Business Growth

The 3 Magic Questions…..



I read a lot of business books, and listen to a lot of educational audio programmes. I know there is no limit to the number of new things I can learn, so it is important to keep learning – after all, you can never out-earn the amount you learn.

learning2On one particular audio programme, the reader shared a story with me that has stuck, and I’ve used it to help many business owners since. 

Sadly, I cannot give any credit to the reader, as they don’t know where the story comes from, however, like the reader, I believe it is very worthwhile to share.

A man had built up a very successful engineering business. After his death, the workforce were concerned about their future, as his widow had never been involved in the business, and had no knowledge of how it ran, or indeed any engineering background.  The workforce were therefore sure that she would sell up.

But she didn’t!

She started to come to the factory, and took on her deceased husband’s responsibilities. 

But not just that, she actually began to significantly grow the business, more than doubling it in the first year.

And she did this by asking 3 magic questions.

When she took control, she sat down and began to have one to one meetings with each member of staff, working from the top down.  She would get the introductions out the way and would then ask:

  1. What are you doing?Question Mark
  2. What works?
  3. What doesn’t?

She gave the employee the responsibility for stopping doing what doesn’t work, instead asking them to do more of what does.


And these questions can work in  business.

You just need to take time to sit down and ask… and then stop doing the things that aren’t working, freeing up valuable time that will allow you to do more of what does!

The challenge that some business owners have is being honest (and getting their staff to be honest) about what is and what isn’t working. 

Sometimes we can get too emotionally attached to some of the things we do in business to admit that they aren’t actually working.

So take a good look at your business today and honestly review what you are doing, what works, and what doesn’t.  I promise it will be one of the most worthwhile things you do this week!

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