The two questions you must answer

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Today, while re-reading an excellent piece in Inc Magazine, which shows the results of studying every pitch made on Shark Tank, the author exposed the interesting point that there are two questions which can determine if your business idea is going to fail.

I’ve often found that you can predict whether a business is doomed to fail within about 60 seconds by asking two simple questions: What customer problem are you solving? Why are you the person to solve it?

So, in keeping with my mantra, let’s avoid complexity and answer these questions one by one.

What customer problem are you solving?

This exercise is so much easier to do when you have an accountability partner asking it. Someone who won’t let you off with an easy answer. Someone who will pound down, questioning every answer you give, forcing you to dig deep. So my suggestion is to find someone who will do that. Use the precision model to dig even deeper. How specifically do you know that it’s a problem? What specifically is the level of problem? Specifically how does it cause pain? How specifically are they solving the problem now? What specifically causes the problem? What would happen if the problem went away? What would happen if a better solution came up tomorrow? What do you think it would be?

You should be able to write an epistle about this one question.  Take fifteen minutes today and answer it. And stop whining; this is your real job as a business owner. Everything else you do is a distraction.