We’ve all been there. Pouring over pages of the latest business self-help books, asking our colleagues and searching for hours on end on Google for the answers to our latest business problem. In fact, in some instances, we’ve had the same problem(s) for months. With all that is at our fingertips, how is that even possible?
Do you want to know why it’s taking you so long to find your solution? Can you guess the one thing that’s keeping you from solving your business problem?
You’re asking the wrong questions. You can’t put a blanket question out to the universe and expect a specific answer, especially when most answers usually require more than one course of action.
Let’s use a scenario.
Sue hates her company’s Twitter account. She owns a software that allows artists to virtually display and sell their creations. Her Twitter account has 120 followers and she tweets at least three to five times per day and yet, she’s getting no new followers, replies or retweets. She feels like giving up. Her online research has shown her that Twitter is a popular social media outlet and her friends assure her that it’s the place to be.
She’s Googled a bunch of times, “how to get more twitter followers.” She’s even considered purchasing Twitter advertising, but each day that ticks by, she gets more discouraged. None of the articles like, “15 ways to get 100 new Twitter followers today” or “ways to improve your Twitter account” are helping. Most of them suggest the same strategies anyway.
Sound familiar? Let’s backtrack. We know that Sue is having a hard time with not only getting new followers but engaging her current ones. Her mistake is not searching for ways to improve her engagement on Twitter, but in learning how to do it in detail. If an article or colleague gave Sue six ways on to improve her engagement, her research is not over. She now needs to go and find out how to do those six things effectively.
Let’s say one of the suggestions is to write better headlines. Sue needs to spend time learning how to do just that. She should research the language that her audience uses, hashtags they use to find one another and then spend time investigating crafty headlines that draw attention.
The best way to get precise solutions to your problems, is to drill down the questions you are asking. Don’t ask a blogger how to get more blog post shares. Ask them the types of articles they wrote that got the most shares and whether or not they noticed a pattern. Don’t ask a finance expert how to save more money. Ask them to evaluate how you’ve been spending your money in the first place, and then look at ways you could have saved a dollar in your current spending habits.
Getting better at anything requires small steps. So if you’re continuously having the same problem, you have to ask yourself, “have I been asking the right questions?”
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