“Millions saw the apple fall, but Newton asked why.” – Bernard Baruch
This is my last post in the 7 Cs of entrepreneurial success series. It was difficult for me to choose between compassion and connectivity for my last post. Both traits are important for entrepreneurial success. I started a post on compassion and discarded it. I started a post on connectivity and discarded that as well.
Whenever I’m struggling with a decision, I plant the question in my mind as I close my eyes to go to sleep and the answer usually comes to me upon awakening. One night I followed this routine and in the morning I woke up with the word CURIOSITY on my mind.
Curiosity? OK, curiosity it is.
Curiosity is the engine of achievement. ~Ken Robinson
Children are born with the innate sense of curiosity. As I reflect, I remember my 4 children’s relentless questions. My answers led to more questions from their curious minds, and even when I didn’t have the answer, they would ask another question … such as why I didn’t have the answer.
Unfortunately, for some of us, as we mature, our curiosity wanes and our lives become routine. Routine leads to passive living … NO! Not living, existing.
Passive living isn’t the lifestyle of successful entrepreneurs. If you want to be a successful entrepreneur you must nurture and develop your curiosity.
Here are five reasons why –
1. A curious mind asks questions.
“There are no foolish questions and no man becomes a fool until he has stopped asking questions.” ― Charles Proteus Steinmetz
Successful entrepreneurs are observant and their minds are active. They look at people, the world and things with questioning minds. A questioning mind is a curious mind. Questions bring ideas to life. Questions lead to exploration and innovation. Questions expand the mind as it searches for answers and they open the door to new possibilities.
Too many adults stop asking questions because they are afraid of looking foolish. Curious entrepreneurs ask deep thought provoking questions, and the answers lead to innovations and the development of products/services that change the world and change lives.
2. A curious mind is open to new ideas and experiences.
“A mind is like a parachute. It doesn’t work if it is not open.” ― Frank Zappa
A curious mind is an open mind. Having an open mind is important for an entrepreneur’s success. Entrepreneurs who remain closed to new ideas and experiences start businesses that may grow for some time but they will eventually fail. To attract new customers and retain the old ones, entrepreneurs must be willing to embrace new marketing strategies and technologies. They must remain open to new ideas and trends that will help the people and the communities they serve.
A curious mind remains flexible, and it’s fertile ground for new ideas and experiences. An entrepreneur’s resistance to new ideas and experiences is a liability. On the other hand, an entrepreneur’s curious mind is an asset for his or her company.
3. A curious mind helps with problem solving.
“I set out to discover the why of it, and to transform my pleasure into knowledge.”― Charles Baudelaire
The daily lives of entrepreneurs are filled with problems and challenges. The entrepreneurs who have cultivated their curiosity enjoy dissecting their problems. They learn the how and the why the problem was created, and what they need to do to avoid it in the future. And in the process they discover new solutions and possibilities.
Curious entrepreneurs use challenges to stretch themselves. They peel away the layers of a problem, making the invisible, visible and the impossible, possible.
4.Curiosity leads to life-long learning.
“I have no special talent, I am only passionately curious.”– Albert Einstein
A curious mind is hungry for information. This hunger motivates entrepreneurs to study, learn and implement new strategies for their success.
We are living in a fast changing world. Heidi Klum, the host of Project Runway (one of my favorite shows) includes this statement in her intro for each show “As you know in fashion, one day you’re in. And the next day, you’re out.” I believe (to some degree) this speaks to entrepreneurs, as well their products/services and their marketing strategies.
That is why even successful entrepreneurs can’t afford to rest on their laurels. It’s their responsibility to stay relevant, outpace the competition and continue to offer products/services their customers want to buy.
A curious mind is a powerful asset for learning. Research, published on line at Cell Press journal, shows that a curious mind is a motivated mind. The more curious you are about a topic, the easier it becomes to learn about that topic. In essence, curiosity prepares your brain for learning, and it makes learning (formally and informally) fun and effective. Curiosity makes it easy for an entrepreneur to become a perpetual learner.
5. A curious mind ignites creativity, builds self-confidence, and inspires courage.
Successful entrepreneurs minds search for answers to the what if, the how, and the why of any topic (people, things, and the world). These powerful questions ignite their creativity – for new discoveries, new insights and fresh ideas.
Confident entrepreneurs believe, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that they have what it takes to be successful. Entrepreneurs with self-doubt find it difficult to navigate the terrain of entrepreneurship. A curious mind helps to build self-confidence because it over-powers the feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt. Curiosity changes the “I can’t mindset to the “yes, I can” mindset – it frees the entrepreneur from the chains of self-doubt.
Curious entrepreneurs are also seekers; seekers are action driven. Curiosity inspires the courage entrepreneurs need to take action in spite of fear and uncertainty. The process of taking action is another sure-fire way for entrepreneurs to build their self-confidence.
It’s a wrap
Curiosity is vital for your success as an entrepreneur. Don’t leave home without it. Curiosity demands attention. Curiosity wants to know – why, how, where, when and what if. Curiosity sparks your imagination and ignites your creativity.
If you’d like to develop your curiosity, check out the book and articles below.
What do you do to nurture and develop your curiosity?
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