Entrepreneurs are a curious breed. They are certainly not your average person (in my opinion anyway).
When I co-founded a start up boutique advertising agency, I discovered that I was definitely in the entrepreneurial category (in fact, I didn’t really have a choice!).
It taught me a lot about myself and my own habits and traits, one of which is a natural sense of curiosity. Now I believe being curious is a really great habit to take up. It might sound a bit odd, but being curious is essential – especially if you want to be an entrepreneur.
A natural sense of curiosity lends itself to innovation and thinking differently, and these are crucial entrepreneurial skills.
What does being curious mean?
Think about it for a moment – when you’re curious, you’re certainly not bored. Curiosity is a natural state that stimulates new ideas and innovation. When you’re curious, you’re engaged, you’re listening, you’re AWAKE!
What I’ve also noticed is that curious people tend to consume information as a means of inspiration. They soak up information like a sponge and are consistently learning from every channel available to them. This habit is what fuels innovation and the ability to come up with creative ideas inspired by ongoing stimulation.
Curiosity inspires new ways of doing things
Curiosity breeds a natural desire to challenge traditional ways of doing things, and this, in turn, stimulates innovation. Curious people are constantly looking for ways to improve everyday things and build upon existing successes.
They are positive in their approach – it’s not a case of showcasing other peoples failures, but a natural desire to keep on improving things.
Curiosity breeds agile minds and flexible thinking
Curious people tend to have very fast minds because they consume so much information. They have an insatiable thirst for knowledge that leads to agile thinking. When you are curious, you also tend to be more flexible with your thought processes. This flexibility is essential if you want to succeed in today’s fast-paced environment. If you look at the most successful companies over the last few years such as Google and Facebook, one thing they have in common is that they embrace change swiftly, and it’s this approach that sees them retain their leadership positions.
Curiosity encourages problem solving
When we are curious, we naturally focus on solutions instead of problems. This leads to the development of intelligent problem solving skills. What’s great about this skill is that it can be used anywhere, from within the work environment through to solving issues in the home. Once you develop a habit to problem-solve, it follows you everywhere you go and makes it easier to enjoy life.
Curiosity turns scary challenges into fun adventures!
When a challenge pops up, do you react with fear and apprehension or do you approach it with an air of curiosity? When we’re curious, everything is an adventure! No challenge is too big and no problem is too difficult for us to solve because we approach life with a positive, solution-oriented mindset. Curiosity lends itself to asking questions, instead of getting caught up in negative thinking and “can’t” attitudes.
Here’s an example of a non-curious approach to a challenge verus a curious approach:
A non curious approach might see us saying or thinking things like this:
- “I can’t believe this has happened to me!” (notice how this is lead by fear)
- “This system is just useless!” (this is a complaint with no desire to fix the problem)
- “There’s no point trying — I’ll never find the answer.” (negative thinking)
Conversely, when we are curious, we ask questions like this:
- “Can we come up with a new way of doing this?”
- “What if we were to look at it from this perspective?”
- “Why isn’t this working? I bet there’s a better way of doing things.”
If you’re feeling bored with life and in need of a fresh approach, I would highly recommend adopting curiosity as a new habit. Before you know it you will be inspired and motivated to generate new ideas, projects, and ways of doing things differently!
Here are a few ways you can start to ignite your own curiosity:
- Make a concerted effort to keep up to date with new innovations (research new forms of social media)
- Make it a habit to regularly try new things (try a new recipe, route to work, or even a new exercise class)
- Be like a sponge – soak up new information from a variety of different places (at work, home, from strangers on the street, from magazines, books, movies, your phone – anywhere!)
- Listen to other people’s opinions and learn from them (actively ask people what they think)
- Don’t be afraid to debate the status quo (constantly challenge things!)
- Put aside some time to regularly brainstorm about new innovations (both on your own and with other creative, entrepreneurial minds)
- Think of ways to improve upon things (you never know — your idea may just be better!)