I just signed up to attend my favorite event of the year: BoulderStartUpWeek. This week-long event is about to start and all available hotel and airbnb space in town is filling up. Hosted in dozens of venues downtown including many co-working spaces and supported by hundreds of volunteers, it feels more like a community potluck for the mind than an event. People who show up at this annual feast of free events includes everybody who has an interest in all things startup. Their curiosity drives them to take time off to take a look at the future of (almost) every field of endeavor that the human mind can imagine.
If you, like me, are lucky enough to learn about the event before the more than 50 “high octane” talks a day by seasoned entrepreneurs fill up, you can get first pick of the panels that interest you most. And even if they’re marked “filled” chances are, you can still get in.
Once inside an event, you’ll be certain to be asked The Question at least once. But first you have to fill out your profile.
Most of the details requested in the profile are easy to fill out and none push the privacy alarm. But this one: “What question would you like people to ask you?” has a catch. It slows me down a bit because it makes me think of who is asking the question.
Is it a millennial? A boomer? A venture capitalist? A potential customer? Or is it someone who simply asked the question and doesn’t really have time to listen to the answer?
We live in a time crunch, a “jump time” where mindfulness and the ability to pivot to the questioner directly – the person asking the question – not simply the question itself, can open the door to a real conversation with positive results.
So what would you say to the person who asks you the question, if that person is genuinelyinterested in what you have to say, has more than 8-seconds to listen, and can also open doors for you?
It’s said that “chance favors the prepared mind.” How prepared are you?
Here’s one question I heard a startup entrepreneur tell a business influencer last year – that almost sounds like a Japanese haiku. It seemed guaranteed to get exactly the response the startup entrepreneur was seeking: a chance for a real conversation about their product or service to someone who was seriously seeking an investment….
The question: “If you want to talk about water, talk to me.”
Here’s another: Interested in Blockchain for social impact? Ask me.
What’s mine? I’m imaging that the person asking the question is walking down the street beside me to the next event. We have more than 8-seconds between now and our destination. Or we’re sitting next to each other in the audience, or on a panel as speakers, waiting for the program to get started.
With more than 8-seconds to respond I would say: “If you’re interested in a digital, on-demand tool that offers an instant transfer of knowledge, take a look.
If they responded with “the look” that says “Yes, tell me more…” I would simply hand them my phone – open to the digital tool – and let the tool speak for itself.
What one question would you like people to ask you?
This “Your Mentor Alexia” blog first appeared on LinkedIn.