Curiosity – The Essential Business Asset

What makes a great entrepreneur? While such virtues as hard work, commitment and solid financial resources are essential, the number one attribute of a great start-up, one that has the ability to survive and prosper, is having a leader with a natural and all encompassing sense of curiosity.

Curiosity leads to observations such as:

  • I wonder why that store does, or doesn’t, do this or that?
  • I’ve noticed that people are complaining a lot about customer service, is there a better way to streamline the way we do things, make customers happier, and make money from it?
  • How come when people order carpeting, or an appliance, it has to be ordered and they have to wait weeks for delivery – how can I do it better?
  • I’ve read that 40 per cent of all consumer purchases are made after 6 pm and yet most downtown stores close at 5:30, why is that?

That same sense of curiosity and discovery leads entrepreneurs to want to know what’s new in the world, or within their industry, or their local business environment. Experience has shown that ‘readers become leaders’ and it’s only through knowledge of the world around us, combined with a high level of curiosity about the WHY of life, that allows us find the opportunities to move forward.

In today’s world of superior access to knowledge, virtually every curiosity can be answered in minutes through Google or other search engines, via online magazines unique to our industry, or by reading magazines on general business issues.

Curiosity is needed not only at the outset of your business concept. Curiosity is essential on an ongoing basis:

  • What would it take to grow our sales by 10 per cent?
  • What if I put the staff on an earnings bonus program?”

Well-known writer on entrepreneurialism, Michael Gerber, and author of the E-Myth says that people only buy a product or service if they have a pain, or a need. Use your natural curiosity to find out how people satisfy that pain or need in today’s market, then figure out a way to do it better than your competitors and you’ll have a great business model.