How vs. When

Beginning a question with “How” when referring to a big idea is like jumping into the grand canyon. Blindfolded. In a completely secure contraption so when on impact you feel nothing. It’s almost pointless in most scenarios.

Hi I’m Jordan, and for a long time I used to ask a lot of How questions. As an entrepreneur myself, that mindset can have it has it’s ups and downs. The reason it can is because when you’re trying to build a product or service it’s really easy to get stuck on the small things. They’re important, and viable to building a great long lasting company. But frankly, it’s totally irrelevant when you’re still building the foundation of your business. I’ve been starting to ask myself a question these past few weeks — what is a company that isn’t built? Here’s a better one— what’s a house that lies on the drawing board? Or a car without a engine? To the masses? Absolutely nothing. And when your big idea and dream is for the masses, they don’t care about How you’re going to do it, it’s all about When.

So when I started learning about Business and Start Ups and every reason you don’t want to get involved in building a company my how asking skills came to fruition. “How are we going to execute this?” “How much will this cost?” “How is this possible?” “How do we scale?” “How many competitors are there?” “How many of them are in our location”. I could go on forever. And I did at one point. A lot of people may read those How’s and say that those are legitimate questions — which they are. I’m not denying the importance of understanding how to scale and market your product/service but something has hit me the past few weeks while developing in swift helping our lead developers build our app. And that is that if you want to do anything in life don’t ask how it’ll be done, ask when it’ll be done. I came to realize in my own life (and because of how I was raised) I was throwing a very strong bias against myself and the people around me. When you ask yourself, friends, family, or anyone how they are going to do something it only reflects one thing. Fear. The fear of not knowing how it will be done. Which may sound obvious, but I think it’s much deeper then what most people think. When you shift your thinking from how things are made to how long or when you can make it, it opens you up to an endless pool of possibilities. You’ll be given a paint brush to strike the canvas anyway you choose. Whatever the task. If you come into a situation trying to figure out how to learn something, you’ll find yourself head deep in research/documentation confused and frustrated. But if you relocate your mindset to ask the question when can I learn xyz it becomes a realistic & executable goal.

Asking how is counterproductive and is the wrong way to initiate conversation. Don’t ask “How do we pay for this”, ask “When will our investment be returned?” When you ask better questions instead of regurgitating your own bias’ your growth in whatever facet can expand dramatically.

All we have to do is let ourselves wonder without bound.

As someone who is trying to use this ethos I hope you join me in conversation to talk about all things Tech, Business, and Film at my twitter below.


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