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Are You Suited to Entrepreneurship

Asking The Wrong Questions Will Break Your Business

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.

Matt Brown

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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.

Related: 5 Answers From Digital Kungfu On Why Podcasts Are Your Best Self Development Tool

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

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 be consumed 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.

Related: The Business Plan Is Dead

Conclusion

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.

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Are You Suited to Entrepreneurship

What Real Entrepreneurs Do When They Hear The Word ‘No’

Are you strong enough to push through early struggles?

Jason Saltzman

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In this video, Entrepreneur Network partner Jason Saltzman sits down with two founders to hear their stories of perseverence and resilience.

Raul Tovar is the co-founder of WindowsWear, a fashion tech company based in New York City that archives display windows. He moved from Mexico to New York determined to make something of himself and resolved that he would not go home empty-handed.

Jordan Wan is the founder and CEO of CloserIQ, which builds sales teams for startups. He started his business through tragedy – losing his mother and his marriage in the early stages.

You might think these difficulties – whether moving, or being told their ideas weren’t good enough, or working through tragedy – would be enough to make them give up. But they didn’t. They only spurred them to greater success.

Related: How To Start A Business With (Almost) No Money

Click play to learn more.

This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.

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Are You Suited to Entrepreneurship

(Podcast) Being An Entrepreneur Is Painful

There is a pain attached to running your own business. It’s time to discuss how tough it is – address the reality and you might just be one of the successful few.

Nicholas Haralambous

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Entrepreneurship is fun. But on the whole, running a business is hard. Far fewer business owners succeed than fail. Statistically your business is going to fail. Those are the hard numbers.

There is a pain attached to running your own business. It’s time to discuss how tough it is – address the reality and you might just be one of the successful few.

Listening time: 5 minutes

Related: (Podcast) Playing To An Audience Of One

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Are You Suited to Entrepreneurship

3 Dangerous Entrepreneurial Myths You Need To Ignore

This terrible advice won’t actually get you anywhere.

Entrepreneur

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Entrepreneurial Myths

We’ve all heard the numbers about how hard it is to build a long-lasting business. While there are many factors at play to get there, without effective marketing and sales a business cannot survive.

Unfortunately, there is a multitude of dangerous and destructive marketing advice swirling around the heads of vulnerable entrepreneurs. Like vultures seeking their next meal, “gurus” pontificate nonsense that these hard-working business owners follow, only to discover that what they tried doesn’t work.

Often, once the damage is done, it is too late for them to do anything else about it.

If you want to not only survive, but thrive, here is some of the terrible advice you need to start ignoring:

1“You need to be everywhere”

I’m sorry, but how do these people sleep at night without the use of narcotics? “Experts” spew out dribble to make headlines saying you need to get on Snapchat, get on Periscope, do YouTube Live … be everywhere! They’ll say you need to get on this platform or that social media network. Oh, and use LinkedIn Live! And make sure to post on Instagram three times a day and Facebook twice a day. And don’t forget those Facebook Lives. Make sure to do them every day.

Related: The Journey Of Entrepreneurship: How The Tough Get Going

ACK! Just writing that paragraph stressed me out. How the heck are you supposed to be on all of those channels, never mind doing it all effectively, and still run your business? Of course you can’t. And you shouldn’t. (Unless self-torture is your thing, in which case have at it. There are books about that, but I’m not giving any titles because I’d have to Google them and then I’d be retargeted by the ads and that would just be gross.)

It is impossible to spend even half an hour on each major network and still get any work done. Forget about focusing on measurement, profit and return on investment. They don’t mention that on purpose, because then these crazy-pants suggestions would really make no sense. But, then these “experts” would stop making the headlines, so they keep serving up spoiled advice for the poor folk who chow down and then get sick on it.

Don’t allow yourself to fall victim to their plots of deception. Demand strategies that value your time and produce results in a significant and measurable way quickly.

2“It takes money to make money”

cash-flow-management

I didn’t take the easy way out. I am part of a group of scrappy entrepreneurs who have a lot of hustle and heart and little/no/negative funds. I didn’t come from family money, and the big banks certainly weren’t lending to businesses like mine.

The only way I was going to get a big pile of cash was if I won the lottery. And since I’ve only played about four times in the last decade, the chances of that happening were slim. What I had to find was the same thing you most likely want – a solution to predictably bring in customers when there is no marketing budget to play with.

3The Schmo-bags

The worst are who I call the “Ferrari Marketers.” They rent a sportscar for an hour or two, hang out in front of it and then sell us shiny object strategies that they haven’t even used in their own business.

Related: 6 Timeless Strategies That Drive Successful Entrepreneurship

They are abhorrent, hideous and dangerous. Not only are they crooks stealing the money of the people who are seeking a solution from them, but they may prevent really talented people who have a gift/service/product/offer to share that can help someone else from ever reaching them.

Did I mention they suck?

But, once you discover a game-changing system, you are responsible for implementing it. You can’t be distracted by shiny objects any longer.

As Jack Welch says, “Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision and relentlessly drive it to completion.”

Don’t allow yourself to be enticed or distracted by fads or the “latest and greatest/not greatest” new social media strategy, channel or tactic.

Once you uncover how to truly get results, be strong-willed and stubborn. Repel any idea, strategy or initiative that requires you to keep spending money to make money. If you keep throwing dollars and time at a goal, hoping and wishing that it will work, yet not tracking or measuring the results and scaling accordingly, then you cannot expect results.

Start measuring, tracking and demanding results from your time and money, rising above others and landing in the successful minority that thrives instead of survives.

This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.

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