20 Questions to Ask Yourself Or Miss Out on Your Greatest Opportunity

Is Your Startup Ruining Your Life? Get Your Life Back Now

“A person choosing to spend large portions of time in an unsatisfying job in order to make ends meet is on a fast track to his deathbed. Time will move increasingly faster as a result of his slow pace — the relativity of time.” ― Benjamin P. Hardy

One time our family went to Yosemite. We’d crossed the entire USA from NY to SD. Went to MEX and worked our way up to CAN. ⁣

We camped in Big Sur and worked our way to Yosemite. My son wanted to go to a dangerous ledge. Cool. On the climb over I broke my ankle. My wife had to carry me down the mountain on her back. No joke.⁣

I had a speech the next day in Atlanta. I said we should go to the doctor but my wife Natalie decided to get me crutches at Walgreens instead. 

Airport people pushed me in a wheelchair. When I got to Atlanta I tumbled down the thing getting off the plane. No one knew what to do. Crutches flying. Bag flying. Me laughing.

No one helped me. 

Got to my speech and it was a weeklong event. Was so good. High-end, luxury event for ballers. Legit people flew in from London, Caribbean all over for it. I danced at the parties on one foot. They had to carry me on stage to speak. I got a standing ovation. 🙏❤️⁣

I flew back to meet my family who had since travelled on to Portland. First thing we did was go to Voodoo Donuts where I told them to give me anything. Didn’t realize there were such thing as x-rated donuts. Now we know. LOL.⁣

Our Dr. friend told me to get an x-ray and then I got a temporary cast. I hurt for so long that I didn’t think I’d ever walk normal again. Flights made the break hurt more. After almost a year later I walked normal again. ⁣

Stuff happens. It’s ok. You’ll be ok. Promise. Don’t be afraid to let people carry you. 🙏✊

These 20 questions are intended to help you prevent a metaphorical future-startup broken ankle or to help you heal the one you’ve already broken.

LET’S GO.

20 Questions to Ask When You’re In Business For Yourself and Want to Raise Your Standard of Living

Richie Norton with Broken Ankle Taking It In and Trying to Figure Out Next Steps (Picture by Raleigh Norton)

How Entrepreneurs, Founders and CEOs Can Get Their Lives Back: Ask Yourself These 20 Questions and Act Accordingly

1. Am I confident in my creative capacity to solve complex problems under time pressure with ridiculously simple solutions?

People freak out at change cause they aren’t confident in their creative capacity. All change is opportunity.

2. Am I willing to admit and right wrongs at the end of the day when I reflect on the direction of the work?

Every sunset is an opportunity to reset.

3. Am I willing to act here and now and stop temporizing critical tasks by pushing them off for later?

When important topics come up and especially if you’re an expert on the topic and you don’t voice, you’re acting like a broken leader. Here and now guys. Here and now. 🙏 If you can help someone now, let it be now.

4. Are there positive people in my daily life on higher ground lifting my thoughts and are there toxic people I can cut from my life?

One of the blessings of social media is that if you have toxic people in your life and especially 9–5 or more at work, you can choose to be inspired by surrounding yourself with enlightening people on social (in addition to your outside life). Level up.

5. What is the fear or pain you’re feeling that is preventing you from taking the next step?

Feel the pain. Do your thang. There is nothing wrong with being scared or feeling pain. Fear and pain are normal. If you are paralyzed by fear or pain, recognize the fear and pain and make a step in the right direction — no matter how small — like someone learning to walk again.

6. How many people have you expressed your gratitude to today?

Express gratitude to one person eery hour (in person, text, email or phone) from the time you wake up until 5pm…and see what happens from 5:01 until you sleep. MAGIC.

6. Are you, your partners and employees working for money or meaning or both?

People don’t work to make money. They work to make money to live. If you, as a company, take away their life with micromanaging and policies outside work, you take away everything. I seriously can’t comprehend how we allow corporate slavery still.

Ever hear the song that goes “I owe my soul to the company store”? What would happen is at mines and railroads the workers would live in isolated towns owned by the employer. The goods were more expensive than the actual pay. You would get stuff on credit and never get out. Corporate slavery.

Corporate slavery is the modern day challenge of this generation. Generation all of us alive right now. It’s sadly alive and stronger than ever. You can work in the same job and get the same pay. One company allows freedom. The other does not. It’s not about money. It’s about selling your soul to the company store…or not.

7. If gratitude is the parent of all virtues (Cicero) and necessity is the mother of invention (Plato), could being being grateful help you be inventive enough to receive everything you want?

Be helpful. Add value. Be helpful. Add value. Be helpful. Add value.

8. Is your business model aligned with your final cause — the ultimate goal you’re working towards achieving in your personal life?

