Suffering and sacrifice are essential elements of business, so when things get hard, you just have to dig in, work more, and press on the gas pedal a little harder to power through and reach that magical destination called success. Life is hard … and owning your own business is even harder. There is no time for fun or playfulness or rest. You can rest when you are dead (I actually think the saying is “You can sleep when you are dead” but rest works, too). Suck it up, Buttercup. Just grit your teeth and keep plowing through.
Wow, I’m tired (and a little stressed) after writing those words. How do you feel reading them? Inspired? Creative? Ready to jump in and get to work? Unless you are addicted to suffering and struggling lights your fire, probably not. Unfortunately, these beliefs are rampant in the business world and are spread through many of the popular business books on the shelves today. White knuckling your way to success is possible – people have done it. But at what price?
What if I told you there is another path to success? A path that is kinder, gentler and a lot more fun? Would you take it?
It’s the path of possibilities. When you start exploring what is possible, your business (and your world) opens up. When you are focused on the problem and committed to staying on the white knuckle expressway that is hard and filled with obstacles, you are guaranteed to find more problems and obstacles that get in the way. Why? Because where we focus our thoughts and energy is what we will see and experience more of. When you turn your attention to possibilities, you free up your creative energy and you will start to see opportunities and resources you never noticed before.
So how do you step off the white knuckle expressway onto the path of possibilities?
Ask questions. Questions open up possibilities. Questions allow creative energy to permeate circumstances. Questions allow change to happen.
For most people, asking questions seems like an unlikely road to success. We are trained from an early age to form answers, not ask questions. In fact, in some business arenas, asking questions can be a sign of weakness. Experts have all the answers, right? The truth is that answers close down possibilities and creativity. Questions open them up.
Here’s a secret. Coaching is a powerful tool to propel people toward their goals because an effective coach asks alot questions. My clients think they are coming to me for my solutions, but what they find is their own solutions as they ponder questions, consider possibilities and see opportunities.
Questions can dissolve problems and erode fear. So if you are feeling stuck and tired of living on the white knuckle highway, stop looking for answers and start asking questions.
I’d love to hear your thoughts and answer your questions about this article.