How to Think Like an Entrepreneur? Ask the Right Questions!
Turn your learning/knowledge into questions, use the questions on consulting calls, help them to think laterally
Why will I reach my goal of $100k/month?
· Use the Categories to find questions in your area of interest
· Share your knowledge by Answering the questions in the comment section
· Check the questions daily to see if you can apply the question to your business, and see answers in the comments
What is my Product? (Service still has an end product)
What is my front end Product?
What are my back end Products?
Who are my customers?
Where are my customers?
What is my offer?
What is the benefit?
What is the promise?
What’s the one thing I can do, such that by doing it everything else is easier or unnecessary?
Why do you do it? (Start with why)
Why is it okay to be happy?
What is your cause?
What do you believe? Talk about what you believe
What are you beliefs about your business?
What can you give people to believe in?
What are you going to use the rest of your life for?
What do you want and what needs to be done to get this?
What is it that other people aren’t doing? (opportunity)
Are you willing to astonish your customers? What can I do right now that will astonish your customer?
What niche interests and inspires you, excites you? Do you want to be a marketing expert or coach in this niche?
What did you learn from this NO, rejection, loss or failure (informative event/feedback)?
What small trivial step can I take today that may improve the quality of my life?
If I were guaranteed not to fail, what would I do differently?
What is one small step I can take towards reaching my goal?
What is one small step I can take to improve my health, or relationship, or career, or any other area?
Is there a person whos imput I haven’t heard in a while, what small questions I can ask this person?
What is one good thing about this person?
What’s the one small thing that is special about.. (me, my spouse, my organization)?
What can I spend just one minute a day on?
Who do you serve?
What do you know about your customer? How do you research your customers? What do they want? What do they need? How do these conflict? How can you satisfy both needs and wants without losing their interest? What are they struggling with? How can you collect data?
How can you add credibility to your product? Who is credible in your industry? What research is available of your topic? Which authorities can you interview, quote, or reference? Which authors are writing on your subject? How can you connect with them?
What kind of customer do you want? What is the wrong type of customer? How are you going to screen your customers? What triggers, activity, and rewards do you provide for your customer? How can you make your customer work for your product? How can you gain their curiosity? How can you play hard-to-get? How can you be exclusive?
What type of language are you going to use? What type of humor? What tone are you using?
Are you a leader or follower in your market? Are you connecting with the right audience?
If your customer had all of the information available what would they choose? What psychological barriers to buy do your customers have? What don’t they want to pay for? Shipping? Can you juggle the numbers to give free shipping and add the cost to an item or part that the customer is okay with paying for?
Where can we go fish to find 10 fish instead of 1 fish? (mowing lawns for real estate agents instead of knocking on doors)
What product do I want that doesn’t exist? (make a product for yourself) What Unique Added Value does your product have? What is unique about it? About you? What makes it special compared to similar products? Does the first version of your product have to be perfect? Who defines perfection, you or your customers? Has your product been given the opportunity to be improved by your customers? What do your potential customers think of your initial product design? What feedback have they given you? What modifications need to be made based on their feedback? It the product something they will pay for? What needs to change for it to be something they would pay for? Am I going to use my product? What can I do or make that nobody has done before? What can I take a chance on? What is my calculated expected value of this business/product? Is your product evolving? Is it a convergence or divergence product?
Can you handle someone telling you that your “baby” is ugly? Will people be honest enough to tell you your baby is ugly? What do they have to gain by offending you? How will you know if investors really like your baby? Are you using the “student, startup, or entrepreneur” tag as an edge to gain support? Are you using your student email address?
How can you get publicity of you or your product? How can you create an extreme demonstration of your product? What events, stories, or controversies are going on right now that you can interject your ideas and opinions? What is going viral right now that you can piggyback on? What is SEO? What is the difference between “good” SEO and “bad” SEO? Are you writing “news you can use” for your potential customers? What search terms are they using in their question? Does your article use the same terminology as your customers? Does your content build trust with your customer? Which forums, articles, comment sections, and communities can you look for people with problems that your product solves? Can you provide meaningful information on your blog to share with people in those forums? Will they opt-in to your newsletter and become future customers? Am I keeping in touch with my email list? Am I telling them my plans about my product and asking for feedback? Are they getting excited about my product? Am I keeping my notes online to gain attention? How can you incentivize your current customers to share awareness of your product with their friends?
