3 positive questions to create an effective business day

We all want to start the business day in the best mindset possible. Mindset is everything, it manifests outwards. It attracts what we manifest inwards too.

I have had the pleasure of listening to Dan Lok’s podcast, High Ticket Sales Secrets (over and over) for the last few weeks.

I would consider Dan one of my mentors (albeit an unsuspecting one at this point) and would like to share some valuable information that I learned from him this morning.

Traditionally as a designer I know that my mindset is critical to the output of my ideas to a visual conclusion. When I am in a positive frame of mind, the ideas flow freely. I can nail something in one hour and know it’s going to deliver on the designated outcome of the project. When I am in a negative frame of mind, I can spend all day and triple the amount of time allowed to get anywhere close to being happy. Unfortunately even if I get to the stage when I’m happy, I can wake up the next day feeling more rested and positive and come up with something better in no time at all. I’ve wasted the entire previous day.

So how do we get our day off to the best possible start?

It’s about asking ourselves substantial questions. The right substantial questions. Questions that will put us in the frame of mind to get up, get motivated, get inquisitive and get going.

We can ask ourselves questions that send us down. ‘Why aren’t I successful?’. ‘Why do I always have bad luck?’. ‘What can’t I catch a break?’. All these negative connotations in the discussions we have with ourselves are deteriorating and debilitating to our psyche and to the work we produce which comes as a result of that. If we are asking ourselves negative questions, we are only getting negative answers. However, if we re-frame the questions we ask ourselves, we can remove the negativity and replace it with the fuel we need to achieve.

Here are 6 questions that Dan Lok asks himself every day and how I relate to them:

1) What don’t I know?

What knowledge is worth pursuing today? What can I discover?

What don’t I know about my industry? Is there relevant news that I can comment on and share with my audience to add value? Is there something new for me to discover and leverage to put me ahead of the game?

What don’t I know about my approach? Am I missing something that can make my projects more efficient? What challenges do I regularly encounter that someone may have already solved and wrote about online?

What don’t I know about my working relationships? How can make these relationships better? What don’t I know about the people I work with and what makes them tick? Who do I need to talk to and what questions do I need to ask for me to learn more about them?

What don’t I know about myself? This seems almost like a silly question but it’s not. Asking the question makes you more aware of everything you are doing well, or badly throughout the day. We are programmed to look outwards. Looking inwards be tricky and confronting, but the payoff is priceless.

2) What assumptions am I making about my business which may or may not be true?

I had an issue recently. At a presentation for my networking group, I felt I was enhancing my credibility, making my audience see me as the logical choice for them growing their businesses. I was talking about our process and our services in detail. I assumed it was relevant. I was totally wrong.

At the end of the presentation people in my audience said the first 8 minutes of the 10 minute presentation weren’t needed. The only part that showed what was in it for them was at the end where I showed examples of my work and talked about the solutions that I had provided to my clients.

I was embarrassed, deflated and slightly annoyed at the feedback. The first assumptions I made in that moment was that the feedback was harsh. Designed to take me down a peg or two. Was this a correct assumption? Of course not. In fact, the feedback was positive in a way. I had already proven my credibility through our previous meetings. I incorrectly assumed I hadn’t done so.

Had I have defined the assumptions I was making before the morning’s presentation, I may have caught it. Instead of boring and confusing my prospective clients, I could have been a clear reflection of my own offering. It was a hard way to learn but learn I did. I went back and rethought my presentation immediately. I’ve since been able to clarify my presentation and my elevator pitch. I’ll make sure I define my assumptions again even then, before my next delivery of them. 

3) What have I learned recently?

What a great way to start the day. One of the things that gets me up off the ground when I am feeling down is to look back at how far I’ve come in my professional career. Business has been tough since I went out on my own. In two years I have made mistake after mistake. I have stewed on these mistakes and beaten myself up about them continuously. Yet, when I take a look back at where I was and where I am now, I am proud. I have learned so much. I have so many more tools in my repertoire that I can use to help my clients. Looking back on what I have learned instead of the mistakes I have made motivates me to learn more and more. It gets me fired up. It gets me ready to go. Focusing on the negatives creates the opposite of that. I want to sleep. I want to hide. I want a break. And when I sleep, or hide, or procrastinate over and over again by telling myself I need more breaks than I need, I feel worse anyway. Breaks should be earned. Sleep should be deserved. Learning gives me the courage to put myself out there. Hiding means not failing and not failing means not learning.


All we do each and every day is ask ourselves questions. The way we frame our internal questions makes us who we are. Every decision we make is preceded by an inner question and we do this subconsciously most of the time. Being conscious about the questions we are asking ourselves means being conscious of how we are answering those questions. Start negative, end negative. Start positive, the sky’s the limit.

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