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Curiosity: A Secret of Entrepreneurship

Curiosity is part of what drives me every day. While it may be dangerous for mischievous felines–you know, because curiosity killed the cat–curiosity can be the key to being a great entrepreneur.

Why is curiosity so important?

Asking questions and being interested in the world around you can set you apart as an entrepreneur.  Business owners who wonder, “How does that work?” “What is that like?”  “What is that?” are entrepreneurs who desire to grow and try new things.

When you’re curious, you think outside-the-box

Curiosity causes you to notice new and different things.  Enquiring entrepreneurs often notice different people, ways of doing things, objects, and cultures.

Curiosity leads to asking more questions

The answer to what seems like a simple question could lead to innovation in your company.  Don’t disregard your pondering mind.

Failing is not failure to a curious entrepreneur

When curiosity leads to taking a risk, you learn something important.  If you have answered a question and learned something new, it’s not a failure even if the risk doesn’t pan out.

Curious people don’t stick to the norm

Challenging the status quo by asking, “Is there a better way?” is how entrepreneurs stand out and stay ahead of competitors.

Curiosity give us empathy for others

When you ask questions, you take an interest in another person.  Asking people about themselves, or even how they do their work, allows you to see the world through their eyes.

Naturally curious? Don’t suppress it

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Some people are just naturally inquisitive.  Albert Einstein said, “I have no special talents.  I am just passionately curious.”  If that’s you, then consider your curiosity and your questioning mind a gift (even though it drove your school teachers crazy).  There are many ways to nurture your curiosity and channel it into entrepreneurship.

Persevere through your questions.

Curious people have lots of questions. Don’t leave them unanswered, even if you think you don’t have the time for research.

The answers to those curious questions could lead to something you never expected to find. You could uncover a need, a solution, or an idea.

Follow your passion, but don’t pass on an opportunity

If your questions uncover an opportunity, don’t pass it up just because it’s not related to your business passion. Follow that opportunity and then figure out a way to pair it with your day-to-day business.

For instance, if your business lies in sports equipment, nurture your curiosity by asking questions about local sports in your area. Who are the team managers? Who owns the stadiums?  What do the fans like most about their hometown teams?  Knowing the answers to these questions may uncover a need that you have been unaware of, which translates into an entrepreneurial opportunity.

If you are not naturally curious, develop it

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Even hard-working, risk-taking entrepreneurs can have a mental block when it comes to curiosity and creativity.  Fortunately, curiosity is a skill that can be developed.  If you find yourself in a rut, jump-start your creativity by doing some simple exercises.

Put yourself in a new environment

Leave your usual surroundings and get out of your comfort zone.  Try a new hobby, a new gym, or shop in a different community.  Talk to people you normally wouldn’t meet.  Take note of any questions you have or anything you are curious about.

Ask questions

Write down your questions and the possible answers.  Then do some research. What do you want to know more about?

Make sure you’re not a know-it-all

Entrepreneurs who think they know everything about their business are not curious enough.  On the other hand, an entrepreneur who nurtures curiosity understands that there’s always more to learn. Retain a child-like curiosity about people—including your customers, your employees and others.  Be curious about competitors’ products and different ways to do things, as well as innovative tools you can use in your workplace.

Look for curious partners and employees

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Business owners often say that they look for curiosity and creativity in their employees.  However, many do not actually select their team based on those traits.  Why should you look beyond education and experience to select creative, curious employees?

Curiosity leads to good problem-solving skills

Curious employees will look at all sides of a problem.  They will ask questions to understand the challenges and will explore more than the predictable options for a solution.

Curious employees can adapt to change

People who have curiosity about others and different ways of doing things will not become as uncomfortable with changes in their work environment.

Curiosity breeds curiosity

When other employees see that you are encouraging a curious and creative coworker, they will be inspired to do the same.  Curiosity can be a learned behavior.  Let your curious and creative employee model their problem-solving and question-asking skills for your team.

Conclusion

Most entrepreneurs share the common traits of perseverance, intelligence, and resilience.  But curiosity is a trait that is critical for success as an entrepreneur.  Whether curiosity comes naturally to you or you need more practice, keep asking questions.  You never know where the answers will take you.

 

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    JACOB TINGEN

    LAWYER & ONLINE ENTREPRENEUR

    After graduating from law school and passing the bar, I struggled to find work, pay my bills, and make ends meet. That's when I decided to take control of my future and start working for myself. Now, several years and a handful of companies later, I'm sharing how I launched a successful business, and how you can do it too.

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