Do you have a High Degree of Intellectual Curiosity?


There are several patterns that are common among entrepreneurs that are financially succeeding in this current environment.

One that most people miss, the one that is not spoken about often, yet is the backbone of success, is a high degree of intellectual curiosity. I would estimate that 85% of entrepreneurs or small business owners do not have it…a leading indicator of financial failure.

My definition of a high degree of intellectual curiosity: it is the enthusiasm to ask intelligent questions consistently, especially with those who are succeeding in this economy (no matter the niche) and calibrating to that distinction and regulate what impact would that make to your business and your bottom line.

Also, this includes asking intelligent questions consistently to those who did not get the results they were expecting, especially those who had a high degree of success in the past and now have failed in this economy.

As a side note, those who were never successful, and continue to not succeed, those patterns are typically consistent. It is not necessary to spend a lot of time there; yet, being curious and asking a few questions is important, always.

That was a long definition.



“They never miss an opportunity. They take the time to meet up with a successful colleague in person or on the phone to ask a few intellectual curiosity questions, for example…”

  1. “Bob, I am curious, what 1 or 2 main things have you had to do differently in your business the last 24 months to continue with your success?” or
  2. “Bob, may I ask you a question? What is the one main distinction you have made in your ___________ (marketing, sales process, hiring process, online presence…) that has helped you succeed in this current economy?” or
  3. “Bob, what has changed the most in your business during the last 24 months?” or
  4. “Bob, what advice would you give to a struggling entrepreneur to use during the next 12 months to get on track to profitability in their business?” What about with your own clients or prospects?
  5. “Bob, when you went to our website, what part of the site did you like the most and what prompted you to call today? What part did you feel was missing that would have helped your online experience?” What do most people do…how did you hear about us, which search engine and keyword did you use. Hopefully, that is a minimum if an online lead called. Some don’t even do that…really mind-blowing.
  6. “Bob, since you have become a client, what part of our process would you improve? What part did you enjoy the best?” The language of “what part” is key because that will help the client or prospect, focus on a part they liked or did not like, vs. a more generic question, Did you like our website? The prospect says, yes…how did that help you make any improvements or keep something that was working?What do most do that fail? Bottom line, they don’t ask many questions, they either stand in awe of the successful speaker, training, entrepreneurs, or more likely they assume…I hear you speak, read your book, attended your webinar and I already know what you teach…so no questions in my mind. That is a great pattern for failure.

The best and most specific story I have heard of this a few years ago, that shows a great example of a high degree of intellectual curiosity with great focus on a sales process and looking for a way to model to their already multimillion-dollar business, is one that Dan Kennedy told at an event. The learning opportunity is not the setting of the story, but the example of a high degree of intellectual curiosity. Dan Kennedy (one of the top marketers) was hosting a small event with about 20 successful entrepreneurs (all men in this one group).

The event was across from a big strip club and the men wanted to go. Dan and Pastor Rodney were leading the group and they knew the men would go without them, so they wanted to supervise (tough job). While in the strip club one of the members of Dan’s group was missing…Dan went to find him, (call him George), and Dan found him in the strippers dressing room, with a notepad, pen and three topless strippers around him.

George was not paying any attention to the state of dress or undress. He was asking them math questions. “Tell me how the upsell process works here, what is the first step, second…how much money do you clear in a night, what is your split? What is the turnover…” No wonder, George ran a $30 million dollar business. He had a very high degree of intellectual curiosity about everything! Even in this environment, he was focused on what strategies he could learn to apply to his business.

Disney does a great job of this. Part of the job requirement of the imaginers is to be a guest in their own park, ride the rides, ask questions to other guests (who do not know they work for Disney) and find out what is working and what is not working… one of many reasons Disney is a big success.

I remember asking Armand Morin, one of the top internet marketers in the world; about his belief system about watching TV…he does the opposite of what most people do, he fast-forwards through the TV program to watch the commercials! Why?

He wants to learn the latest strategies and marketing angles that influence people. In fact, he studies infomercials and the process to find out what he can apply in his own sales process. No wonder Armand’s business does close to $20 million per year, working from home with a team of only 7 people working remotely for him.

By the way, I have his entire business model on how he runs his week and business, how? By having a high degree of intellectual curiosity. Does every part work for me, no, but I would rather learn from success rather than reinventing the wheel, the latter is too expensive.

Do you want more profits? More choices? Better results?

Here is the solution: Your income long term will equal your ability to develop a high degree of intellectual curiosity and ask better questions, consistently when you have the opportunity. Calibrate to what is working and what is not working. Incorporate the great ideas into your business on a daily basis and success will be yours!