3 Question You Must Never Fail To Ask Every Successful Person


Opportunities are tiny precious seeds that when lost, are difficult to find. Many people have allowed great opportunities slip off their fingers even without knowing it.

Meeting successful people is an opportunity to get initiated into the sacred order of success. This is because, if used properly, you’ll get to know the working orientation and requirements to be successful.

One of the things I believe everyone (well, not everyone) does when they get such opportunity is to ask questions. Unfortunately, some people would rather take “selfie” pictures with these people of social renown instead of taking treasures of knowledge from them.

I know that I need to hit the nail on the head, but first, I really need to set the nail properly in its place so that the hammer will drive it through the wood unhindered. Bear with me as I lay the basic antecedents of this article.

If you visit Google, you will see an array of articles that cover this same topic, and they offer lots of good questions that you should ask in the perfect circumstance. As good as that may be, time may not avail you the opportunity to ask all the questions you’ve got listed out.

From my basic experience and relevant researches, I hand picked these there questions which I believe are more important than others. Others are quite important, but you can get answers to most of them from various sources.

For instance, you shouldn’t be asking Bill Gates, “how did you become the founder of Microsoft?” That question is a waste of opportunity because there are books, biographies and articles littered all over the internet that has done justice to that question.

Asking questions like, “how many hours do you spend on the television every day?” will be more off the point because successful men are vision mindedly building empires and conglomerates. They only return to the television when they’ve got a need to relax, see the latest news or watch their stock rise high in the financial market. Even if you should get an answer to that question, I wondered the level of impact it will have on your success meter.

That fully said, I have the following questions that you should never fail to ask a successful person you admire and look up to when the rare opportunity presents itself:

Question 1

What is the most productive thing that you do that others don’t do or do differently?

I need to say that this question is not as light as you probably think it is. It is all encompassing and cuts across virtually every area of a person’s life, but more focused on the side of productivity. Perhaps, you are a writer, and you know you’re dangerously good at writing, but you are not as successful as you are meant to be. You’ve followed all the basic and advanced principles of writing which renowned writers also followed, yet you still have poor results. Don’t you think there is a loose-end somewhere? Better still, don’t you think there is something you are not doing in the best productive manner?

Doing something right doesn’t guarantee you will get the right result. That sounds crazy, right? Yea, it’s very crazy.

I’ll illuminate it. Having an Entrepreneurship degree from Harvard Business School doesn’t won’t make you the best entrepreneur. Beyond the theories, practicals and laws such a course must have imbibed in you, lies a labour market where men have risen to stardom by blending the little knowledge they have with a mixture of challenges, trials, innovations, failures and successes. In summary we call this “business hack” or “on the job experience”.

You can hardly find two persons with the same EXACT job experience. Emphatically, I repeat,

You may do the right things that the cookbook says, and may not get the exact results that successful entrepreneurs have.

This is why you must know what these men do differently, but you’ve been doing the same old theorized way.

Secret Formula

To further buttress this, I have another insight I drew from something people refer to as “childish”, but I don’t.

If you watched Nickelodeon’s TV animation series, Spongebob Squarepants while growing up, you’ll know what is called Krappy Patty’s secret formula. For those who didn’t, I’ll illuminate this. The secret formula was Mr. Krabs’ recipe for the only hamburger sold at his restaurant. He guards it with all jealousy, such that no one including his family and employees don’t know it.

Away from cartoons, only two people in the world knows Coca-Cola’s secret recipe.
Trust me, no one will give you his secret formula unless he is ready to have his business face the greatest competition of all time.

The truth is you don’t need Coca-Cola’s secret formula neither do you need Mr. Krabs’ formula to succeed. But there is a productive mindset behind the secret formulas and the successful erection of conglomerates. That’s what you need. That mindset has what it takes to drive you from from mediocrity to full-fledged success. It has what it takes for you to get a working secret formula for any business you’re into.

This mindset my friends, can be unraveled by asking this question properly. Even when poorly answered, it has the capacity to give you a proper head start.

Question 2

What Are Your Success Habits?

Success is way beyond having strategies or keys.

It’s a lifestyle, and every lifestyle has ensuing habits. The road to success starts with waking up from bed each day. What you do from that time onwards has a direct effect on your success meter.

In 1908, Napoleon Hill was granted an interview by one of the world’s richest men in his time, Andrew Carnegie. That interview was captured in his best selling book, Think And Grow Rich. It is the 6th best selling book of all time. Over 100million copies have been sold so far. I recommend it for everyone.

That book set everyone who read it on a quest path to discover a secret best known as the “Carnegie’s secret”. Napoleon claimed that Carnegie told him the secret to his wealth during the interview. Napoleon didn’t explicitly say what that secret was, but he used codes to hide it in the book. I, like many others have searched without having a harmonious result.

Much later, I stumbled upon a quote from one of his other books, “The Master Key To Riches”. This quote showed me another perspective of the Carnegie secret,

The great Master-Key to riches is nothing more nor less than the self-discipline necessary to help you take full and complete possession of your own mind.
–Napoleon Hill

This quote can be summed up in one word, “HABIT”. It is not necessarily the Carnegie’s secret, although not far from it. But it is a necessary tool that Carnegie couldn’t have been successful without.

In the same vein, people’s success stories are not far from their habits. Habits obey the Law of Use. It breeds consistency, and consistency breeds mastery.

Question 3

What are your greatest mistakes that I should avoid?

A wise man learns from the mistakes of others. Before getting the proper path to success and while on the path, people make costly mistakes that they wished they had avoided. At other times, they are grateful that they had such mistakes because of the resulting lessons they learnt.

These lessons are priceless nuggets that everyone needs to ride on the path of success.

Never fail to finish off a conversation with someone you look up to without getting a souvenir off his fair share of mistakes. It will help to discourage you from repeating same.

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