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Asking the right questions

March 27, 2010 Leave a comment

A couple of years ago I got together with this small group of friends. Each of us has our own business or more and we meet regularly to share ideas, gripe and complain, and just well, get together. Rather than getting together for reasons like other guys, such as playing golf, or cards, or just drinking, we get together to talk share ideas that we’ve found useful in our work.

So the particular conversation came up and I think we were all sufficiently drunk to not become upset by much. (Some of the best conversations have happened at these sorts of times.)  As one friend was talking, he shared how he felt his business needed to grow, but all he could see were obstacles.  “How can I grow my company in the way I feel it needs to grow?  I don’t have this, and I don’t have that..”  was pretty much how that side of the conversation went.  After a while, my other friend said, “You’re asking all the wrong questions!”  Which I found to be both true and rather blunt – something I would have said. Anyway, he went on – the questions to be asking are What? and Who?

“What is it that I want to do?”

“What resources do I already have at my disposal?”

“What do I need that I don’t have?”

“Who can do this?”

“When do I want this to be done?”

After answering these questions, I’ve found that the big “HOW” questions are then defined after the fact.  Try it, you may be surprised and how many avenues open up just by changing the questions a bit.

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