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The 3:00 a.m. Secret Question That Drives Meaningful Success

What would you ask if no one else was listening? What’s the one answer that you think would change everything?

Most of us have a secret question. In fact, we probably have a whole pile of them.

 - How do I get people to actually read my blog?
 - How do I get the attention of that person with the big audience?
 - How do I make myself do difficult things when I have so much on my plate?
 - How do I keep my courage up when I don’t have much validation that I’m on the right track?
 - How do I know my stuff is any good?

These are the 3:00 a.m. questions. The ones that crawl around in the deep parts of our brains.

But +Sonia Simone has a theory about our real secret question — the one that we sometimes keep secret even from ourselves.

And in tomorrow's post you'll discover that one question. 

Stay tuned. 

*Update: Post is now live:

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Brenda Spandrio's profile photomyalldayPA's profile photoPat Roa-Perez's profile photoKaren Munro's profile photo
Love the article.  I run an industry blog and struggle with how to succinctly describe what we do and what makes us different.  My bottom line is goal is that every article I publish provides information that helps my target audience do a better job.

Steve Moran
Publisher, Senior Housing Forum
Thanks for this +Sonia Simone. This is a big help for those of us who didn't ask our secret question in May! Off to do my homework....
+Steve Moran I imagine you have some incredible opportunities to really help people with that content.

It's definitely valuable to be able to succinctly describe what you do, but if you're helping enough people, often someone else can put that into words for you, or at least help you focus the lens ...
Yeah... Great to know that others do the 3am "how do I..."shift too. Fab post Sonia and that's what I'm doing now. I'm writing more blogs that inform and help instead of my usual observe & comment style. Thanks for the post.

Yep, you nailed it for me: "Why should I keep going?" I worked through the exercise and came up with these answers:

Who do I help? I help people who are so overwhelmed with their clutter and disorganization that they can't -- and don't want to -- live that way anymore. They are ready to shake it off and move forward in their lives.

How do I help them? I give them a different perspective on the issue(s). THEY may think they just have a messy desk, but what we really uncover are fears and frustrations about who they are and what they are doing. In the words of one of my clients, "You gave me my life back."

What could you do to make yourself more useful? Ah -- that's the question! As you point out, there is a plethora of "how to declutter and get organized" information out there -- websites, books, ebooks, courses and professional consultants. I do think the missing ingredient is the personal touch, the one-to-one conversation to get at the cores issues. I'm very proficient at this, but have a hard time convincing people to give the "virtual" session (by phone or Skype) a try. I don't want to create just another self-paced product; I want to talk people through THEIR particular situation so they get THEIR desired results.

Thanks for the exercise -- I needed it!
Couldn't agree more about the importance of personal touch, +Brenda Spandrio. Sometimes people who know they can help themselves need to speak with someone who can help them understand why they should help themselves.

Thoroughly enjoyed the post +Sonia Simone -- looking forward to more introspection!
Thank you for this great post. +Sonia Simone 
It came at the right time. I did the exercise questions, but what really struck a chord was the question about "keeping #courage  up when there's no validation one's on the right path." Sometimes it's hard to keep it up. Whenever I find myself in this predicament, I find that by asking questions without seeking answers helps me get back on track.

It's a form of "release," asking the questions, putting them out there, and then waiting for the answers to emerge. It took a while to trust this process, but once I did, I came to expect the right answers. There's a lot of power behind asking questions.

Yesterday I had one of those days where nothing went right. I struggled all day to stay focused and productive.. Throughout the day, I asked questions without forcing or seeking answers, and as expected, today, your post came to answer them.   

+Sonia Simone Thanks for the post.. really got me thinking.

Who do I help?  People wanting or needing to write a business case.

How do I help them?  I post informative tips and information on my blog.  I write eBooks that provide detail for them on how to create each section of the business case.  I hold workshops and am about to embark in online training too.  Along with another colleague we create podcasts on the topic for people to listen to.

What could you do to make yourself more useful?  Become more visible.  Get out there and personally talk to more people involved in writing business cases to find out their pain points.   Maybe this is something that I need to ask them..  :)
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