Curiosity: The power for success

Curiosity may have killed the cat, but it’s giving life to my business, and it will for yours too.

Running a business requires putting yourself out there, taking risks, exposing yourself to embarrassment, ridicule, abuse, even poverty.

Here’s how I rationalise this risk. I get curious. I’ve trained my mind not to fear those things. Instead I wonder what will happen when I do when I’m about to do. Let me elaborate.

Actually, before I elaborate. Usually, when I write a piece I research my subject throughly. For this one, I’ve done nothing. There may be all kinds of personal development experts that have articulated my theory themselves, and have done it miles better than I have, but I wanted to explain what works for me without anything clouding my judgement. You may think it’s nonsense, but it’s my nonsense. Ok, here we go.

Make the switch

Everyone has parts of their job that they don’t enjoy as much as others. Those are usually the parts where you take a risk. That’s when you need to make the switch and get curious.

I don’t particularly like cold calling. In my time I’ve been reduced to a gibbering wreck on cold calls. I’ve been sworn at and hung up on. I’ve lost sales because my skills haven’t been up to scratch and gone down in the estimations of managers. However, calling strangers to try and sell your services is pretty important when you’re running your own business.

So here’s how I rationalise it. Rather than worry about being sworn at, I switch my mindset. I wonder what will happen when I make the call. Will it be the sale that ensures I make a profit this month? Will I get sworn at? I wonder if they’re even in? Let’s do it now and find out. I work faster and smarter.

Curiosity in writing

As a copywriter, if I’m not taking risks with your words, I’m doing it wrong. No great copy was ever produced by someone operating at half-pace because they feared ridicule and rejection. Only homogenised, generic copy.

When I write I deliberate over every word. Although I try to write in a clear and direct style, there are times when I think ‘ameliorate’ is better than ‘better’. The client might think that risky word makes the article. Or, they might not see it that way. They might not even know what ‘ameliorate’ means and tell me to use a different word. That’s fine. I put ‘ameliorate’ in there because I was curious as to what their reaction would be. At worst, they know I’m thinking hard about their article.

You can do it too. Next time you’re worried about a task, don’t keep putting it off. Switch your mindset and get curious. Tasks you dread can always surprise you. No one knows everything. As I said in a previous post, lose the ego. Rejection is easier to deal with than you think.

Don’t be the person wondering ‘what if?’. Be the person wondering ‘what next?’.