fellow ADDEs (ADD Entrepreneurs), we are going to be starting a Food for Thought series. In this series of posts, we hope to provide valuable insight that not only makes you think, but also helps you grow more as a person and entrepreneur. These posts are based on our own personal experiences that have helped us become successful entrepreneurs and human beings. We hope you enjoy reading these posts as much as we enjoyed writing them.
Are you asking the right question?
Part of being a successful business leader, is knowing which questions to ask. So let me ask you, when is the last time you asked “why”? Do you remember why you even asked the question why? ”Why” is defined by Merriam-Webster as “for what reason or purpose”. The word “why” is one of the most powerful words in human language. It is the mother of all innovation. Think about it, take televisions as an example. Television was invented because someone essentially asked “why?”. Why can’t we watch shows instead of just listening to them on the radio. After that it was, why can’t we watch shows in color, and then eventually why can’t we make Televisions smaller? No one may have said those exact words, but you get the picture (no pun intended). The point is, a lot of what exists today, wouldn’t exist if someone hadn’t asked the question “why?”.
Humans are naturally curious, or nosy depending on how you look at it, which is why society is much more advanced in many ways today, than it was say 400 years ago. When we ask “why?”, there is usually a problem. With every problem comes opportunity. As entrepreneurs we always look for new ways to solve people’s problems.
“Why are we doing that, this way ?”or “why can’t this happen instead?” These are questions being asked by successful entrepreneurs. In order to be a successful entrepreneur, you need to start asking “why?” more often. Every time you ask “why?”, it is an opportunity for you to learn something new. Something you may have never thought to learn or try. When you try something new, you never know what it may lead to. Believe it or not, I actually got into the domain flipping business, because I wanted to know why I wasn’t ranking well for keywords in Google. Keep in mind this was before I really had any knowledge of SEO. I started with a simple Google search and ultimately ended up in a domain forum where people were discussing various selling tactics. After more research, I knew I wanted to start domaining, as it is referred to, so I started my own site to sell domains (www.exactmatchdomainz.com). The internet is free and most likely holds the answer to anything you are looking for, you just need to find it.
I don’t think a lot of people ask “why?” enough. They simply are told to do something. They don’t know why they are doing it, they just do it. My advice to our readers is to get over that 9-5 cubicle mentality and start asking “why?”. If you want to be an entrepreneur, you need to be asking “why?” as much as possible. You should be asking “why” questions all of the time. Look at something and ask yourself “why is it there?”. If you can train yourself to do this, I think you will be surprised at how much you will actually learn and the opportunities that will become available to you.
As entrepreneur Richard Branson once said, “My biggest motivation? Just to keep challenging myself. I see life almost like one long University education that I never had — everyday I’m learning something new.” So keep asking “why?” and you will continue to learn new things. Who knows, one day it may lead you to the next million dollar idea.