Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the most common questions I hear on YouTube, blog comments, and emails. Be sure to check out the full niche site process here.

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Finding Answers When You Have Questions

When I was taking a CS class on Operating Systems at Georgia Tech, there was this professor that had one of those reputations — like the kind of rep a long-haired, CS guy teaching OS design would have.

I don’t remember jack from the coursework but Professor Greenlee taught an even more important lesson…

On day 1, Greenlee told us the order of operations to find answers to questions.

  • Try to find the answer yourself by exhausting all your resources. Check your textbook. Check your notes. Try to look up the answer on a newsgroup. Nowadays, you have so many resources turn to like Wikipedia, forums, user guides, customer support, and so on…
  • Ask your peers and friends. Greenlee told us to check with our classmates and friends, maybe even a person that was 1 or 2 years ahead of us.
  • Ask the Teaching Assistants during office hours. Of course, these TAs were experienced and generally knew the answers but not always. They were often just a bit ahead of us.
  • Check with your deity of choice. This was a joke, of course, but the point was to really try to find the answer on your own. Sleep on it and think about it.
  • Ask Greenlee…If, and only if, you tried the 4 previous steps and didn’t find the answer.

Why am I telling you this story of Greenlee? (though it sounded like he didn’t want to answer our questions…)

Aside from being slightly amusing, it’s a guide to find the answers on your own. It’s a trait that’s common with successful people. And when you go through a lot trying to figure things out, 3 things happen:

  1. You won’t forget the answer.
  2. You’ll understand the whys and hows and principles.
  3. If you didn’t figure out the answer, you’ll ask WAY better questions when you do seek help.

Asking Better Questions

Some people will tell you that there are no dumb questions. I don’t know if I agree with that, but the context is very important.

  • Let’s say I attend an event and I have the chance to meet Tim Ferriss and chat with him for 2 minutes. It would be silly for me to ask him for advice on how to write a book in that context. There isn’t enough time to tell me anything meaningful or helpful.
  • Instead of Tim Ferriss, let’s say I have a chance to meet a former president of the US. It’d be silly to ask what years he was president. I could just look up the answer on my own. In fact, I could ask Siri or Alexa and get the answer in seconds.

Asking great questions is a skill and you can get better at it if you want to. Check out this video by Tim Ferriss to hear his take on it.

This is a list of some really common questions that I’ve heard from new and experienced marketers alike. I’ve done dozens of Livestream Q&A sessions on YouTube so I’ve heard a lot of questions from a lot of people.

Too Many Variables

Some questions are hard because there are too many variables — so it’s very hard to impossible to answer. It’s like predicting the weather…sometimes the answers are just wrong.

At best, you can take action and review the results afterward. Then you’ll have good information for the next time you face a similar problem.

Getting Permission

Other questions are really someone seeking reassurance about trying something. I’ll list those out as well because they are so common. But the reality is:

  1. If you’re thinking about trying something, you probably should GO FOR IT. After all, most things are reversible so you may as well try it.
  2. If you have to ask for permission a get approval from someone, then I recommend you get comfortable with being uncomfortable. A lot of entrepreneurship is making decisions with incomplete data.

I’m not suggesting you do things without thinking, just don’t be afraid to make bold decisions and take bold actions.