Here are five powerful questions all entrepreneurs need to ask themselves daily to ensure they are consistently driving toward their goals and to make the best decisions for themselves and their business.
Entrepreneurs make an impressive number of decisions every day and are faced with opportunities they must choose to seize and problems large and small that they must solve.
According to the Entrepreneur portal, putting yourself a framework of questions to ask yourself every day will give you some markers to guide you through difficult situations. Knowing where you stand on these questions will give you the power to know that you are making the right decision that will lead to the results you want. They will give you a deeper understanding of what motivates you and what you feel about your business and will help you to be more clear about your plans for the future.
Here are five powerful questions all entrepreneurs need to ask themselves daily to ensure they are consistently driving toward their goals and to make the best decisions for themselves and their business. Answer these questions honestly and with an open mind and see where they lead you.
1. Why are you doing what you do?
What makes this question so powerful is that it forces you to explore your desires and urges and helps you channel those motivations that change over time. It forces you to see things from a different perspective. Asking yourself this every day reaffirms your ambition and the mindset behind what you are doing. If you don’t know the answer, you’re in trouble!
This question opens the door to a host of other questions that will fuel your thinking. What is the reason you opened your business? What are you passionate about what you are doing? Are you the right person to run your business? The questions can change over time. At first, it can be difficult to summarize the why’s behind what motivates you. Perhaps there are competing interests that motivate you. But when you think about the answer there is probably a very simple answer. Just make sure, to be honest with yourself.
The reason you do something gives rise to the question: What do you hope to achieve? You need to know what the result you want to achieve looks like and what success means to you. Is it about having a certain level of wealth? Is it about being the best on the market? Does it have to do with people respecting you? Do you want to dominate the world (or at least a niche in the market) or do you just want to make enough money to do something you love?
Start your day by asking yourself this and see where your answer takes you. Taking a few minutes to do this will give you the clarity to steer your career in the direction you need to go.
2. What is the purpose of your company?
Try to answer this question in one sentence. A good starting point is your company’s mission: what are your company’s formal objectives, goals, and values? This should be clear and concise, and it should speak to the heart of your business.
The purpose of your company is the foundation on which everything else is built. It must be flexible enough to grow and allow for change, but specific enough to be meaningful and relevant. In the end, this question should help you understand what you are doing.
This question should be on the tip of your tongue when you have to make important decisions. Ask yourself if this new venture or idea will logically reinforce or contribute to the overall purpose of your company. Are you being true to your purpose?
This does not mean that the purpose cannot change over time. However, if you change, you must do so with a clear purpose and with great care. Thinking about this will help you identify the long-term goals of your business and can lead you to even more important questions, such as: What do you want your business to represent for your customers? What is your company’s place in the world and what is its ideal market?
3. Where is your business at the moment?
The objective of this question is that you evaluate your business both analytically and emotionally, it is the opportunity for you to look objectively at the place where your company is standing. Are you on the right track? What is missing? What is good and how can you reproduce that in all areas of your company?
It is also important to recognize your emotions and mentalize what you feel about your company. What does your instinct tell you? Are you feeling anxious or excited? It does not matter if you have negative or positive emotions, the important thing is to recognize what you are feeling and the reason why you feel it.
This will allow you to better understand your state of mind and how it influences the decisions you are making. It’s about understanding the kind of vibe you’re sending out. Do you feel balanced? Or do you feel like everything is going wrong and you don’t have the resources to fix it?
Being in tune with your emotions and having a clear vision of what is happening in your business will ensure you are in an optimal level of balance and will help you not to overreact or underreact in every situation.
4. What lessons are you learning?
All entrepreneurs face an uphill battle to be successful. Each day should be filled with learning and growth, and the best way to do this is by reflecting deeply on the lessons that are presented to you daily.
Ask yourself if you are learning from your mistakes. Failure is part of every entrepreneur’s journey. The question is whether your mistakes allow you to learn and grow. If not, chances are you will make the same mistakes over and over again. Are you learning when to seize an opportunity and when to let it pass? This is one of the key learnings for entrepreneurs, and it is not easy at all.
The next time you have to decide whether or not to take a risk, ask yourself, “When I’m 80, will I regret not taking it?” Jeff Bezos does this to see more clearly whether or not he will regret a decision. When we look at the big picture, our biggest mistakes in life have to do with the opportunities we miss.
5. What’s next?
Answer one of these questions every day and you are covered. As an entrepreneur, you always need to know what is coming next. You need to anticipate what is coming your way and have a plan of action. This is the question that forces you to look over all the work you have accumulated on your desk and think about the big picture and the next steps for your business.
What strategies will you need to keep driving your business in the future? What trends or interests are on the horizon that could affect or benefit your business? How will new technologies impact the way you operate your company?
Disruption will happen in all markets because change is inevitable. Businesses that survive do so because they see the wave coming and make the necessary adjustments in time to get around it. So, in a way, change is predictable because it always comes. Innovation and ingenuity will always be key to success, and those who seize the opportunities will be the ones who navigate the waves best.
So when you ask yourself “What’s next?” Make sure you are looking at things with an open mind and a degree of curiosity. Make sure you are open to new ideas and creative solutions. Keep looking for the “wow” factor in everything you do.