What is an opportunity? Where do I find opportunity? How do you see opportunity? In three years, what do you want to spend your time and effort doing during a typical day? Where do you want to live? Do you want to be able to move? What income streams will fit into this lifestyle? What does your customer want? Does your idea align with what your potential customer wants? Are you willing to change your idea to suit your customer? What does it mean if someone is doing your idea already? Does some competition make your idea valid or invalid? Will you get a share of the market? How does your skill as a marketer/entrepreneur affect the success of an idea? What is more important, your skill, or the idea? What if your skill is high and your idea is lame? Can you still make money? Or if your skill is low but your idea is great? Does your skill as a marketer change how you see ideas? What are people criticizing online? What are people complaining about? What do negative reviews say? How can you use this information to create a great product that works for people? Google “why does basecamp suck”. Is this something that I am just copying from someone else, or is this something that is actually a direct response to someone’s problem? How are you going to find a problem common to your market?
Getting to Know You
What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses? What makes you different from your competition? What make you the same as your competition? Are you clear on what you want? Are your current actions leading you toward what you want? Are other’s opinions of what you should do steering your actions? Have they achieved what you want? What work do you do right now? What skills and abilities led you here? What did you enjoy along the way getting here? What activities have led you to your current level of success? What would you have done differently in the last year knowing what you know now? The last 3 years? The last 7 years? The last 12 years? What are your top 10 memories of the last 15 years? Of your childhood? If you had 100 million dollars but only 10 years to live, what would you do for those 10 years? What is your mission, your core intention? What Change do you want to have on society? How is entrepreneurship going to help you grow as a person? What areas will you need to grow in? What activities frighten you or make you uncomfortable? What feelings are you avoiding? Are you the first entrepreneur to feel this way? Have you connected with someone doing what you want to do? Do you have a business coach yet? What qualities will you develop during this journey? What is the first skill you are going to learn? What entrepreneur activity will help you develop this new skill? Are you doing what you know you need to do? Are you encountering internal resistance? Are you procrastinating? Are you making excuses? Are you self-sabotaging? Are you lost in thought and not taking the right actions? Want to counter this right now? Are you in the present moment? Are you willing to experience a rush of emotions right now? Are you being true to yourself? Am I focused on the internal rewards of entrepreneurship? Or the external rewards? What are the internal rewards? Are you being authentic? Am I being transparent and honest? I am I allowing myself to be vulnerable? In what way do I want to change the world? What type of artist am I? musician, photographer, craftsperson, performer, animator, designer, videomaker, or author? What type of media do I prefer to create? Video, audio, blogs, books? Am I being my authentic self? What mental blocks do I need to eliminate to get to where I want to go? Constrast the law of attraction with the law of repulsion, how are you repelling what you want? What would you do if you knew you would succeed at it? Have you found a clear path? Don’t ask what do I want to do, but who do I want to work with? What type of people (clients and colleagues)? What type of work are they doing? What are their interests? Then ask what am I good at? What are my strengths? What can I do for those special people whom I want to work with? What is one thing you can offer the world that nobody else can?
What is your lifetime value of a customer? How much will you pay to gain a new customer? What platforms are you using? Facebook advertising, twitter? Google Ads? Kijiji, Yellowpages? Which is the most effective in converting? Have you read or watched their videos/articles regarding their services? How will changes to their platforms affect your business? Do your ads look like ads or are they useful information too? What is the purpose of your ad? To raise awareness? Capture email addresses? Something else? What advertising companies will pay you to display their ads? Are there ads congruent with the theme of your product? Can you re-theme to be more congruent? Who is your consumer and how are you going to market to them best? What processes are you using? How will customers find you?
Is your name unique? What colors are your competitors using? Are your colors different? Does your name sound nice and have a ring (alliteration) to it? What does the customer think of your brand? Is it #1, #2, or other? How can you gain #1 or use #2 to your advantage?
Where is the hole? How are you perceived by your customer? What is going on in the mind of the customer? Here’s my interests, who do you think I would really hit it off with? Can you think of one person you think I should/would like to meet? What is the opportunity of your time? Like Andrew Carnagie.
