Are You Asking the Right Questions

Business Speak

In today’s fast paced world much of our workday is spent asking others for information, from status updates on jobs, to questions regarding solving tech problems.  Although, most of us would not think of questions as a skill that can be honed or how you ask a question could make a conversation more productive,  the reality is a simple question can change the outcome of many situations. 

Harry sits down with Laura Steward as they chat about questions and how both of them have said that they didn't take advantage of something because they didn't ask the right question, or they didn't even ask a question.  Watch and learn how you can unlock the uniquely powerful tool of questions and how it can spur learning and the exchange of ideas.




Video Transcription

Harry Brelsford  0:03 

Hey Nation Nation, Harry here. Hey, this is really cool. First time longtime listener first time caller. Laura Stewart, how you doing? I've known you a long time.

Laura Steward 0:14 

Oh God, Harry, we've known each other forever.

Harry Brelsford  0:16 

Yeah. Yeah. I'll tell you what. First let's start with your your your your background, your you were an MSP and then we'll talk about your podcast your your show that I've been on. Thank you. But so what What's your story? What's your background? You're in lovely Florida.

Laura Steward 0:34 

I am in lovely warm Florida compared to where you guys are in the west coast in Seattle area. And I'm a geek, right? Although I prefer intellectual badass, you know, I took the route, computer science degree, the whole nine yards. You know, I had every certification possible. I taught geeks to be geekier hair. Yeah. I was a master certified instructor for Microsoft and Novell back in the days of

Harry Brelsford  1:01 

the good life.

Laura Steward 1:03 

I love that Novell stuff, but you know, it didn't last. And then I started after leaving corporate life. I started my own tech services company, which we now lovingly call MSPs.

Yeah, you know

Harry Brelsford  1:17 

what I have been around so long. They didn't even have the word MSP.

Laura Steward

They didn't you know, we were resellers were a value added resellers. We had lots of different names and then eventually morph to MSP. And now it's even more beyond that. Yeah. And after 15 years, I'd grown it to Connecticut and Florida and I sold the company after 15 years. Yeah. Care my parents. Yeah. And launched into a whole new realms of possibility.

Harry Brelsford  1:47 

You have Hey, by the way, you and I share the Yeti mic in common love my Yeti mic. Just off camera for me. So the quiet and I want to make sure I get this right, your podcast, it's all about the questions. It is okay.

Laura Steward

Because the right questions can change your life. Harry. Yeah.

Harry Brelsford  2:05 

Yeah. So what's the story on the podcast? How long you do with it? What are the topics? That kind of thing? And I thank you for having me on twice.

Laura Steward

Oh, absolutely. You can come back on again, you're just such one of my favorite guests of all time, Harry, because you always drop value bombs. The show started out as broadcast radio on I heart radio six years ago. Now. Wow. I've had the show. It's a weekly show. So every week I've put out a show. Even with my hand in this lovely, lovely support system I've got I still managed to show every week. And the premise of the show is that questions really can change your life. Yeah, but it's also people. If you don't ask the right questions of the right people, you're not gonna be able to move yourself forward. And I have to have incredible people like you, then I know that or that know other people. So I want to give that to my listeners. I want them to do the get to meet the Harry's of the world so that they learn new ways of thinking. And I have business leaders, health leaders, thought leaders from all different realms on the show to help entrepreneurs have their best business in their best life possible. Because I want people to realize you can shift your perspective if you ask the right question.

Harry Brelsford  3:24 

Yeah, exactly. I The Times opportunities have passed me by and I look back in the background, right, you know, years years later, I look back and go Darn it. I I should have asked more questions. Now. Give you an example. One of the and I'm going to forget it the name of the game, but it was one of the famous Gothic games that came out. They had tournaments is out of Renton, Washington. probably remember at one talk, but you know where the car magic Magic the Gathering, okay. And I met the husband and wife behind that when they the husband still worked at Boeing. I don't know what the wife was doing. And they had their startup in their their basement in Renton, Washington. And they asked me to review their business plans. We met at a coffee shop I did says, you know, darn near 25-30 years ago. And you know, Laura, the opportunity was it was just one question away from me to join them at that stage. And I didn't ask the questions. And I regret that because quite frankly, I probably wouldn't be interviewing you with all due  respect. We wouldn't be having this interview today. If I had asked the right question. They had a very handsome exit. got acquired and I never heard from him again. You get my points

Laura Steward 4:53 

I do. That's what it's all about Harry because the way you move forward in life is based on The knowledge you have and the people you have access to, that can expand your way of thinking. And, you know, we've been very fortunate in our lives. And both of us have said that we didn't take advantage of something because we didn't ask the right question, or we didn't even ask a question. Forget if it was a right or wrong or not the best question in the world we didn't. But you and I look at your bookcase behind you. We love to read, we love to learn, we love to ask people questions, but not everybody comes from that world. So my goal is to help people see other ways of thinking.

Harry Brelsford  5:34 

Yeah. Finally, you have a if you basically alluded to it, but I want to emphasize this, that you have non geek guests. And that's important because I'm trying to break out into some more a breakout my pocket MBA book, and you interviewed me, I'm trying to make that a breakout book I'm trying to not be what am I trying to say? typecast as a geek? Right? And right, you've, you've done that. So maybe one or two examples of non geeks on your show, if you don't mind?

Laura Steward 6:07 

Yeah, absolutely. I A few weeks ago, I had Jenny Liske. on my show, she wrote a book called future widow. She wrote it after she lost her husband who died from a brain tumor in eight months. Yeah. And she just had so much wisdom to share with my listeners to say, Hey, you know, have you thought about or prepared for the possibility? Yeah, that this person that's in your family might not be there. That's right. And that, to me was invaluable. I've had doctors on the show to talk about women's health. I'm going to have somebody on my show talking about strokes. And what you need to thinking about and prepare for and what the warning signs are. Because as entrepreneurs, we tend to get so focused on what we're doing. And then you know, I had John Warrillow. On

Harry Brelsford  7:01  

last Yeah, yeah. Built to Sell. Yeah. Yeah.

Laura Steward 7:06 

There's a business side to being a geek too. And I think it's really important to understand the business aspects of things. And I've had people that deal with psychology, Dr. Joan Rosenberg, 90 seconds to a life you love talking about how to process through emotions that may be stopping you from moving forward. So to me, it's, it's not just a single minded focus being a geek. We need to think about all the other pieces of our lives that combine it together so that we can become a whole person.

Harry Brelsford  7:39 

Yeah. All right. Hey, I hope you'll join us again, I want to make you one of our regular analysts. And we'll double click into some, some topics. So if you don't mind, Jimmy and the radio control room, we'll schedule you for another session, and appreciate you being along for the ride at SMB nation. Thank you, Laura.

Laura Stewart  7:58 

I'm looking forward to her. I love you much.