Why You Need To Ask Better Questions

| By Mike Michalowicz (Google+)

As entrepreneurs, we ask ourselves questions all the time – how we can get more customers, how we can get more money, or how even how we can get more expenses to qualify as a legitimate tax deductions (come on, we’ve all done it). But when it comes to asking ourselves questions, we would be better served if we asked better questions. By doing so, we may just find that we are also given better solutions.

Ask better questions to get better answers


Get Better

Bill Gates, for example, didn’t sit around and ask, “How do I write a computer operating system?” Instead, he asked, “How do I write a computer operating system that will be on every single PC in the entire world?” He asked a better question, and he got a better answer. You see, our brain is constantly thinking of answers. That’s its job. It is constantly answering questions. Think about it – if you hear a weird noise upstairs, and no one else is home, your brain starts cranking away. Your brain tells you it must be that strangler who scales to the second floor of houses, and comes in through the bathroom window to hide in your shower for the next five hours, waiting until you are asleep, and then… Don’t deny it. Your brain has told you these bizarre stories, and you believed them. You probably even slept on the coach, instead of risking the trip up stairs. But here is the good news. You can harness this brain power and turn it to your entrepreneurial advantage.

You do this by asking yourself great questions. Then simply let your brain go to work. Big questions get big answers. Don’t worry about finding immediate answers. It rarely happens that way. It may take days or months or whatever. Just keep asking the question – that’s the key – the answer will come in due time.


Go Big

Since your brain is always eager to give answers, you need to make sure to avoid asking it bad questions. Bad questions will provide limited answers. For example, don’t ask “Why does my business struggle?” because your brain will tell you why (and you will believe it). Instead, ask “What can I do to make my business thrive?”

And you want to make sure that you ask yourself questions that are big. Good, big questions will give you good, big answers. Don’t ask, “How do I make more money?” since your brain may simply show you how to make a dollar more. (After all, that is ‘more money.’) Instead, ask “How do I make $1 million this year?”

You may be a little skeptical at first, but you have to trust that the answers will come unexpectedly, out of nowhere. Maybe it will pop into your mind as you are showering and all of a sudden “Whammo!” there is the answer. Or just maybe you hear a strange noise upstairs and this time your brain says, “That’s it!” That is it. It isn’t a strangler; I have actually found the answer to cold fusion!

Posted in Entrepreneur Stories, Entrepreneur Strategies, Mindset,

15 Responses to “Why You Need To Ask Better Questions”

  1. Great post Mike! I love how the brain works. As a side note, the Bill Gates operating system story is even more interesting that that. Read this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seattle_Computer_Products

  2. Fred Pieplow says:

    It’s really hard to get to the right answers if you are not asking the right questions.

  3. Deolu says:

    Good piece Mike

  4. Great suggestions Mike. Another way to ask bigger and better questions is to look at trends and the future of your business. Something like “How can I leverage ‘Trend x’ to create thousands of raving fans for my business?” Answering these types of questions can help position a business as a market leader.

  5. John Paul Engel says:

    Mike very funny. Thank you. One of my mentors once told me “John, if you want to lead an extra ordinary life you first need to have extraordinary expectations. You’ve got to have big dreams and hold yourself to a high standard…” He then went on to invent selling insurance on the Internet and made over $100 million in the process….

    • Holy smokes, that is amazing. I agree with the extraordinary vision, fully. It is hard to keep it in place when the results aren’t immediate. But if sticking with it brings $100 million (and more importantly, loads of happiness)…. I’M IN!

  6. Marlee Calloway says:

    Exactly. We have seen the results of asking bigger questions.

  7. Tim McEneny says:

    Think Big but don’t be afraid to start Small and build on your success! Progressive improvement beats the hell out of postponed perfection.

  8. Steven Cohen says:

    Mike you nailed it. Great article. How true. I call it the runaway brain syndrome. Either you learn how to control your brain or it will control you. I think it breaks down to the art of thinking. The brain is a muscle and needs to be worked out just like working out our body in the gym. The more we think the stronger the brain muscle becomes. Better thinking allows us to ask better questions. It’s that simple.

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