My cell phone buzzes at least a million times a day whether that is from social media notifications, emails, text messages, or alarms on my calendar. I spend most of my day corresponding and by the time I am home to work on my own projects, I’m exhausted of talking to other people! Do any of you ever just get tired of talking? Even extroverts like myself want that alone time to decompress and get back to a mental space of zen. A problem to avoid developing however, is completely shutting down when you’re “off the clock.” Honestly, as an entrepreneur, you’re never really off the clock. You should always want to learn and develop more. How can we get better though? After some research and realization, we agree with many other innovative professionals that asking questions is one the most important habits to develop- even when your brain is tired.
What questions do you ask? Well, you want to first know what outcome you’re looking for.
Find the area that you want to develop and ask questions around that.
Are you trying to grow? Downsize?
Do you want to focus on quality or quantity in production?
Does your market spread the word on your product or service?
Why haven’t you retained certain clients?
It’s important to peel back these topics and dig deeper. According to Eric Schmidt, former CEO of Google (who now heads the Pentagon Innovation Board,) “We run this company on questions, not answers.” That was the CEO of Google- one of the largest search engines in the world! Google is like a golden mecca for answering all internet questions. Not only are they answering your questions, but they question each other to ensure they are providing the best platform for information. That is how they stay sharp, fresh, relevant, and trusted.
The end result of asking questions isn’t to just find an answer however, but to also find a way to apply this knowledge for optimal results and growth. We value people’s input because we are serving them. If you aren’t reaching the needs of your market, then what purpose do you really serve? Create platforms where you allow questions from your audience. At Jali, we like to keep things intimate and allow questions through our email account. We also respond to all questions posted on any one of our given social media outlets such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. As content creators, we need to know what plagues our audience when it comes to content. We need to know what messages they are reading or trying to convey as we strive to be the storytellers of our clients. It helps us gauge how we can best serve them and others. We also like to use this knowledge to not only serve, but to help shape our service model.
So let's say you started your own staffing agency but you can't seem to recruit quality candidates. How do you solve this problem? Well, start by asking the candidates that you reach why they aren't interested. Ask if it's the price, the quality of the position, the contract length, or the company. If they tell you it's any of those reasons and not personal reasons of their own, you now know that you have to find a new way to market the job or find a market where candidates are accepting of what's available. Had you not asked questions, you wouldn't know how to change your recruiting model and inevitably your success would be stunted.
To bring it back to the last statement I made in the introduction to this article- "asking questions is one the most important habits to develop- even when your brain is tired." I get it, we will all have different questions to ask and it can get exhausting. That's where grit comes in. You must, I repeat MUST remain steadfast and push through when your brain is at it's wit's end. As small business leaders, entrepreneurs, and non profit professionals, your day can get heavy and wear you out. Every day something is changing and you being tired won't change until you become more efficient. Use the answers from your questions to create a more efficient method of working and then is when you may find more free time to allow your mind to relax. Basically, ask questions and in the end, you will be on top.
We hope this article encourages you all to keep questioning, keep learning, and keep analyzing. Let's do everything in our power to make each of our respective businesses the best in the market! If you have any questions for our team at Jali regarding your current content and how we can help make it better, feel free to reach out to us here.