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One of the most beneficial skills entrepreneurs can develop is applying intelligent curiosity to everyday situations. It is even better to develop situational awareness in addition to the ability of intelligent curiosity. Situation awareness is commonly taught in law enforcement. Here you are aware of what is going on around you. There is a 360 degree awareness of threats and opportunities. An example of this strategy is sitting with your back against a wall or in a position where you can see everything and everyone around you.
With a high profile, you are more likely to spot opportunities that others are passing by. However, it is not enough to “see” opportunities. If you are curious enough to explore these possibilities, you will often find business success. This is where the application of intelligent curiosity comes into play.
Smart curiosity is directed, focused, strategic, and intentional. It is not a conventional curiosity that makes us find things "interesting". Here we are interested not only in what is directly in front of us, but also in the periphery – the edges around the focus of our desire that are very likely to influence or influence it. This is known as edge learning, and intelligent curiosity is a key element of it.
Related: Curiosity is key to discovering your next breakthrough idea
For example, an entrepreneur's focus could be on developing a single product or service. An edger expands his lens to see what other possibilities this product or service offers or what threats may exist to the development of the product or its needs in the market. This wide-angle lens creates situational awareness. Are there any accessories that could make the product or service more useful, e.g. B. Protective cases for cell phones? Are there other uses for the product that require a different type of marketing?
Proctor & Gamble launched Febreze as a spray that can be used to remove bad odors such as cigarette smoke or pet odors from the fabric. It bombed. People who live with bad smells every day are often unaware of them. The developers decided instead to add a perfume to the product and market it as a spray to be used after cleaning. Instead of an "odor remover" it sold well as an "air freshener".
Those who develop and use intelligent curiosity are more successful entrepreneurs and are often recognized as thought leaders. After working and studying dozens of thought leaders in today's marketplace, I noticed their high level of intelligent curiosity. They always ask questions and seek knowledge from everyone they meet. Regardless of their industry or financial success, they are always on the lookout. They adjust to what I call their "frequency of magnitude", their ability to dial into problems and solutions, and ask questions like, "What caused this?" "Why was that the best solution?" "Who or what was affected by this situation and in what way?"
Legendary thought leaders like master sales trainer Tom Hopkins and business expert Sharon Lechter give entrepreneurs worldwide a lot of wisdom, but when I first sat down with them they wanted to know what I was experiencing and what I was focusing on and why. They exercise intelligent curiosity at every encounter. Working with Tom, I've learned that he practices what he teaches: "When you speak, you can only deliver what you already know. When you ask other questions, you learn – and you gain new knowledge with that You can better understand them and their needs. "
Implementing smart curiosity strategies can help entrepreneurs better enjoy the roller coaster ride of business. It allows them to open their minds to new ideas, spin, switch, and adapt as the market demands. Indeed, the ability to learn intelligent curiosity will lead them to celebrate and capitalize on the inevitable challenges or failures.
Instead of walking away from stumbling blocks, they will learn who placed the blocks there and why. Knowledge gained from intelligent curiosity helps them get the blocks out of the way, climb over them, or in some cases take a completely different path.
As a former private investigator, intelligent curiosity was critical to my success. If I got a case, I would work diligently to explore several avenues to get the answers I needed. I would allow myself to fall into the rabbit hole every now and then. Being open to many different options helped me uncover the truth. My background in law enforcement taught me how to retrieve valuable information through my eyes and ears. I discovered more through listening and through what is known as the kinesthetic sense – how our muscles and organs in our body react. By raising awareness, we can quickly understand how others are feeling and how they can react to situations.
Smart curiosity is a learnable skill; it requires a commitment to the craft and ongoing practice. But don't confuse it with an add-on or luxury ability. It is critical to your success in all areas of life. It provides the necessary knowledge to imagine innovations. It helps you know when to convey ideas, when to act, and when to not act.
Related: Curiosity is what drives innovation
Intelligent curiosity contradicts our own tendencies because of the depths we can get into. Our innate curiosity wants quick answers and simple solutions. However, this is not often the requirement for success. More often than not, success is not a product of what everyone else would do – success is mutated behavior. They cannot follow normal processes and become largely successful. These processes can work for a short period of time, but without constant innovation they will inevitably become out of date and fail or fade over time. Intelligent curiosity drives people to act and think creatively, to be more attentive, and thereby create new types of knowledge. Ultimately, the results of intelligent curiosity are the source of success.