Personal finance is downright boring once you grasp the basics. There are no quick fixes to rectifying your financial situation…it takes time, patience and persistence. There are millions of articles and sales pages around the web that try to explain new ways to get out of debt fast or build wealth overnight, but such things are usually (1) high risk, (2) scams, or (3) require an intense amount of work and luck.
All that being said, a better way to solve your financial problems is to ask better questions. Instead of asking “How can I get out of debt fast,” ask a question like “What skills am I missing that are limiting my income?” If you ask better questions, you’ll get better answers. Simple as that.
I have a sort of non-formal mentor who I look up to and has amassed a multi-million-dollar net worth. He’s extremely wise and always looking at situations from more than one side. His storytelling is one-of-a-kind, he finds humor in everything, and his analysis of any topic is always eye-opening. But one thing he always does during a conversation is he asks great questions. He will rarely come to a conclusion on his own. It’s an impressive leadership style, and one that has surely helped him build wealth.
An important component of better questions is relevance to your own situation. “How can I make more money” is useless out of context. What are your skills? What’s your level of education? How old are you? Where do you live? How do you make money right now? With a million variables, a vague question is rarely useful.
In a 2014 article in Inc. Magazine, writer Warren Berger explains that a “beautiful” question is one that reframes an issue and forces you to look at it in a different way, challenging assumptions. If we want to make a bigger impact on the world around us, change habits, and do things differently, we need to ask better questions.
So, how are you at asking questions? Does it come easy, or are you too busy doing the talking?