The Power of Questions
One thing I really started to appreciate more this week is the power of asking the right questions.
For the first time ever, we had all 14 team members together in real life (and Adi, one of our editors, even flew over from India to be with us). This was a lot of fun.
We talked about a bunch of stuff, including our goals for the year, our projects for the next 6 weeks, and resolving other important questions about the business.
I also used this time as an opportunity to get feedback from the team as to how we can improve as a business.
Whenever I’d asked for ways in which we can improve the business in the past, it never really prompted much of a discussion. It’s just a really hard question to answer. So, what I found helpful this time was reframing it into a more specific question.
For example, instead of asking ‘how do we make the business better?’, I asked the following three questions instead:
- What’s one thing that we should continue doing that makes us the best place to work?
- What’s one thing we should start doing that would what would make this the best place to work?
- What’s one thing we should stop doing that would make this the best place to work?
And this prompted about 5 hours worth of conversation, just by being more specific with the questions I was asking.
So, this got me thinking. What are the other areas of life in which asking a better (or more specific) question will lead you to the answer you’re looking for?
One area that comes to mind is the question: ‘what do I want do with my life?’
This is an impossible question to answer because it’s so broad. But, if we ask some more specific questions, it makes answering it far more manageable. For example, asking the question ‘What would I want written in the achievements section of my Wikipedia page?’ or ‘What would I want my closest friends / family to say at my funeral?’ both help us answer the question of what we might want to do with our life. But, the more specific questions are far easier to answer.
Similarly, trying to work out what our goals should be for the year is hard. But, if, instead, you imagine you’re sat down with a friend in 12 months time celebrating your biggest achievements of the year, what would the two of you be celebrating? This is the same question as ‘what are your goals this year?’, but framed in a different way that makes it easier to answer.
In short, the more specific the question, the better the answer will be.
This is also why I enjoy collecting journaling prompts. When I open my journal and have a specific question to answer, I know that’s going to lead to powerful and interesting insights compared to when I’ve got no prompt to work from.
So, what’s one area of your life in which asking a more specific or different question might give you a better answer?
And, if you’ve got any specific journaling prompts that you find helpful, please hit reply and share them with me. In a future issue I’ll share these with everyone so we can all level up our question asking ability 🙂
Have a great week!
P.S. We’ve hit 4 million subscribers on my YouTube channel, so to say thank you I’m running a little competition 🥳 Enter here to win my Productivity Booster Kit: https://aliabdaal.com/4m-giveaway/
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♥️ My Favourite Things
📚 Book – How to Get Rich. I started listening to this audiobook from Felix Dennis, who’s one of Britain’s wealthiest self-made entrepreneurs with an estimated fortune of £500 million. It was recommended on Tim Ferriss’ podcast with Derek Sivers and I’m really enjoying it so far – it’s a very funny and sarcastic look at how to get rich. The one major takeaway so far is that trying to get rich is something you should only do if you feel a deep seated compulsion to do it, because it’s not going to make you any happier and requires a ton of hard work.
🎵 Album – Subtract. This is the fifth album from Ed Sheeran and I’ve been listening to it non-stop for a couple of weeks now. In particular, I really enjoy ‘Boat’ and ‘Eyes Closed’. But, the whole album is full of bangers imo.
📚 Book – It Doesn’t Have to Be Crazy at Work. Within the business, there’s always a sense of franticness and a feeling that we could be doing more. So, I’m trying to encourage myself and the rest of the team to chill out more. In particular, I’m trying to work out the right balance between being an effective as a business, but doing that in a way that just feels more calm. This book has some good stuff on that topic that I’m re-reading for the fifth time 😃
📱App – Notion. We’ve been experimenting with a few apps to manage the various projects within the business, but we keep finding ourselves returning to Notion. Six months ago, Notion had various issues with speed and performance that added a lot of friction to managing / organising everything we needed as a company. But, now I find myself wholeheartedly embracing Notion for all my business related things in a way that I haven’t in a while. And it feels nice to get back into it and being using a tool again that I’m very familiar with. This isn’t sponsored by Notion or anything, I just genuinely enjoy using the app these days, especially with their recent performance and AI improvements, and couldn’t recommend it more.
🎬 My New Videos
🎬 How I Gained 4 Million Subscribers in My Spare Time – In this video I break down the single most important thing that I did to grow my YouTube channel whilst also having a full time job. I managed to get to a place where I was spending around 5-10 hours a week on the channel, which is pretty insane, so hopefully you’ll find something useful.
🏰 How to Start Your First Business – The CASTLE Method – I recently interviewed Daniel Priestley, a super successful entrepreneur, on my podcast Deep Dive. During our conversation he laid out a 5 step plan for how anyone can start their first business. So in this video, I talk through each of his steps and work through a live example and use a worksheet which you can download.
✍️ Quote of the Week
“It’s easy to get caught up in the pursuit of greener grass through more money, travel, sex, experiences, people, whatever you believe will bring you to that next level of bliss, but in most cases, the grass is greener where you water it. It’s not about trying to find that 99% perfect city, person, project, lifestyle, but about finding ones that are 80-90% of the way there and then investing in them to make them great.”
From the article Lessons from One Year of Nomadic Passive Income by Nat Eliason. Resurfaced using Readwise.