You can change ALL things in your life, but until you take action on a new business model through employment or entrepreneurship, your day-to-day lifestyle remains the same.

9. What’ the tragedy in your life that is propelling or repelling your success?

I’ve had several personal apocalypses in my life. You may have too. Each time I experience a heavy tragedy, I want to shrink and fade away. That’s human. What makes humans great is our ability to thrive DESPITE the risk of not being able to survive. If you feel like you don’t have anyone in your life to hold you up, I’m sorry. Not gonna sugarcoat it. That’s hard. Sometimes even the biggest and greatest leaders feel alone. Loneliness doesn’t mean people aren’t around you: it’s more complicated. If you’re alone or lonely or scared or having a hard time, consider this: it’s a tunnel, not a cave. It’s the small everyday activities added up that total the sum of our existence. Small moments matter.

10. Are you actually listening to the questions people ask you about your work?

Pay attention to the questions people ask. Especially the ones they ask you. Do a survey too. Give people what they ask for and you win. It’s far better and easier to sell something to people when you offer them exactly what they want.

11. Are you a (do you have a) good boss?

Some bosses are good. It’s just insane that we accept corporate entitlement to our lives and an evil task mastering boss to boot. Just because someone pays you every two weeks doesn’t mean they own you. Don’t let a corporation feel entitled your life and surely don’t be that guy / gal BAD BOSS to others. Practice good boss behavior, my friend.

12. Do you realize that people believe what you say?

Take that in. ⁣People believe you.⁣ It’s a great responsibility.⁣ If you’re going to be a leader, speaker, influencer, boss, entrepreneur…human being…understand this: 

1. Forget yourself.⁣
2. No one cares about you.⁣
3. Few will remember anything you say, but may remember how you feel…and if you get them to ACT on what you teach…well…wow…you changed a life.⁣
4. Use my E-I-E-I-O method that @johnleedumas and I teach in our “Podcast Guest Mastery” online course:⁣
 — Entertain⁣
 — Inspire⁣
 — Educate⁣
 — Inform
 — Offer⁣
5. Tell stories this way:⁣
 — Story⁣
 — Principle⁣
 — Call to Action⁣
6. Bring in emotion (whatever emotion you want to convey).⁣
7. Always make your stories / lessons / counsel relevant to the audience and timely. This is THE one thing you HAVE to do. Make sure they KNOW why your talk is relevant, timely and useful…or you’ve lost your people before you even open your mouth. Teachers and speakers and leaders wonder why they are ineffective…this is why…it has not been communicated or understood that the lecture is relevant, timely and useful in the now.⁣

13. Are you spending more time with family and friends than work?

You should. Life is short. Spend it with your family. People work to build up lives. We don’t build up lives for work…or do we?! Think on that. Your lifestyle is your choice.

14. Are you taking yourself too serious?

There’s a time for taking yourself seriously, it’s just usually never the right time.

15. What are you doing with your time, this time?

Ten to twenty years from now (not to mention 100 years from now) people will look back on us and wish they could have had the head start you have.

16. Are you building transformational relationships or transactional relationships?

Transformational relationships inspire trust and take time. Transactional relationships are momentary and only exist in an exchange — generally one-sided. The balance of status, value congruency, urgency and patience are essential in building a business that lasts. Practicing emotional intelligence, letting go of hidden agendas and truly caring about value-add for others in every relationship is one of the hardest skills for a profit-driven entrepreneur to learn — but it’s critical to your success.

17. Are you encouraging others to be successful in their personal lives?

Focus your energy on how to help your people thrive. If you’re not doing this, your absolutely not self-aware and definitely not conscious to your co-workers’ ability to succeed without micro-managing their professional and personal space. Encourage people to succeed in all aspects of their life — especially outside work.

If you breach others’ ability to love and live out personal life goals, your best talent will leave. Be a freedom fighter for your employees’ and coworkers’ success in business and life and you’ll see productivity like you’ve never experienced. Your work community will light back up.

18. What’s in your head that will happen after you achieve your goal?

⁣Instead of waiting for that thing, start with it! You’ll build your business far differently if the goal is at the center instead of the end of your day-to-day work. (Will explain more on this principle later. I have a whole book about it coming in the next year or two. This is the sauce. :-))

⁣19. What’s your anchor when there are detractors?

When detractors’ voices (real or perceived, well-meaning or antagonistic) ring loud in your ears, poking holes in what, only moments before, felt solid and sure, it’s your innate sensibility that will serve as the anchor to sustain you.⁣

20. Do you have a pressing thought or idea that simply won’t go away?⁣

Take five to ten minutes and jot down as many of these thoughts as you can. Narrow down your list to only the things that truly are most important in your life.⁣ Prioritize them from most important to least important. Do that.

Future regret your present imperative.⁣

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