Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Wh-question you should always ask yourself

is "why?".

It's such a simple, clean and to-the-point question. But it's simplicity should not deceive you, as it has the power to bring about huge change if you let it.

I have learnt to use the "why" question all the time. I don't use it to second-guess myself, but rather question the situation I am in, see it from another angle. It's become a second-nature to me. And I've found that if I take it seriously (the asking and answering) it frees my mind. It breaks the constraint that is the status quo and sets me off in new directions of thinking. I pretty much "why" everything, always looking to become better, to improve...

Have you ever seriously asked yourself "why"? Why are you in the family business? Have you ever truly listened to the answer? It can go either way, but my point is that you need to ask the question. You need to ask it and then listen closely to the answer. Asking in front of a mirror can help; writing the answer down on paper has a considerable effect. But you need to ask the "why question". And more importantly you need to pay attention to the answer and then decide what is best for you.

That simple, short question can change everything. Ask it, answer it, and act upon it. That's all it takes.


  1. Hi, I just found your blog and find it quite interesting. You don't often hear the perspective of someone from a large successful family business who decides to leave it.

    I am curious what you are doing now?

    Is there ever any way really to separate yourself from what your family offers as far as connections and so on?

    Is it even possible for someone without the connections and monied family to get to the top these days? It seems every success story had a wealthy family and a plum education behind it?

    Is Senior Management really about who you know?

    How did you find a mentor? I find it difficult to find someone who will take the time to work with me?

    Have you ever worked at a job like fast food?


    1. Hi there!

      I'll do my best to answer all your questions, but if you send me an email we could discuss more at length (TheLeaver [you-know-what-goes-here]

      What I do today: I work in a large corporate company.

      Separation: No real way to separate. The family is not just you and your dad, it's brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts etc. Certain relationships breakdown, while other stay in place.

      Success: I believe that success is what YOU make of it. If being successful means "having a lot of money" then it is for you to decide how much money is "a lot". Once you decide what success is to you then you should work to achieve it. Money, connections and educations make a difference but they are not the only factors. Keep in mind that luck and timing play a big role, but most importantly you do!

      Senior management: Relationships matter. They matter in every aspect in life. But again, who you know is only part of the equation. You also need to be generous and work hard.

      Mentor: If you don't have a senior friend/elder you can consult with then you can try and find a life-coach. Coaches can give you great tools too. Just as there are management coaches, there are also life coaches.

      Fast food: Nope, I haven't.

      If you have any other questions, please feel free to shoot me an email.