I’m known in my family for constantly asking, “Why?” Others will say something about what they’re going to do, what they want to get, etc. and I’ll ask, Why?
Sometimes I get the answer, “Because.” And no, that’s not a reason why you want to do something.
- A client told me if he had the money (at the time) he’d like to buy a larger machine. Why? It turns out because he likes big machines, not because the business needed it.
- Years ago, one of my clients bought a business with way too much inventory. Why? Because the owner loved seeing full racks of stuff (and those full racks turned into cash with better management).
- An owner had way too many employees. Why? Seems he didn’t want to work too hard, so he didn’t pay attention, and therefore made less money.
A client of mine, in a buy-sell deal, made it a (conscious) point of avoiding the why question by giving the answer in advance. For example, “This information is needed by Friday because (let’s say, to keep the bank on schedule).”
It’s a great simple one-word question to ask about marketing tactics, purchases, hiring, and much more.
“Even the smallest act of service, the simplest act of kindness, is a way to honor those we lost, a way to reclaim that spirit of unity that followed 9/11.”President Barack Obama