One of the great mysteries of entrepreneurship is why businesses fail. After almost two years of interviewing entrepreneurs, billionaires and CEO’s on my podcast the Matt Brown Show, I’ve noticed a commonality between them that I think may have the answer to the question about why some entrepreneurs start one successful business after the other and while others fail.
Curiosity Never Killed Any Cat
It can all be summed up with one word. Curiosity.
In dozens of interviews this reference to curiosity has come up. The best in business are incredibly curios and when someone is curious, they focus their curiosity through questions.
The most successful entrepreneurs I know literally question everything – all the time. They ask questions like: “why does it have to be this way?” Or, “what if we stripped the business down to its bare bones and rebuilt it?” Or, “what if we took the business into an entirely new market?” The reason they ask searching questions like this is because they are naturally curious about the answer. While they may seem like simple questions, searching questions like this are designed to seek clear facts that ultimately inform the decision-making process.
The Power of Questions
On average I ask a guest on my show about 40 questions per episode. This means that over the past two years, I’ve asked billionaires, CEO’s and entrepreneurs approximately 3,000 questions and if I could point to one thing that I’ve learnt in the process, it would be this: if you don’t ask the right questions, you’ll never get the right answers.
I’ve learnt that successful people in business are driven by an insatiable desire to increase their knowledge, skills and understanding. They are constantly learning and by asking the right questions, they automatically empower themselves to make better business decisions.
Decisions Are Your Ultimate Power
The ability to make great decisions in business is a skill that anyone can learn. For instance, when a new business opportunity comes your way, do you decide to take it or let it go? It’s an important question to explore because in business, while some opportunities may be right, but they may not be right for you.
In a high-stakes game like running your own business, when you make a good decision it can pay massive dividends but contrary to that, if you make a bad decision the consequences can be severe. A decision represents your ultimate power in business because when you truly decide to do something, it unleashes the invisible forces that motivate your actions, and execution is nine-tenths of the law in business.
How A Simple Decision Lead to The Birth of a Media Company
When I made the decision to start podcasting, I never dreamed that I would end up with a media platform that would have a listenership in over 100 countries. Looking back, I can clearly recall the question I was asking myself day in and day out. That question was this: “How can I make a difference to South African entrepreneurs?” This question lead me to deciding to start a podcast, which eventually led to the formation of Matt Brown Media – a company which today is helping businesses tell their own stories through branded content AKA podcasting. But if I had never asked that question in the first place, I would never have achieved anything.
Questions govern pretty much everything we do and they often lead us to ask further questions as our knowledge and understanding grows. The trick is to figure out what are the right questions to focus on, as asking the wrong questions, can change the direction and shape of the future of your business.
If you’d like more information on how to create a podcast for your business, please get in touch.