April 9, 2016

#AndyTalks 027 – Ask good questions


Kids: Dad!

Andy: Go on lads. Oh is he good. He got the moves, he got the moves… Kick back. Oh, nice. And again. Oh. Get set. Go. I’ll get you. I’m gonna win. I’m gonna win, alright, because I am. I’m going to run faster than you. That’s why I’m going to win. Cheating monkeys. Arghh, I’m gonna win, I’m gonna win, I’m gonna beat you, keep going. Go on then, oh just wide. Go on Riley, you don’t need that big a run up mate, no. OK. Boom!

[kids talking]

Andy: I’ve had a few new followers on Snapchat. So guys, gals, thanks very much for following. What’s funny is that some of them are local teenagers who I bumped into last night. One of them, Jordan, was standing around with his group of mates and saw me coming and was like “Andy, hiya, I’ve seen your videos on Facebook.” I was like, oh no what videos are up on Facebook again, which is funny. But, Jordan, thanks for following mate. I was chatting to Jordan and some of his buddies, they were asking me where I’m from in England, what football team I support, what I do for a living. I’m guessing these guys are mostly in their mid teens and still at school, so I’ve got school age teenagers following me now and probably thinking I’m crap at Snapchat to be honest. Lads. Anyway, snap me back all the people who just started following me and tell me what it is you’re interested in learning from me. I’ve got to kind of take a few steps back to try and think about how to introduce myself now.

If you’re still in school or a student, you know, early 20s, late 20s, whatever, there’s things I can help you with still. I remember I was quite good in school, I was intelligent enough in the right kind of academic way to do well in exams and things. But I remember a particular class, I think it was Chemistry and I was maybe 13 or 14 where a switch was flicked. I found myself daydreaming. I was in the class, teacher was waffling and I kind of zoned her out like Homer Simpson does when Marge is talking to him. I just sort of snapped to and went — oh I was daydreaming. And from then on I stopped daydreaming.

I stopped being a passenger, so to speak, in school, I stopped being in class and waiting for it to finish, being in school and waiting for that to finish for the day. Thinking about the karate class I was going to do in the evening or the sprint session I was going to do or the whatever, soccer, rugby training I was going to do. I learned how to pull myself into the moment, although I wouldn’t have phrased it like it back then. My little trick is a simple little trick — was to ask questions, was to think about questions I could ask of the teacher. I don’t think I was trying to catch them out or anything but I was just trying to ask questions about something they’d said and go “well no hold on but you said that earlier.” To even just ask questions in a class and not be a dumb arse asking something really stupid that’s just been answered a second ago you’ve got to pay attention. You’ve got to pay attention to what’s going on and you’ve got to think about what’s going on and then you’ve got to think of a good question.

So, the simple act of me deciding I was going to ask questions in class and try my damnedest not to look like an eejit was enough to take my academic level from here to here, just by purely making me pay attention and think about what was going on. It stopped me from being passive, just take it in — to suddenly being attentive, sitting forward, listening, thinking. I tell you the teachers actually loved it. I’d come out of the classes sometimes go “oh sorry I was asking all the questions” and they loved it, they loved that somebody was interested. . . .

If you’re in school, you’re in that room for an hour anyway for that class, you might as well pay attention. Maybe you don’t want to stick your hand up and ask questions but maybe just sit there quietly and in your head think of questions. Honest to goodness, it’s a great tactic. The ability to ask good questions is like a skill that’s going to stand you in good stead for the rest of your life.

So, on that note Snappers, I’m going to head to bed because it’s nearly 12, but I will be thinking about my Snapchat stories going forward. How I can still talk business, marketing, goal setting and achieving it and productivity, personal development, whatever else I ramble about, how I can keep rambling about all that kind of stuff and keep somebody who’s in school still interested in listening to me. I think it’s a very worthy challenge to be honest, because as you saw yesterday my kids — they have no fear. They haven’t learned yet that they can’t do things; they just want to have a go.

One of the biggest problems with people trying to start a business is they don’t just start they just get in the way, they just, it’s like the education system and work. Society has trained us to be different from what we were originally. I don’t know when that happens — is it a slow thing? Is it like a death by a thousand cuts and eventually you give up and you become like a robot in a cubicle. Can I help and try and catch people earlier before they get corrupted. I’m not knocking the education system completely. . . . it’s place. It’s produced workers in factories for hundreds of years. But I don’t know, it’s slightly outdated nowadays I think.

Anyway, I feel a mission brewing. I don’t know whether I can keep young lads interested enough to keep following my Snaps, but if you are following no matter what your age or gender, thanks for your attention. I’ll keep on going. Keep Snapping me and let me know what you like, I’ll do more.