The Secret to Success Question and Why You Should Never Ask It

 Secret to SuccessWhen entrepreneurs and visionaries like Bill Gates, Elon Musk, and Mark Zuckerberg host talks, they’ll always get the “what’s your secret to success?” question. This question is a waste of time, and everyone should stop asking it. Not only is it vague, the answer is probably going to be general advice that won’t apply to most people anyway.

Get to the Point

The biggest problem with the secret to success question, and many queries like it, is that it’s not the right thing to ask. When people have the opportunity to talk directly to industry leaders, all the questions need to be specific, pointing to a direct solution that only an expert in the field can provide. It’s these straight answers that startups should always aim for, since these are the ones that can actually help them move forward.

If aspiring businessmen look at the methodology of entrepreneur coaching systems like, they’ll notice that these teams follow a set of training techniques. Their main focus is to condition minds to look for solutions in the simplest and most straightforward way. The business world is never kind to people who beat around the bush; entrepreneurs need to be able to take what they need, when they need it.

Don’t Waste Time

The road to success is a lot like a triathlon, it’s a contest of both speed and endurance. Entrepreneurs need to prepare to dig in for the long haul, but they also have to move fast to reach their goals as fast as possible. This is a difficult balance to maintain, as it requires insight to know when to go all-in and when to calm down.

It’s these kind of situations where the guiding hand of the best in the industry can come in handy. The opportunity to talk to the people that have struck gold by doing what they do doesn’t come around often. Don’t waste time by asking stupid generic questions. Ask things that reveal some of their insights, philosophies, and methodologies in going about their work and decision making.

The next time you walk up to a mic during a talk, the guest wants to share as much as they can about their expertise. Give them that opportunity by asking the right questions and learn something in the process.