As an entrepreneur and investor; I have come to observe that starting a business, quitting your job, improving your personal life, handling business challenges and solving intricate business problems all begin with you asking the right questions.
Without asking the right questions in life; you will never find the right answers. Now you might ask yourself: what has asking the right question got to do with building a business or undergoing the entrepreneurial process? My answer is everything.
Without asking the right questions; you will never become a successful entrepreneur
Without the right question, there will be no business idea generation
My business mentor “Robert Kiyosaki” said that your business team is only as smart as you are. This means that if you don’t ask the right questions; you may be shielded from the right answers.
Creativity and innovation are products of asking the right questions
In fact, business and entrepreneurship in general is all about asking the right questions and seeking the right answers. My quest for finding the right answers resulted in my contact with John Mason’s book “Why ask why: How to ask the right questions and get the right answers.”
In this article, I will be sharing with you some real life questions you must answer and ten life lessons I learned from John Mason’s “why ask why.” If you are still willing to learn, then read on.
Why Ask Why: 5 Life Lessons for Entrepreneurs from John Mason
1. Do you leave people better than you meet them?
“If you give people tools and they use their natural ability and their curiosity, they will develop things in ways that will surprise you very much beyond what you might have expected.” – Bill Gates
Lesson One: Invest in others, it pays great dividends.
2. Has failure gone to your head?
“Failure is just a resting place. It is an opportunity to begin again more intelligently.” – Henry Ford
Lesson two: In the days of prosperity, be joyful. But in the days of adversity; consider.
3. Would the boy you were be proud of the man you are?
“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and only five Minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you will do things differently.” – Warren Buffett
Lesson three: Walk tall; character is the foundation of all worthwhile success
4. Are you having fun yet?
“Work hard, have fun and make history.” – Jeff Bezos
Lesson four: Every minute your mouth is turned down; you lose 60 seconds of happiness, a merry heart doeth good like medicine.
5. Do you look into the horizon and see an opportunity or do you look into the distance and see a problem?
“Behind every adversity is an opportunity. If you lament over the adversity, you will miss the opportunity.” – Ajaero Tony Martins
6. Does your reach exceed your grasp?
“It is within everyone’s grasp to be a CEO” – Martha Stewart
“A good goal is like a strenuous exercise, it makes you stretch.” – Mary Kay Ash
I think this question is more telling on me whenever I set out to learn something new and based on this; I have learned that impossibilities only exist in your mind. I am currently a martial artist but before I joined the game; I have always loved the idea of taking your body beyond the realm of possibilities.
“It can be done; but you have to make it happen.” – Chris Gardner
Before becoming a martial artist; I had a fear. The fear of going beyond my reality; I couldn’t imagine stretching my legs at 180 degree. I thought I would die or get a dislocation if I attempted it but today; I can comfortably stretch my legs at full length without a feeling of pain or fear. The lesson I learned from this single experience is that you can go beyond your present reality; if only you are willing to go it through without fear.
“Don’t limit yourself. Many people limit themselves to what they think they can do. You can go as far as your mind lets you. What you believe, remember you can achieve.” – Mary Kay Ash
7. How old is your attitude?
“My new motto is: When you’re through changing, you’re through.” – Martha Stewart
Lesson five: There’s always room for improvement.
8. What are you really aiming at?
“If you don’t set a baseline standard for what you’ll accept in life, you’ll find it’s easy to slip into behaviors and attitudes or a quality of life that’s far below what you deserve.” – Anthony Robbins
Lesson six: Stop chasing two rabbits
9. What directions are your friends taking you?
“Be careful of the environment you choose for it will shape you. Be careful the friends you choose for you will become like them.” – W. Clement Stone
Lesson seven: If you run with the wolves, you will learn to howl. If you associate with eagles; you will learn how to soar to great heights.
10. Both enthusiasm and pessimism are contagious; how much of each do you spread?
“Enthusiasm is the sparkle in your eyes; the swing in your gait, the grip of your hand. The Irresistible surge of will and energy to execute your ideas.” – Henry Ford
As a final note, I want you to begin asking yourself the right questions today because the question you ask determine the answer you get. Strive to master the unseen secret of all successful people; which is the power of asking the right questions and I will see you at the top.