Some thing that we found out really quickly was the importance of coming up with good questions vs just knowing the answers. Especially when taking the dive and committing to doing photography and videography full time and leaving our day day jobs. So, in this article we are going to break down our overall "flow" when it comes to generating good and specific questions, that will in turn help you in any area of your life that you may be currently struggling in. So buckle up, and lets get down to business!
Step 1: Start off with the most "beginner" question you can think of.
During the beginning stages of the Dos Cocos Locos, the only thing that we DID know was that we DIDN'T know what we were doing. Both Marissa and I were Biology majors and had very little real life experience in owning a business (the closest thing that we did have was selling coconuts at the beach, which surprisingly taught us most of the fundamentals about business but that's a whole separate post in its self).
So, recognizing that we knew that we didn't know anything actually ended up playing to our favor because we were able to ask questions that new camera owners tend to have and fully allowing ourselves to be vulnerable in the process. I put quotations around "beginner" because no matter what, we all had to start at the beginning when learning something new. Nothing to be ashamed of. Just part of the process and extremely vital for actually doing what you set out to do. Our journey didn't start with us getting our cameras or quitting our jobs. It started by us asking questions like: Where do I put battery in the camera? How do I turn on the camera? How do I record? How do I take a photo? AND then, actually doing what these questions led to. (Shout out to YouTube University for being there with our beginner questions)!
Step 2: Follow the trail of questions.
As many of you know, just from life itself, that there are usually a trail of questions that seem to pop up from the initial question. Here is an example of a trail question that we experienced when it came to making friends as an adult:
Initial Questions: How to I make new friends as an adult?
- Are there any YouTube videos on the subject? (Yes. Definitely a good starting point).
- Who am I surrounded by currently at work that I would like to know better?
- What type of adult friends would I like to avoid?
- Why do I want new friends?
- How can I be valuable to potential new friends?
- What setting do I feel most comfortable in making new friends?
The list can go on and on, but now you can see how the initial question plays the role of the beginning building block to all other questions.
(Also, side note: If the questions you are asking are creating a trail of questions behind it, then you may want to beef up the quality of questions that you are asking yourself. Luckily, we are about to dive into that part in step 3 ^-^)
Step 3: Learn how to ask high quality questions.
Ultimately, at the end of the day, the quality of our questions will determine the overall quality of our lives. I know this may sound super intense, but just think about it for a moment in the following scenario. Let's use Jack and Jill - because why not.
Let's say Jack and Jill are both creatives in the photo industry and are dealing with the same problem. A semi-deadly virus puts the whole world into a pandemic, which eventually causes an economic shut down and the government announces that everyone needs to be confined to their homes, thus cutting off any stream of income from their photography career.
Jack, feeling the financial constrain and begins to worry how he is going to pay rent, sees the people he looks up to begin sell all their gear due to fear caused from the pandemic and asks the question: How much is my gear selling on eBay? This leads him to the following trail of questions:
- How to create an eBay account?
- How to sell and ship through eBay?
- How to package camera gear?
- How long does it take to ship products during a pandemic?
- How long does it take deposit funds from eBay into my bank account?
Jill, on the other hand, feels the exact same financial constrain but instead sees all the people she looks up to going live on instagram and doing an "edit with me" session. She loves the idea and gives it a try, so she asks: How can I give value to my community during this time? This leads her to the following trail of questions:
- What is my community always asking me to do, but haven't gotten around to it?
- What do I have or can create that my community may enjoy?
- What is involved in a successful live stream?
- What can I do different that the people I look up to are not doing?
This leads Jill to creating a preset for photos, doing a live edit with the preset and giving them to her followers on a donation bases, as well as having her followers tagging her with the photos edited using her preset.
So, what was the main difference between Jack and Jill?
If you guessed one was a guy and one was a girl, well technically you are right, but not quite what we are focusing on here. The key difference here was the people that Jack and Jill looked up to individually. Although we would like to admit it or not, the people we look up influence, to some extent, the way we think and, in turn, determine the overall quality of the questions we ask. So the whole thing about choosing your friends wisely is extremely important. Also just seeing where someone is "life-wise" and asking yourself "is that something that I want part of my life?" can be a huge determine factor in deciding the level of friendship you want to have with a particular person.
And thats it! Now you know our "flow" when it comes to generating questions. Here's a quick recap:
- Be as vulnerable as you can when asking "beginner" questions.
- Evaluate the "trail of questions" and use it as a guide to see the "bigger picture"
- Double check the quality of questions you are asking yourself before making a move
Not all of your questions have to be or will be super profound or useful. Some questions will and can be just normal questions, like "where is the bathroom"? Super simple and straight to the point. The main thing here that we want to get across is try experimenting with your question "flow" and see where it leads you. Especially if you are looking for change. 9 times out of 10, change begins with changing how you ask questions. Good luck and feel free to let us know any questions you have in the comments or for more indepth/personal questions, feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org!