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Kitchen Tables and Stupid Questions

“The only stupid question is the one you fail to ask”.

That has always been my philosophy. Of course at school that philosophy contributed to my regular beatings. Any pupil who took too much of an interest in class was considered fair game for a head-flushing. In adult life though we should be above such things and the philosophy has served me well.

Have I embarrassed myself? Sure! A lot!

But the thing is, I always get answers to things that I am stuck with, struggling over or finding challenging.

I would rather ask a stupid question than not have any answers.

So my point is, never be afraid to ask. Swallow your pride and put it out there.

Where am I going with this?

Questions are only half of the equation. You need a network of people who can throw back the answers. That means you need to be hanging out in quality communities of people who, well, know stuff!

Another aspect is if you know stuff then hang out in communities where people want what you know.

That’s how I got started and how I still build my business today.

Back in the day I was helping out in programming communities, now it might be online business communities, but my approach is the same. Show up, be helpful and approachable, and a small percentage of people will follow you back to your site to check you out or want to hire you, buy your stuff, sign up to your list. I have had a whole bunch of people check me out because of my Third Tribe interactions, and a couple of them became coaching clients.

If you find a community that matches your target audience, and people have to pay to be a member of that community, don’t you think they will be a good prospect for what you offer? They are action-takers, have demonstrated a willingness to invest time and money, have self-identified business needs, AND are in an environment where you can build some familiarity and trust 🙂

Kitchen TableWhich brings me to the latest community venture from Mr Brogan, Kitchen Table Companies. (Not an affiliate link by the way).

Yesterday I caught up with Chris and Joe for around twenty minutes to ask about their plans, what a Kitchen Table Company is, how they are marketing this new community, and what they have to tell us.

Here is the Music Player. You need to installl flash player to show this cool thing!

You can download the mp3 audio file here (right-click, save-as).

Looks like a great place for small businesses to get advice and answers, plus I am going to be showing up in the forum and being generally awesome in the hope his small business folks want what I have to sell. You should check it out too 🙂

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Comments

  1. If one looks at their pride rather than to have answers to their questions, then they will definitely fail. Like you said, I would rather have answers to my questions rather than not have…

    Close knitted communities are always good to pick each others brain for answers.

  2. Guna this is a great point. Let me take it one step further and say that if you create the close knitted community that you will instantly gain reputation as an expert in your field. People will thank you time and time again for creating a place where they could discuss their favorite topic.

    What’s more, forums are easy to set up now adays and you don’t even need to know how to code.

  3. Hey Chris,

    I’m a first time visitor to your blog and I really enjoyed your post. I learned early on to always ask because that’s the only way you will ever learn. Trust me when I say I’m not afraid to ask a question. You definitely brought up a really good point and hope this will help others not feel like their questions are stupid.

    I have recently learned that by joining other communities, not only am I learning from others but I have now got people learning from me. That’s the coolest thing ever and makes me feel so blessed.

    Great post and I appreciate you covering this topic. Will be back to visit again soon.

    Adrienne

  4. “Show up, be helpful and approachable” – so true. Showing up can be the hardest part when you have so little time to spare on your blog from other projects that pay well right now. It’s a tough balance. However, I’m learning that failing to show up is the biggest mistake you can make. No matter how great your site, service or product, if you don’t show up, no one’s going to follow you there.

  5. Hey Chris
    Great article – I too ask questions with the risk of come across as stupid, not to mention that I am also a blonde 🙂

    But i have learned so much from kind people helping me out, especially on the internet.

    There are NO stupid questions – ONLY stupid answers.

    cheers
    Tina

  6. I find asking questions and asking for what I want difficult but not because I think they are stupid questions or make me look stupid.

    I am reticent because I don’t want to be annoying or be a bother to busy people.

    To get over this I tend to ask more questions of my peers than those who are higher on the ladder. The downside of that is I tend to go round in circles looking for my answer rather than getting it in a nutshell from someone who knows.

    The upside is that it helps me to build networks with my peers.

    So my question is how do I improve my self image/self confidence so I am confident to ask questions of those who I believe have the answers when I cant get them from my peers?

  7. Hi,

    I could´nt agree more. The hard part (at least for most of us) is to overcome the fear of other peoples reaction. When you have, there is nothing that can stop you from learing more and more. As Tina says, I to have learned a lot from people on the internett and 99% of them are really nice and have reached out a helping hand.