There is one question that we as business owners should ask, love to be asked, and know the answer to. As a matter of fact it’s the one question that we all should be comfortable asking and being asked – as parents, spouses, siblings, friends…you know…humans. It is also the question that six-year-olds will drive you absolutely crazy with.
The question is – why? I know that seems a little like bait and switch, but let me explain. Why is the ultimate investigative question. Whether it’s about sales, retention, projects, relationships, problems, successes, etc… We should always be asking why.
We failed – Why?
It was a success –Why?
I am not happy in my relationships – Why?
I do not like my co-workers – Why?
Our clients are happy. They are not satisfied. – Why?
We can’t keep employees – Why?
Our sales are going through the roof – Why?
I am gaining weight. I have bad habits. My company isn’t sticking to its business plan. Why – Why – Why – Why?
Let’s be specific as business owners. Asking why gives you the info to build your business –change your direction – know where to cut – where to add resources – what to replicate – to keep a good feel for the culture of your business.
Asking why also helps us get past the initial easy answers. Business is up. Why? Well the market is up? Why…..that takes more thought and usually leads to more information and conversation. It will help you work out what you are doing locally or is it completely dependent on the industry. That could be dangerous. So because you asked why you can put plans in to keep momentum if the market pulls back.
Asking why should be the question we love to ask and be asked both personally and professionally. Unless you are a six-year-old. Then the sun rises in the east and sets in the west – because that’s how God made it. Bedtime is eight because I said so…stop asking why.
The power of why and understanding its versatility as a tool to business and personal growth is what helps us process things as opportunities to learn, change, grow and move forward.
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Clint Powell is owner of Connect Marketing, an advertising agency in Chattanooga. He is a graduate of Carson-Newman College. He has spent years in radio and outdoor advertising sales and management and works on a contract basis with other ad agencies writing copy and formulating strategies. He has worked with hundreds of local and regional companies over the years and helped them develop marketing campaigns. He believes that life is all about connections and spends his time connecting businesses and people. He sat on the board of Y-Cap (YMCA Community Action Program) and helps with several other non-profits. Clint currently resides in East Ridge with two children. He hosts a weekly radio show, Marketing Mix Radio, with Rich Mozingo, the GM of Chattanooga Lookouts, on EASY 106.9. MMR is a joint venture between Whitfield Media Group and Connect Marketing and presented locally by CHI Memorial Hospital.