Earlier today, my wife and I were hanging out our favorite cafe in Prague with our 4 kids.
We bought some coffees for me and the wifey, and strawberry lemonade for the kids.
We decided to buy the kids some pastries, but they were all out and they only had 3 croissants left.
So we ordered them, and I was left with the difficult task of figuring out how we were going to split 3 croissants with 4 kids.
(Yes, a daunting task to say the least – and if you have more than one kid, you know what I am talking about.)
So while we were waiting for the croissants to be delivered to our table, I asked my kids to figure out the best way to split up 3 croissants among 4 people.
(One thing I’ve learned when it comes to tricky issues that may cause an argument, is to ask the kids try to come up with a solution. That way it comes from them – not me. It sometimes works… 😉
(And we homeschool them, so I am always looking for ways to bring complicated, deep, real world issues into the daily conversation…)
Someone said, “We could split each croissant up 4 ways.”
But that would be a complete disaster and a huge mess…
(Have you ever tried to tear apart a croissant?)
Our 7 year old girl had the best idea of all…
“Why don’t they just make one more croissant?”
My wife and I laughed. It was real funny…!
She wasn’t necessarily thinking about the question I asked – “How can we split the 3 croissants”. She was thinking about how we could get one more.
Do you see the difference?
She is always thinking outside the box, asking “why?”, wondering why things have to be done a certain way, why they can’t be done differently.
I love it…
And it got me thinking…
1) I need to think outside the box more.
2) I need to ask more questions.
3) I need to start asking BETTER questions.
4) I want to hang out with more people in business who ask the really tough, creative questions.
Let’s stop trying to fit in everyone else’s mold. Just because someone is doing it one way, doesn’t mean we need to do it that way too.
When your competitors are sending postcards, send letters.
When they are sending yellow letters, send white.
When they are letting all their seller calls go to voice mail, answer your phones live.
If you are doing virtual wholesaling, when other wholesalers are sending offers in email, send yours in email AND snail mail.
(And on top of that… why not send a mobile notary to the sellers house immediately after you get off the phone?)
If the seller only wants full retail for their property, and they won’t take your lowball cash offer, what else can you offer them that will get them to accept your offer?
Let’s practice asking better questions…
Instead of saying, “I could never do that…”
Ask, “How could I do that?”
Instead of saying, “We can’t afford that.”
Ask, “How can we afford that?”
Do you see the difference?
Is there a different way you could look at your problems today? A different angle?
Step outside of the situation, and try to look at it from from 30,000 feet.
Read some general business books. (Start with the “Pumpkin Plan” – great book!)
Find a good mastermind with your investing peers, or start one.
Finally, just stop a second and ask yourself, “What would a 7 year girl say about this?”
(And oh yeah, what did we end up doing with the 3 croissants? The 11 and 7 year old’s got their own because they ate all their eggs earlier that morning. And the other two kids shared the 3rd one. That was my idea… 😉
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