If you are looking to grow your business, or as an individual for that matter, you can start by being more curious about everything around you. Here are some tips to help inspire the most productive curious thinking possible.
1. Fine Tune your Filters
In the age of data and information overload, it is easy to become numb to our environment. This filtering is a natural reflex and an important skill to maintain a certain level of sanity in the whirlwind of the age of information overload. However, be careful not to let the instinct to filter override your sense of curiosity, which lies at the heart of innovation and discovery. Fine tune your filtering techniques by asking questions – of yourself, your business and others so that you are attracting as many valuable insights as possible.
2. Get into a possibilities mindset
Keep your mind focused on ‘what if’ instead of ‘why not’, especially as you encounter challenges. This is incredibly helpful when trashing out ideas with your work colleagues or business partners as it ensures you are really listening to understand and develop an idea vs. listening to challenge and find fault. Practicing a ‘what if’ mindset will leave you feeling good too. It fuels a optimism and confidence that leads to powerful, unstoppable, solutions focused attitude displayed by many successful entrepreneurs.
If is also very useful to buy-in to the premise that there are others out there who are motivated by seeing you succeed. This can be a huge catalyst for collaboration, cross promotion and building valuable support systems. Imagine that you are selling houses. If you do your job really well, everyone who sells products or services relevant to owning a new/different home such as moving, renovating, furniture, appliances etc… wins, because you have created a market for them. The insight here is that, because they are motivated by your success, they are more likely to help you get your message out there!
3. Ask lots of questions
What questions can you ask in order to better understand what will help grow your business?
For example, who is creating your market and what opportunities are there for you do what you do better through collaborations?
- Who else in my market space wins if you do better?
- Reverse that thinking – How do you win if XYZ Ltd. does better?
You can apply this thinking to your competitors too. What do they do well? What they don’t do well is screamingly obvious right! That’s because it’s probably your strength. But, if you really look on with appreciation vs. criticism, you may find opportunities to sharpen your competitive edge. You may also find ways to collaborate in an area where you are each lagging due to resources or extent of expertise. By working together you could potentially achieve greater success and win bigger business.
At a personal level, get honest with yourself and ask why do you keep doing ‘that thing’, even though you know it’s holding you back? This can be avoiding paperwork, ignoring a lack of confidence in selling yourself, not asking for help when you’re out of ideas, sabotaging the execution of a well thought out plans…the list is endless and you are not alone – we all have idiosyncrasies that stop us from being the best versions of ourselves.
These idiosyncrasies impact your personal and business life so it’s important that they are understood. Keep asking yourself, in a kind inquisitive way – What is at the core of this behaviour? What am I really trying to avoid or protect myself or my business from? The awareness that you gain by doing this will give you the impetus and clarity you need to find the right support – be it a mentor, adviser or coach.
If you are interest to learn more about coaching and mentoring, you might be interested in reading this article that explores the similarities, differences and benefits of each.
Author: Dayna Caceres.