You Won’t Get Anything You Don’t Ask For
All the time when I talk to people in my travels around the world I hear them complain about certain parts of their life:
- I wish I could travel more often
- I don’t have enough money to do ___
- I wish there was a software program that could do X
- I’m trying to raise funding for my new project
- I’m trying to find a programmer for my team right now…its so hard to find a good ___ developer these days
- etc etc etc.
…and I feel this urge to give them advice. “There are lots of ways you can take your skills on the road and make money!” , “There are some really useful books you can read which will set you on the path to make more money either within your job, or working for yourself; have you read the Four Hour Workweek?” are common ways I want to respond to them.
Does anybody else feel this urge to give advice without being asked?
I’ve personally have found that whenever I give unrequested advice, people will not act on it, and I effectively end up wasting time/energy/effort on someone who’s not looking to for a solution, but looking for a compatriot in misery.
Maybe its a pet-peeve of mine, but I’ve always been a solution-minded person, so its very hard for me to hear people with a problem, and not respond to them. Why would someone complain about a problem, and not seek a solution? It doesn’t make sense to me at all!
Surround yourself with question-askers.
From my experience, the people who advance the most in life, and the fastest, are the ones who ask the most questions. Not dumb questions, but smart questions; those people stand out to me, and I go out of my way to help those people.
You Won’t Get Anything You Don’t Ask For
My first job out of college was a boiler room sales job, where I was cold-calling 100-150 business owners per day offering them SEO services. There were roughly 30-40 (mostly) guys on this sales floor I started on, so there was a very clear culture that had been developed within this tele-sales operation, and consequently lots of maxims, statements, videos, and whatnot that were passed around the office, and would be what I consider part of a larger ‘sales’ culture. One of those statements was that “you wont get any sales you don’t ask for“.
Now I don’t do sales anymore, although I believe the same mantra applies to ANYTHING in life…you won’t get anything you don’t ask for.
Questions allow you to gain knowledge
When you ask a question of someone, they are able to teach you something. You allow that person to dig into their mental library, and pull out the most important lessons they can, and pass those along to you. This is growth-hacking in action, because now you are leveraging another person’s knowledge. Even if you don’t believe that person has an answer, asking a question (ie. ‘Do you have any ideas for how I can travel the world yet still make money as a hairstylist?’ instead of ‘Its hard being a hairstylist, theres no way to travel with my line of work’)
Questions allow others to feel more connected to you
Just by opening yourself up, revealing a potential weakness, and allowing someone else to give you advice, you are allowing them to feel more connected with you. Back in the boiler room I worked at, it was a well-known fact that to gain better rapport with prospects over the phone, you should ask them questions (ie. “Oh you have a 13 old son? How is dealing with them when they are that age? I have a son, he’s only 7, so he just plays with his toys and skateboard now…”)
Questions allow people to think about themselves
When you ask a question, personal or business, you are encouraging a person to become introspective, dive into their memory bank, and think about themselves. This is key. People honestly don’t want to hear about your problems. But give someone a chance to think about their own experiences, and help another person out, and you’ll be very surprised at both the quality of information you get, and the resulting connection that can potentially be established.
As an affiliate marketer working for myself, and running my company without any formal training to do so, I’ve found asking questions to be the only reason why I’ve been able to stay in business for myself. As I’m sure many fellow entrepreneurs and affiliate marketers can attest to, its a lonely path starting your own business. There’s noone to turn to when you need help, yet you have everyone in the world trying to sell you things. Free Consultation. Everyone knows its not free, and that the person you’ll be meeting with for tax advice, legal advice, software advice, etc has their own agenda.
Running your own business is a series of ups-and-downs, but the most important thing that has carried me through has been taking the time to improve myself every step of the way. Ask questions and leverage other peoples knowledge.
On another note, this is my first post, so any feedback from people who know me on what they’d like me to talk about is greatly appreciated!