What does it take to create a masterpiece? A home run? A collaboration that takes flight? What are the secret ingredients that make the difference between a project that’s just okay, and an extraordinary one?

I’ve wrestled with this question for years – and I know many of you have, too. I talk to a lot of people who crave more satisfying projects and more joyful collaboration with colleagues and customers.

And I have an answer: Ask better questions. 

It’s that simple – and that challenging. Infuse curiosity into every project. Dig below the surface layer of your work and uncover the deepest drives that are fuelling it. Hold open, inquiring space for the truth to emerge. It makes all the difference in the world. Customer relationships click into place; teams gain  focus; priorities become crystal clear.

Book cover for Curious for a Living, by Lauren BaconToday, I’m incredibly excited to share an e-book I’ve been working on for the past few months. It’s a quick read–an hour, give or take–but it goes deep: In it, I share a rethink of where the real value of your work lies, an argument for how curiosity can make your business more successful (read: more profitable, with happier customers), and a list of the questions I ask on every creative project I undertake.

Early readers have told me this book has allowed them to break down obstacles that had been dragging down their projects and businesses, with ease. They also say it’s incredibly practical and that they’re already putting the tools into practice. I’m over the moon to hear those things, because nothing makes me happier than seeing people doing their best work. (That’s what motivated me to write this book in the first place.)

Here’s an excerpt, to give you a taste of what’s inside:

I’m betting that you’re an expert in what you do, and you possess a lot of answers to challenging questions. Moreover, you probably enjoy answering questions about your area of expertise – and your customers likely come to you with questions that are nagging at them. The questions you hear might sound something like this:

“How can I get my business featured in magazines?”

“What’s the key to building a highly motivated team?”

“How do we solve the homelessness crisis?”

Whatever your particular expertise, people want to know the secrets that you, the guru of whatever-it-is-you-do, possess. And it feels delicious to deliver those answers – being able to do that is a big part of why you went into your particular field. To be helpful. To share useful tools. All those good things.

Here’s the tricky part: Being in the role of dispenser-of-advice is seductive, exciting, and frankly, pretty awesome. Our egos get stroked when people want to know our expert opinion on stuff. But what actually makes you an indispensable advisor to your customers is your ability to ask them questions in return – and to co-create solutions with them.

When you ask the right questions, you inspire connection, collaboration, and serious problem-solving – all essential ingredients to powerful relationships and outcomes.

Stop spitting out default answers. Every expert worth their salt knows there’s no one-size-fits-all solution to offer, anyway.

Instead, dig deeper below your customers’ questions to find out what’s motivating them. You’ll gain a wealth of new info, cultivate trust, and build the foundation for a deeper – and more profitable – relationship with your customers.

Ready to get your copy? It’s going out free to everyone on my email list, so all you need to do is sign up below, and I’ll send it to you right away.

Yes, free. And it comes in both beautiful PDF and ultra-portable ePub formats; you can take your pick.

I can’t wait to hear what you think.