Stop Asking How…

how-guyQuestions are a powerful tool – when you ask the right ones. When you’re working through making the leap to working from home, asking the right questions is key. We’ve all heard the standard reporter questions: Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How. Notice that “how” is usually last? To me, it’s fitting – especially when thinking and planning your business. Because “how” is not only the least empowering, it can actually be a perfect method for self-sabotage. When you are able to answer the others, the how will take care of itself.

Let’s Start with the Easy Ones


That would be you.


From home – otherwise, I believe you’re in the wrong place.

Now the Power Questions


Putting a time on something changes it from a dream to a goal. Knowing “when” you want things to happen is important when planning your business. Set clear dates for when you want to hit certain targets.


Knowing exactly what you want is extremely powerful. The sharper the target, the better chance to have to hit it. What are you passionate about? What are your talents and gifts? What value will you offer? Knowing “what” is integral to your success, and so is…


Knowing why you want the things you want will make their achievement so much easier. Why are you going into business for yourself? That’s a compelling question. To make money, be free, change the world? The way you answer the “why” questions will set the tone for many future decisions.

Which Brings Us to How…

In my experience, both in my own ventures and with those I’ve worked with, “how” is a whiney question. “How can I possibly work from home?” “How will I pay the bills?” “How will I find clients?”

You also can’t answer it. Why? Because you don’t have all the information needed to answer it correctly. There are things that will happen and come your way that you don’t know about. So asking how, without the ability to predict the future, is fruitless.

(One caveat – I’m talking specifically about pursuing your work from home business, here. If someone tells you that you can make a million dollars in a week by working with them, or your buddy happens on a plasma TV that he’s selling you for 100 bucks – I’d be asking “how.” A big “how.”)

So stop worrying about how, and focus on the other questions. When you are able to clearly answer the other questions, the how will take care of itself. I can almost guarantee that, because I’ve yet to see it not happen. Knowing the answers to the power questions tend to make doors open up, and opportunities flow in. Worrying about the “how,” only stifles that flow.

How does it stifle the flow? Don’t care? Good!


  1. Not ten minutes before I clicked here to catch up on your wisdom today, I was having a conversation with a friend who was talking about a dilemma in her life, between her business (at home) and the job she has been doing to pay the bills. And she talked about an outcome she wanted, and then said “but I have no idea how”… to which I replied – remember what Mike Dooley from says to not worry about the ‘cursed hows’. They will take care of themselves.

    Then I read this! You’re really reinforcing this in my mind. Obviously there is a lesson there for ME about not worrying about HOW. Thanks!

  2. Tony, my entire career I’ve been trained and focused on answering the how question for others in my various operations positions. Recently I’ve come to realize, like you said, that that isn’t really the most important question as I’m re-thinking my career.

    But reading through this it just dawned on me that in my operations jobs someone else in the company had already answered all the other questions. I was figuring out the how for them because they’d already answered the other questions.

    From my perspective how was the most important question because that’s the one I knew how to attack. It has taken some effort to re-train my brain to prioritize differently.

  3. Wow, Karen – I love when that stuff happens! That is a perfect example of what I’m talking about. The “how” will start revealing itself, often times to questions you weren’t even conscious of asking. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your story.

    Hey Chris – I know what you mean. Many of my corporate gigs involve solving the “how.” But you’re right – at that point the other questions have already been answered. Our process uses the info we gain from the other questions to answer the “how.”

Comments are closed.