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  • Writer's pictureAnthony Johnson

Be Curious and Ask Questions

Last year, I had the opportunity to join and travel with the National Millennial Gen Z community. A community comprised of over 40 universities and colleges that provide an atmosphere for people from different generations to engage in dialogue focused on understanding, civility, awareness, and generating solutions. I took part in the Cleveland Trip, where I was able to meet amazing individuals, view Cleveland in a different light, and eat delicious food.

One of my mentors told me, “If something goes well, reflect on it, and figure out what I did right.” I was able to meet executives, tour Cleveland, and meet positively driven students from around the U.S. How did I end up there? I realized there are two traits that have helped me find this opportunity. The first is curiosity, and the second is asking questions.

I am interested in business and want to understand how everything interconnects and what drives revenue. I watched YouTube videos, participated in business events offered by the University of Akron, and read books such as $100M Offers by Alex Hormozi. I was learning and I was gaining context for the future conversations that I would be having. I have had many doors of opportunities opened to me by the people I have met. Their insights have proven to be more valuable than any book or lecture.

Still, books and studying are essential because they teach me the crucial questions I must ask to further my learning. Additionally, I research people I meet beforehand, which provides more context of who I am speaking to. People are full of valuable experiences and stories. By asking the right questions, I enabled the person I was speaking with to share the most beneficial stories with me.

I talked to business professors and learned from their experiences. I made sure to ask about people’s background and interests, so I can get the full picture of who they are, which helps me better understand the subject I am interested in. Also, I do not judge people; I seek to understand them instead. I recognized having a child-like curiosity allows people to be more honest.

This openness has been instrumental in my learning journey. Dr. Sydney Chinchanachokchai, a marketing professor at the University of Akron, observed my curiosity and wanted to support my learning. She shared her story and advice with me.

My curiosity was well received, and I learned about the NMGZ community, books, and other recommendations that I would not have been aware of if I had not asked questions and been curious. Clinical Psychologist Jordan Petterson stated, “If you are guided by the spirit of honest inquiry and everything you say is reflective of what you believe is to be the truth. Then the path you walk on is a golden pathway to success.” I choose to be curious and ask many questions because, so far, it has proven to be the most effective way for me to learn.


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