Asking Yourself the Right Questions

As an entrepreneur or business owner, it’s crucial to keep learning. In my view, continuous training, learning and adjusting strategies are the best way to maintain long-term success. In all my years in business, I’ve seen most leaders choose one of these options:

  • They remain attached to their current methods and refuse to change.
  • They stay unattached to what they’re currently doing and look at something more important. 

Can you guess which leaders are more likely to be successful?

No matter what industry you’re in, trends change. While your basic business model may stay relatively the same, your tactics, methods, strategies and team members are going to change frequently. Failing to adapt to change can lead to failure. I’ve seen it many times before. 

With so much information, both analog and digital, running through our brains each day, it’s easy to get lost in the noise. It’s easy to get bogged down in what other leaders are doing. If you’re confused about what to do or you feel like things are stagnating, ask yourself these questions:

What am I doing right now that is effective?

What am I doing right now that is NOT effective?

My friend Blair Dunkley helped me discover these clarifying questions. With over 30 years of behavioral psychology experience, he’s worked with a lot of struggling entrepreneurs. The keyword here is “effective” rather than “good”, as these aren’t mutually exclusive. 

You may be doing things that you like, but they may not be effective for your business. The same goes for negative things. If something isn’t working, it doesn’t mean it’s bad. It may just not be working for your current situation. Asking yourself these clarifying questions allows you to do some self-reflection. 

If something isn’t working, you can move toward finding a solution. When you pinpoint what IS working, you can focus on those things and block out the rest. I call this method a healthy detachment. 

Don’t Be Afraid of Change

To be successful, we cannot be afraid of change. A healthy detachment from what you’re doing allows you to observe your effectiveness. If it’s not effective, get rid of it. Don’t attach yourself to things that aren’t working. 

However, to have this mindset, your team has to be on board too. If you’ve read my other blogs, you know how passionate I am about team culture. In my view, a successful team isn’t afraid to adapt. I welcome collaboration within my team. We’re in constant communication with each other, brainstorming ideas and demonstrating client work. 

At BME, we have something called the 5-minute rule. If you have a problem or a question, and can’t find the answer within five minutes, you need to ask for help. We’re here to deliver excellent content to our clients, and that cannot happen without 100 percent clarity. 

When a team member comes to me for help, those clarifying questions usually come into play:

  • What are you doing that is effective? Let’s focus on that.
  • What are you doing that isn’t effective? Let’s take that out or find another solution. 

This not only strengthens my team’s culture but also creates a safe environment for them to ask for help and feedback. Like me, I want each of my team members to grow and improve their skills, even if they aren’t working for me in the future. 

So, I challenge you to ask yourself these clarifying questions whenever you get stuck. Don’t be afraid to detach yourself from your methods and try something new. It just might lead to your best work yet. 

I hope these questions will help you become more effective in your leadership. Let me know what you think in the comments below and contact me with any questions about entrepreneurship. Here’s to your success.

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