I’ve thought more about questions throughout 2017 than I think in any year before…
For quite a few reasons…
One example: my friend and BTMS reader Jeff Moore. Jeff has drilled into me — directly, and indirectly through places where he teaches — the power of questions.
Asking the right questions can get to the heart of almost anything. Want to know how to solve a challenge? Ask questions until you find the right one. Want better marketing results? Start asking questions. Want to sell to someone? Questions.
Do you want to be more successful? I’ll tell you two questions you can ask that will help you take a big leap forward on that path.
Ask more questions, and you’ll inevitably find the right one that will direct you toward the answer that will move you forward.
But Jeff’s just the start…
Have you ever heard of the reticular activating system? It’s the part of our brain that looks out for things once we’ve had the thought that we need to look out for them. For example, in a crowded, noisy room, you’ll almost always turn your head toward someone saying your name (whether they were talking to you or not, whether they were speaking louder than the din of the crowd or not). It’s also the mechanism behind why I’ve seen a million dark gray Toyota Sienna minivans since we got ours a couple years back. Once you’re on the lookout for something, your brain will find it over, and over, and over again.
(I also think this is what’s really behind the saying, “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.” It’s only once someone goes looking for specific knowledge that they find the resource — including the person — that was available to them the whole time.)
So, it’s not just Jeff, or the others in my life who’ve made questions relevant recently. Now that I started looking out for questions, and paying attention to how to ask the right questions, inspiration is coming from EVERYWHERE!
That’s how I stumbled on this double-barrel set of questions that are immensely powerful…
But before I get to them, I want to talk about yet another question.
Now, this question may seem pretty straightforward. But answering it is not.
I once heard someone ask Dan Kennedy if and how he could predict whether a particular one of his customers, students, or clients would turn out to be a success.
- It’s almost impossible to predict, and the moment you think you’re getting good at it, someone will completely surprise you either with how they succeeded against all odds and expectations, or with how spectacularly they were able to screw up a sure thing.
- The one indicator Dan had noticed — and he admitted it was quite self-serving to say this — was that successful people tend to be buyers of information products. That is, if he had to bet on one person versus another, he’d consistently bet on the person with the biggest history of investing in their own knowledge, education, and success resources.
I’ve found something roughly similar, and I believe there’s an even deeper principle at work…
The principle of relentless persistence…
I’ll explain in a moment.
Now, I know this sounds like either a lot of teasing, or a lot of setup. I promise it’s mostly the latter, and that the setup does really help you understand the questions we’re driving towards.
But I have one more question I want to talk about, before I explain what I’m calling “The Success Questions.”
This question actually comes out of Ryan Levesque’s Ask Method. And it’s the foundation of the entire method. The one question from which all the rest of his $100-million-plus in results have grown.
It’s what he calls the “single-most important question” or SMIQ. And the question itself is in the name.
In order to get to the most pressing buying motivations of a market, he’ll ask a significant sample of potential buyers the question, “What’s your single-most important question about XYZ?”
Variations ask for their “single-biggest problem” or “single-biggest challenge.”
The goal is to get to the heart of what’s holding them back, and then, as a business person and marketer, to turn around and create a product or service to help them solve that challenge and move forward with their life.
Do this right, and you’ll have their biggest problem, explained in their language, and be able to turn that back around with a solution, and sell a ton of your products and services.
Get it right, and it practically feels like magic…
Now here’s the thing: you can work this magic on yourself, too!
Right now, in your life, you have something holding you back.
You have a picture and an expectation of what success is, and what it could be. You know where you want to go, and you can see the roadblocks in your way.
This could be in 100 different areas of your life. It could be your business or career. It could be your relationships. It could have something to do with personal development, or health.
Let’s call the endpoint you’re trying to reach GOAL.
Now here are the two success questions:
— What’s your single-most important question about or challenge standing in the way of reaching GOAL right now?
— What have you done so far to achieve GOAL?
Ask those seriously, sincerely, and if necessary you should write down your answers in a journal. It only works if you answer with radical honesty.
Because once you’ve answered those questions honestly, you’ll also know exactly what you need to do to take your next steps forward.
Tying this all back around…
The first question is directly related to the Ask Method. It does really work to ask this question of yourself, and the world’s most successful people are ALWAYS trying to identify what’s standing in their way. Because you can only move past it by recognizing it. And so live becomes a series of roadblocks that are busted through, one after another after another.
The second question? Do you see its parallels to Dan’s observation that successful people consistently invest in themselves? If you have a roadblock standing in your way, what have you done to get past it? Successful people apply the principle of relentless persistence to keep trying and trying to bust down roadblocks. One test after another, until they succeed. One measure of that, that Dan observed, is buying stuff. But it’s WHY they buy, and the fact they’re actually testing what they learn that really leads to success.
Yours for bigger breakthroughs,