Welcome to #InspireAfricaProject! I have always maintained that questions are the employees of answers. The answers you’re looking for are hidden in creative questions. Those who know how to phrase powerful questions will always gain access to life changing answers. You can ask your way to the top. As long as you’re not ashamed of asking, you will never run out of answers.
While speaking somewhere several years ago, I said to my audience, “If you meet your state governor or an influential person right now, what will you say to him or her that could translate into money?” Most of them looked at me aghast because they have never thought about it. While they were still thinking about that, I fired the second question; “How many of you are praying for open doors?” All of them raised up their hands. I smiled and said to them; “If God opens a door for you right now, what will you do with it?” They couldn’t say anything.
It is not difficult for God to open the door for you to see ten governors this week, but the question is, what will you say to them? God can open the door for you to see a billionaire today, but what will you say to him or her that can translate into wealth? Your ability to ask creative questions will determine the kind of doors God will open for you! Unfortunately, most Africans ask the wrong questions like; “Why are things difficult for me?” “Why are we poor in the midst of opportunities?” “Why is the government not working?” These questions cannot generate uncommon answers.
“One of the best-selling weight-loss books ever published was the book, Thin Thigh in 30 Days. What’s so interesting about it, though, is that it was developed solely using feedback. The author, Wendy Stehling worked in an advertising agency but hated the job. She wanted to start her own agency but didn’t have the money to do so. She knew she would need about $100,000, so she began asking, “What’s the quickest way to raise $100,000?” Sell a book, said the feedback.
She decided if she wrote a book that could sell 100,000 copies in 90 days- and she made $1 per book, she would raise the $100,000 she needed. But what kind of book would 100,000 people buy? “Well, what are the best-selling books in America?” she asked. Weight loss books, said the feedback.
“Yes, but how would I distinguish myself as an expert!” she asked. Ask other women, said the feedback. So she went out to the marketplace and asked, “If you could loose weight in only one part of of your body, what part would you choose?” The overwhelming response from women was My thighs.
“When would you want to loose it?” she asked. Around April or May, in time for swimsuit season, said the feedback. So what did she do? She wrote a book called Thin Thighs in 30 Days and released it in April 15. By June, she had her $100,000- all because she asked people what they wanted and responded by giving it to them.”~Jack Canfield.
Most people are afraid to ask questions because they are afraid that people might not answer them. Others are afraid of what they are going to hear. There is nothing to be afraid of. You are better off knowing the truth than not knowing the truth. You are better off getting the right answers that can reposition you in your profession.
Let’s assume you want to establish a business and you do not know how to go about it. The best thing you should do is to sit down and craft ten creative questions that would elicit uncommon answers. Send a mail to an accomplished businessperson, and request for an opportunity to ask him or her some questions.
One of the best ways to get people’s attention is to send a gift to them, or invite them for a dinner. Take them to a cozy restaurant. Make sure you ask the kind of food he or she likes before taking him or her to the place. If you want to get the best from people you must be ready to spend some money. While both of you are eating, start firing the questions, and make sure you write down everything the person said. In fact, it’s better you go with a recorder so that you won’t miss any vital information.
You can also do what Wendy Stehling did. Send mails to all the people you know and ask creative questions. Go to the location where you think your potential customers are and get information from them. Questions like; “If I establish this business would you patronize me?” “How do you like the product?” “Who are your present suppliers or dealers?” “Why do you prefer them?” “If I give you some discount would you patronize me?” “Which location do you think is ideal to establish this business?” “What kind of media platform do you think I should advertise in to reach other potential buyers?” etc.
If you have read my book, The Entrepreneur, am sure you would have read how to prepare your business plan. Asking creative questions is part of it. Getting feedback can be used in every area of your life. Kindly ask critical questions today, and don’t be afraid whether the person will answer or not. Just keep firing. James Thurber said that, “It is better to know some of the questions than all of the answers.” Thomas Berger said, “The art and science of asking questions is the source of all knowledge.” Step out and get answers to the issues that are currently harassing you. Keep soaring!
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