Found this great advice in one of the many email newsletters I receive.
By John Alanis
One statement I have always lived by is “school’s never out for the
pro.” I make it a point to learn and study my craft so I can be a legitimate expert,
one who actually practices what he preaches.
If I don’t know the answer to something, I don’t immediately start
asking questions. Why?
Because asking rank amateur questions a little simple research
would answer only pegs you as a fool. If you want good answers,
you have to ask the right questions.
People these days are lazy. At times it seems to me there’s no
such thing as a library because some questions I get can be answered with simple
research that leads to better questions.
You only start to learn things when you start to ask the right
questions, and to ask them you have to have a certain level of
Whenever I go to a business event, I can tell if someone has a good
chance of being successful or not by the questions they ask. I
have been asked questions by guys just starting out that show me
they will probably succeed because they are serious enough to learn
what questions to ask and who to ask them to.
I have also run across people established in business, but stuck at
a subsistence level who persist in asking questions they should
know the answer to because they refuse to do the research or worse
yet, acknowledge they don’t know what they don’t know.
I do that all the time… there are many things I don’t know I don’t
know, and before I go asking any expert, I at least want to get to
the point where I know what I don’t know. That’s easily
accomplished by some simple research and the willingness to admit
I’m starting anew in some area.
When you can set your ego aside and do that, you’ll start to gain
real knowledge, and the respect of those true experts in the field.
You’ll become privy to information others will never know because
they refuse to do the work necessary to get to the right questions.
I have little regard for these people, and remove them from my life
because I know they will never go anywhere. They use their
questions as an excuse not to do the hard work necessary for
success, to play at what they call their craft.
Yes, there are stupid questions, but there are also very smart
ones. The successful man knows and recognizes the difference.
Thanks for your attention.