When I’m wearing my attorney hat, I see the nitty gritty ins and outs of lots of creative businesses. I hear successes, struggles, fears, and triumphs. I know about exciting things before you can share the news on social media. But also hear your frustrations when things go wrong.
I’m the keeper of many secrets and often know things that only your closest friends know. Listening to all these experiences is one of my favorite parts of my job. I don’t see my role as an outsider that squashes deals on a whim, but as part of your team. And as part of your team, I need to know where we are going, so that I can assure my advice helps get us there. I can only be a strategic team member if I know where we are headed.
The 8 magic questions
With this goal in mind, I have a series of questions I use in my initial conversation with potential clients. I ask:
- What are you working on?
- What are your goals?
- When would you like to meet those goals?
- What would success be for this project?
- How will you know when you achieve success?
- What results will you see when you achieve success?
- How will success make you feel?
- What do you need help with?
Over the past few years of asking these questions, I’ve noticed a pattern. These questions either make it clear that you:
- know what equals success and have a game plan for how to get there
- have a good idea of what success would be, but aren’t sure how you are going to get there
- talk the talk but haven’t done the hard work of defining success or creating a plan
The reason that I find these questions so helpful is because they help give us a roadmap.
How they give you a roadmap
They allow us to look at your legal to-do list and prioritize what needs to be done, and in what order. They give us a measuring stick to decide if certain things will help you get to your destination. We can look at every decision placed before you and quickly assess if it will help you get closer to your end run goal. And if not, you can avoid wasting time pursuing an opportunity that won’t help you get to your destination.
We can look at every decision placed before you and quickly assess if it will help you get closer to your end run goal.
Ultimately knowing where you are going means you can figure out the very next step that will help get you there. Because no one should waste time on something off the path or that is too far ahead to make an impact today.
How you can easily apply this today
- Set a coffee or lunch date with a creative entrepreneur friend so you can ask each other these questions.
- Spend 5 minutes brainstorming what success looks like for your business.
What does success look like for your business? Let us know in the comments.