True Success Requires Asking Questions

by Kevin Wallenbeck September 1, 2014 17:03

A recent article in Inc magazine had a list of business questions to ask provided by some of the most successful business people of our time.

Questions are good.  If you've ever been in a conversation or meeting with someone who knows how to ask good questions they very quickly begin to earn your respect.  It's probably safe to say the wisest people you know ask thoughtful questions and speak very little of their own opinions.  You mention their name and reference them as wise to a colleague and they respond with, yeah, but I hardly ever hear them talk.

Voltaire once said "Judge a man by his questions rather than his answers".

Some of my favorite questions from the Inc 100...

  • How can we become the company that would put us out of business? -Danny Meyer, CEO of Union Square Hospitality Group
  • What trophy do we want on our mantle? - Marcy Massura, a digital marketer and brand strategist at MSL Group 
  • Massura explains, “Not every business determines success the same way.Is growth most important to you? Profitability? Stability?”
  • What counts that we are not counting? -Chip Conley, founder of Joie de Vivre Hospitality and head of global hospitality for Airbnb 
  • Conley explains, “In any business, we measure cash flow, profitability, and a few other key metrics. But what are the tangible and intangible assets that we have no means of measuring, but that truly differentiate our business? These may be things like the company’s reputation, employee engagement, and the brand’s emotional resonance with people inside and outside the business.”
  • In the past few months, what is the smallest change we have made that has had the biggest positive result? What was it about that small change that produced the large return? -Robert Cialdini, author and professor emeritus of marketing and psychology at Arizona State University
  • What is the smallest subset of the problem we can usefully solve? -Paul Graham, co-founder of Y Combinator
  • Which customers can’t participate  in our market  because they lack skills, wealth, or convenient access to existing solutions? -Clayton Christensen, author, Harvard Business School professor, and co-founder of Innosight
  • Who uses our product in ways we never expected? -Kevin P. Coyne and Shawn T. Coyne, authors and strategy consultants
  • What one word do we want to own in the minds of our customers, employees, and partners? -Matthew May, author and innovation expert 
  • May explains, “This deceptively simple question creates utter clarity inside and outside a company. It is incredibly difficult for most people to answer and difficult to get consensus on--even at the highest levels. Apple = different. Toyota = quality. Google = search. It’s taken me three years to get one of my clients, Edmunds.com, to find and agree on their word: trust.”
  • What should we stop doing? -Peter Drucker, management expert and 
  • Is there any reason to believe the opposite of my current belief? -Chip and Dan Heath, authors who teach at Stanford’s and Duke’s business schools, respectively
  • Do we have the right people on the bus? Are they in the right seat? -Jim Collins, author and management consultant  
  • Am I failing differently each time? -David Kelley, founder, IDEO
  • If our customer were my grandmother, would I tell her to buy what we’re selling? -Dan Pink, author

What questions help you find success?  Find at here: http://www.inc.com/magazine/201404/leigh-buchanan/100-questions-business-leaders-should-ask.html.

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Category: Business

Getting Ready for Rving in 2014

by Kevin Wallenbeck April 25, 2014 16:38

We are getting ready here next week to 'upgrade' from our 2008 Rockwood Roo Expandable to a Coachmen Freedom Express 292BHDS Liberty Edition!  I'll get pictures here soon.

Some folks may ask why does your family RV?  The primary reason is family time.  Just go once with your family and you'll know what I mean:)  One of the side benefits is that it's a reasonably affordable way to travel and vacation.  This infographic from General RV provides some insight.

RV Vacation Cost Comparison

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Category: Family

Test Drive Remake

by Kevin Wallenbeck March 11, 2014 15:16

Some dude didn't think the original Jeff Gordon test drive commercial was legit ... now he knows!

)

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Category: Personal

Having a Budget Can be Life Changing

by Kevin Wallenbeck February 24, 2014 11:44

Do you have a budget? Many people say yes and then can't really tell you how much money they alot each month for even the basic things like groceries, gas for the car, or eating out.  Actually having a budget that is written down and followed each month is vastly different from having an idea of what you think you spend each month.

I was a fool for years thinking I 'had a budget'. It wasn't until going through Financial Peace University from the Dave Ramsey folks and applying the principles that our family's way of life was changed.

Amazing to think that some basic planning and committment can allow a family of two incomes to drop to one income just by keeping track of where they spend their money each month and sticking to it.  Yep, that is our family.

Now, that we've been faithful at it for almost 18 months it's exciting to share it with other folks and encourage them as well.

Their are many money managment tools and resources online but I would encourage you to check out www.davereamsey.com with many resources and fanstic advice on all areas related to money.

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Category: Family

Google Knows it is My Birthday!!!

by Kevin Wallenbeck February 19, 2014 09:46

I go to my search engine of choice today and the Google image displayed is of cakes with candles on them.  I'm initially thinking ... wow, how cool is it that they chose to put up this image cause it is my birthday today.  Then I got real curious and wondered ... do they know it's my birthday?  After all I am logged into my google mail.

So, I open a different browser and go to google not being logged in and no birthday cakes with candles.  Kind of strange to think about Google acting on info like your birthday on a search page, but why not.

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Category: Personal