Posted on 24 July, 2017

What's a Henry Ford Answer?

By Jacob Andreae in Career, Change, Financial, Fitness, Health, Success, Personal What's a Henry Ford Answer?

[Image source: Quora]

If you ask people what they want with the intention of creating something to solve their problem, you should be a strong divergent thinker. It’s easy to solve a problem using the same system as everyone else. It takes a visionary leader to solve a problem in a completely different way though. A way that requires plenty of trial and error. A way that requires thinking outside the box. A way that changes the game.

In a recent blog article I wrote about how to ask the right questions in business. In that article I referred to a guy who has helped me to ask the right questions, James Wedmore. At his Launch Lab workshop in Laguna Beach during the summer of 2015, I met an amazing woman by the name of Lise Kuecker and her husband, Dan.

...the questions you ask are so important. They can influence the feedback you get. Ask poor questions and you won’t get any worthwhile feedback.

At the time, Lise owned four multi-million dollar fitness studios. I believe she’s since sold all of those businesses and now she focuses on her online business. Her flagship program is called The Client Cure. I went through this program and it did wonders for my boot camp business at the time and in mindset now and forward into the future.

After the workshop, I kept in touch with Lise and Dan. One day I reached out to Lise through Facebook Messenger and asked for advice about the feedback I’d received from my customers. I gave her the concise information they had given me and her reply was that I had a Henry Ford answer. I was dumbfounded. What was a Henry Ford answer? I knew that Henry Ford was the founder of the Ford Motor Company but I had no idea how that related to the feedback I’d been given in the online fitness industry.

She explained that Henry Ford described how if he asked his customers what they wanted, they would have said faster horses. They knew they wanted to get from A to B quicker but it was up to him as the entrepreneur to think outside the box and invent a better solution to the problem. And that’s what I needed to do with my feedback.

See, the feedback I got to my question of, “What’s your biggest challenge when it comes to health and fitness?” was with staying on track. That problem came up in one way or another over and over again. But that doesn’t necessarily help someone achieve what they truly want. No one wants to just stay on track with their fitness. They want something deeper.

So Lise recommended I go back to them and ask, “Where would you need to be in 3-4 months for you to feel like you’ve stayed on track with your health and fitness?” Again, almost as constant as the first question, the same answer appeared over and over again. It was to lose 10kgs. Even my United States audience who use the customary system said 25lbs, which nearly equates to 10kgs.

This gave me a much deeper insight into my customers challenges and problems. A first hand account of what they struggle with and the language they use to describe it. But that’s only the first piece of the puzzle. Now it’s up to me to be the visionary entrepreneur and create “the car” solution to my customers challenges and problems in the fitness industry.

If I just continued to give them “faster horses” i.e workouts and eating plans, they would never solve the real problem, which is to stay on track and lose 10kgs. But this is where it gets deeper. They don’t want to lose 10kgs for the sake of it. They want to lose 10kgs so they have more energy and feel better about themselves.

This is about psychology. Fitness and nutrition certainly play a part but the core of the problem is not physical; it’s psychological. And this is great for me because that’s one of my main points of difference in the fitness industry. In fact, I very likely stumbled upon the main reason why the people who engage with my content do so — for the psychology aspect of fitness and nutrition.

As you can see, the questions you ask are so important. They can influence the feedback you get. Ask poor questions and you won’t get any worthwhile feedback. Ask the wrong questions and you could create a suite of products and services that no one wants. Pay attention to what people say and listen, really listen. But most importantly, always get to the deep core of any challenge or problem. Why do they want to do that? For what purpose? So that they can what? Many people will know what they want. It’s your job to give them what they need. And anyone who is successful at this will be able to effectively marry the two.

Choose any area of your life. What’s your biggest challenge? What would your life have to look/feel/sound like in 3-4 months to know you’ve achieved that?

About Jacob Andreae

About Jacob Andreae

I write and speak about Fitness, Nutrition and Mindset. 

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What's a Henry Ford Answer?A quick start guide to losing weight and staying on track. Learn the strategies I use to eat and move for optimal health. Includes worksheets to enhance your motivation, commitment and discipline, along with a sample eating plan and exercise program.