Sometimes breakthrough ideas come from asking the right questions.
If you want to speed up your growth, take a minute to reflect on these 20 questions.
Some may resonate, some may not. Sometimes a single question can alter your thinking and launch you forward.
"How can I 10X this?"
A lot of people focus on small wins.
Landing a new client, getting a 5% raise, adding a new feature...
Small wins aren’t necessarily a bad thing (as you’ll soon see). But they don’t really stimulate new ideas.
Thinking BIG forces innovation. How would you think if you needed to 10x it?
"What’s the most FUN way to do this"?
Everyone always talks about efficiency, ROI, and the bottom line. But what’s the point of all that if the work is sucking your soul?
It may seem counterintuitive, but sometimes throwing efficiency out the window in favor of fun can lead to more growth.
When work is fun, you’ll…
- Have motivation to work longer
- Be more creative
- Avoid burnout
"What is my $1,000/hour skill?"
What one skill do you have that earns you the most money?
This could be writing emails, making videos, designing new products, consulting with clients, or any number of things.
Whatever it is, how can you spend more of your day doing that thing, and less of everything else?
"How do I "win" in this situation? How do I lose?"
Once upon a time, introverted copywriter Derek Johansen was stuck at a wedding with a bunch of dancing strangers.
Derek’s not a dancer. He was uncomfortable.
But he thought to himself, “What would it look like to ‘win’ in this situation?”
Have a few drinks, loosen up, accept the awkwardness, and try to have fun.
“How do I lose?”
Sit alone by myself, pout, and count down the seconds until I can leave.
He decided to win.
We all experience unpleasant situations on a regular basis. Instead of whining about how sucky it is, try to “win” instead.
"What solutions lie in my circle of influence?"
The book, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People teaches us that many things lie outside of our control in life.
There’s no point in blaming external forces, making excuses, or stressing over something you can’t change.
It’s a waste of energy.
Instead, focus on the things you CAN do.
"What would my hero do?"
When faced with a complicated problem, sometimes you just have to get out of your own head.
You need a new perspective.
Try putting yourself in one of your heroes shoes (or a successful person in your field).
What would Warren Buffet do?
What would Elon Musk do?
What would Oprah do?
What is my "why?"
We’ve all heard this one before, but it’s something we should be revisiting on a regular basis.
It’s easy to get stuck in a rut and lose sight of what’s important.
If you’re feeling lost, burnt out, or just need a spark of motivation to keep grinding—think about why you started in the first place.
"What is my "enough" amount?"
This idea comes from The Company of One by Paul Jarvis.
Many get lost and view business or career growth as the end-all goal.
But are you really just growing for growth’s sake?
Chances are you’re working towards a lifestyle. That might be a certain standard of living. Or it could be simply having the freedom to take afternoons off to pick your kids up from school.
At what income level will you be able to say, “I’m content with this level of success. I don’t need to grow anymore. Now I’m gonna live my life.”?
"What does my perfect day look like?"
One way to help determine your “enough” number is to imagine what a day in your “ideal life” looks like (the more detailed the better).
Every morning, I take two minutes to visualize my perfect day.
That way, I never forget what I’m working towards (or when I’ve reached it).
It also gives me a filter for deciding whether new ideas and opportunities are worth following, or if they’re distracting me from my goal.
"Who can I connect with that has accomplished what I want to accomplish?"
Whatever your goal is, odds are somebody has already achieved it.
So instead of wasting time and energy figuring everything out for yourself...why not take a shortcut?
Whether you pay for a coaching call, work as an intern, or work out some other deal—finding a mentor can be one of the fastest ways to grow.
"What does the SIMPLEST version of this plan or solution look like?"
Whether it’s business, or health, or relationships....we as humans tend to overcomplicate things.
For example, if you’re starting a business, don’t worry about building a website, automating funnels, designing business cards, and setting up an LLC.
You don’t need all that to start.
All you need is one person willing to pay you. Then another. Then another.
Yes, eventually you may need that other stuff. But in general—the simpler, the better.
"How would I accomplish this in only 30 minutes?"
One of the best ways to come up with creative solutions is to add constraints.
What if I needed to do this 10x cheaper?
What if I needed to finish in 30 minutes?
What if I needed to do everything virtually thanks to a pandemic?
It’s a surefire way to get you thinking outside the box.
Fun fact: Forced constraints are how I discovered how to write blog posts with my voice. I broke my wrist and was forced to find creative one-handed solutions.
"What would I do to make this work if my life literally depended on it?"
Here’s a powerful question I head from world-class marketer, Joe Polish.
And it hit me like a brick.
Not only will this uncover new ideas...
But it’s also a reality check.
Are you doing everything you possibly can to achieve your goal? Or are you half-assing it?
"What if this was the last time I could ____?"
This one of my favorite questions for personal development and relationship growth. I think about it every day (and even set it as my phone background).
Next time you do something like…
- Talk to you mom
- Hug your spouse
- Eat an ice cream cone
- Lay down in your comfy bed
...imagine that it will be the last time you’ll ever get to do it.
How would this change your experience?
"What’s in it for them?"
It’s natural to have “what’s in it for me” as your default mindset.
In fact, everyone thinks this way.
But if you want to persuade others (both at home and at work), you need to reverse your thinking.
If you frame every situation and request from a “what’s in it for them” perspective, you have a way higher chance of getting a “yes”.
"How can I make a 1% improvement in my ____ this week?"
Shout out to Gary Bencivenga for this one.
It’s an idea that can be applied to all aspects of life (career, health, finances, relationships, skills, etc).
By making small 1% improvements every week, your growth will start to compound exponentially.
A one percent improvement every week feels very doable. It breaks goals down into baby steps and can help work towards huge transformations without feeling overwhelmed.
"What if we reversed it?"
Sometimes we get stuck on problems because we’re thinking about it the wrong way.
For example, if you’re racking your brain trying to think of ways to make money, try reversing it.
What value can you provide to others so they will give you money?
Sometimes all it takes is a subtle shift in thinking to get outside the box.
"What can I do this week to purposely step outside of my comfort zone?"
Growth and comfort zones don’t mix.
If you want to reach a level you’ve never been to before—whether that be earning more money, learning a new skill, finding new opportunities, etc—you have to step into the unknown and try something new.
Ironically, the more you step outside your comfort zone, the less uncomfortable it gets.
"What 20% of my efforts gives me 80% of my results?"
The 80/20 Principle is real. It’s like a force of nature.
If you can harness it, your growth will skyrocket.
What 20% of your clients give you 80% of your earnings?
What 20% of exercises give you 80% of your fitness results?
What 20% of the things you do for your significant other gives you 80% of the bonding?
Identify the 20%. Then double down.
"What can I learn from this person?"
A surefire way to NOT grow is to have a closed mind and assume you already know everything.
The truth is, EVERYONE has unique experience and insights you can learn from—whether they’re a millionaire entrepreneur or that homeless person you pass on the corner.
If you really want to grow, be open-minded when talking to people you disagree with. Ask yourself:
What does this person see that I don’t?
What do they know that makes them think differently?
Good luck growing!