Asking questions is an important part of growing as a person and as a business. In the business world, there is a common misconception that asking questions is a sign of weakness and that you’re not smart enough. That is not true. Studies have shown that asking well-thought-out questions is a sign of intelligence. It’s also one of the traits successful people have in common.
10 Questions Every Entrepreneur Should Ask
Asking entrepreneurs personal questions can offer you a great insight into how they see entrepreneurship and what tools and tactics are they using to achieve the entrepreneurial mindset. You can also ask questions about dealing with failure staying focused when times are difficult, etc.
What books do you recommend for every entrepreneur to read?
What motivates you to keep going?
How do you manage the stress?
How are you taking care of your mental health?
How do you prevent burnout?
What does your typical workday look like?
How do you manage your work-life balance?
What are your values and ideals?
How do you deal with self-doubt and doubt from others?
When did you know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?
What do you enjoy most about entrepreneurship? What do you find the hardest about it?
What has been your biggest “a-ha” moment?
An “a-ha” moment represents a revelation or epiphany that an individual has. In this situation, it may represent the moment an entrepreneur realized that they had a winning business idea. Often, entrepreneurs may come up with many business ideas before finding one that works. Asking about this revelatory moment can help inspire you to continue pursuing yours. It may help you identify ways to generate ideas or think about your business from different angles. If you already have numerous business ideas, you may use their answer to determine which idea to pursue.
5 Tips for Arranging Informational Meetings with Entrepreneurs
Time is money. Dont be surprised if not everyone you ask for an informational interview agrees to talk to you. In fact, not everyone you reach out to will even respond. People are busy, so when requesting a call or a meeting, keep it short and sweet.
State your case. In your email, say who you are and what you want in no more than a couple of sentences. Explain why youd like to meet and what youd like to learn about their work.
Ask for information only. Make it clear that youre not asking for a job. If a person thinks youre going to ask them for a job, it puts too much pressure on them and they might not want to talk to you.
Be flexible. Ask if theyd be willing to meet for coffee, or talk by phone for 10-20 minutes. Emphasize that youll work around their schedule.
Be prepared. Read as much as you can about their business so you can avoid asking obvious questions you can find the answer to online. Research the interviewee on both their company website and on LinkedIn, and check out the companys social media sites.