What could go wrong? Imagine they did go wrong, now what can you do to fix it? What obstacles could get in your way? How will you overcome or get around them to reach your goals? Are you aware of them? Are you still focused on your goal? What kind of a person would easily and effortlessly be able to triumph over this obstacle? Who do you know that could do it? What type of capabilities do they have? What would Richard Branson Do? What skill do they have that you need to work on? What are your capability gaps? Have you been pushing yourself into a state of flow? Are your goals at the right level of specificity? Implementation granularity. What parameters are you measuring in your goals? What small wins are you tracking? What important deadline is set for this goal? Who else (at least two), other than yourself, is holding you accountable? What are your three goals this week? Who are you going to review your progress with next week? Is this a money making action or am I wasting my time? Am I adding long term value to the business with this action? What blocks of time are specifically set to work on the business each day? What shouldn’t I be doing? What mistakes have other entrepreneurs made that I can learn from? Am I okay with feeling fear? Will I allow myself to feel it? To embrace and explore it? To process it? What has changed? What could have had unintended consequences?
What is the slowest hiker in your job or your life (Herbie)?, What is your greatest obstacle keeping you back? (-Essentialism)
Can you teach, market and sell your business model to other entrepreneurs? Can you turn phases of the process into a service? Is your business a “star” business (leader in sales & fast growing market)? Is it a network structure?
Can you vary your product’s theme and re-market to a new audience? Is your business set up for long term success?
How Big can this thing get? and and how fast can it move? –Mark Ford
What are you going to do, where are you going to do it, who are you going to do it with?
What other different products do your customers like to buy? What companies do they buy from? Will these companies allow your marketing material in their store? Will you allow theirs in your store? Is their product different enough from yours that you are not competitors? Do the customers want both of your products? What is “critical distribution partnership”?
What is vesting? Why should you start vesting right away? Why is partnership like a marriage? What skills are a winning combination? Is your partnership based out of insecurity?
What is A/B testing?
Do you know any other schools that could benefit from this message? Ask People, “what kind of people would you like to meet?” Can you create a hub that will put you in touch with the right people? Which hubs should you join? Who are the super connectors in your life/industry? Are you in the right city, country, location, place, time, era, decade, etc for this idea/business? Are you too early/late? Are you moving companies at least every two years?
Does scaling your business up make sense? What are the additional expenses? Will you actually be more profitable?
Is it going to be fun or not? What would (insert guru here) do? Who are my advisors? (real or imagined). What are you sacrificing in the long term, for short term benefit/success? Where in your life are you sacrificing the long term, for short term benefit/success? Is what you’re doing, guaranteeing your success? What is non-essential? Are you using the 80/20 rule? Are you using the techniques of lateral thinking? What is my ROI for this decision? What is my return of this investment? Can you clearly picture both options?
Is this thinking going to get me to $100k/month? What are my little subtle fears? Am I rationalizing them? Am I afraid to admit that I have them? What would your mentors say to your naysayers?
Who is the source of this criticism? What is their life like? What have they accomplished? Are they in pain? How can you use kindness to counter them? Are you acting like an amateur or a pro? If you were the best in the world, how would you behave? What will you produce each week hell or high water? Am I going to sacrifice my dream so that other people can feel comfortable with their insecurities? Am I doing the work? KISS, Keep it super simple. How can I simplify this? Is there a chance? Do I have a shot? Is there something I can do? What is the worst thing that can happen?
Does your community have a place to meet online? What are you doing to encourage community? Are you active? Are you seeking out your communities’ questions on forums etc? How can my audience help me? With ideas? Thoughts? Questions? Content? Directly and indirectly? Does my audience have questions for my guest?
What new connections can I make? What can I reflect on for a while? What can I question? What are the counter-intuitive options? Are there any Old Happy Rich Guys doing what you are doing right now? Is it time to pivot? Am I thinking like an employee or an entrepreneur? Am I stuck in my head? Am I thinking Globally?
What do I need to do right now! What do I need to learn to complete the next task/step.
Look at the holes in your business, What would you be doing differently if you had more cash, or if you were playing for the very long term?
How would you play the game differently if you were building up and asset that was going to be sold, rather than just a source of cash flow?
Act as if you were going to buy your business. What/How would a business Genius do?
Who do you want to give your time to? What is one thing I can do, in that doing it, makes everything else easier or unnecessary?
What tools are you using?