Anthony Robbins says it the best, when he says:

“The Quality of Your Life Is a Direct Reflection of the Quality of the Questions You Are Asking Yourself”

Or rewritten as:

“The Quality Of Your Life Depends On The Quality Of Your Questions”

As a Business Consultant sent in to a client who has serious issues going on in his/her business, and having been supplied little to no information on the business and on what’s going on, you have to ask questions. Lots of question. It’s the only way to dress yourself with enough insights that you’ll stand a chance at helping the business owner turn the unhealthy business around unto a path of prosperity and success.

You need to gather information and uncover the roots of the problems. You need to gather factual information, but you also need to gather narratives, and I would venture to say emotional attachments to events, past experiences, current situations, and aspirations and dreams.

This series of stories will reveal to you some of the many secrets of the top Business Turn-Around Agents. The first Secret I shared with you in the previous story, and I now bring you Secret number 2 of the Top Business Turn-Around Agents, which is: 

They Ask Questions

In this instance the questions are not so much directed towards yourself, but more so for the business owner and his/her team, and possibly all the way through the other employees or a selection of same.

Some of the questions are straight forward, and a lot of them have factual answers such as gathering business reports such as Profit & Loss Statements and associated Balance Sheets, Tax Returns, reports on Payables and Debtors, Bank Accounts and Bank Statements, and current Cash Flow.

Upon the first meeting with the business owner(s), you’ll typically have a meeting to get acquainted and get an idea of what’s going on and what outcomes the business owner(s) wishes to see or expects to see. Naturally, one of the first order of business is for you to establish a little bit of rapport, which often takes the form not so much of business talk, but more ad hoc, chit chat, exchanges of pleasantries and courtesies. 

Think: The scene in the movie The Wolf Of Wall Street, when Jordan Belfort first meets the Swiss banker Jean Jacques Saurel. Belfort just wants to cut to the chase and get right down to business, when the Swiss banker informs him that “Swiss custom requires requires 10 minutes of blah blah blah chit chat before business can be discussed”

This is a chit chat that quite frankly often doesn’t hold much real talk or information, although you’d be surprised what small little nuggets that it can reveal that may be of use for you later on in your work with the client , sometimes especially when things get a little tough, and when you need to be able to “manage” the client and his/her commitment to the process of turning the business around, or indeed find more cash.



But besides furnishings yourself with a lot of information and insights that you’ll need, you also use the questions to ensure that there’s a solid understanding for the client about what to expect from your services and also of extreme importance, what the client’s impression is of the agreement he/she is entering with you and your services.

You can appreciate that it’s critically important the client has full understanding of such an investment and equally full understanding of when such payments are to be fulfilled.

Top advisors of any kind do not come at a small price. A top Business Turn-Around Agent who is worth his/her salt, will charge tidy sums for the expertise.


No, not if the Business Turn-Around Agent does well with the client’s business. 

A lot of the businesses my colleagues and I have helped over the years were in real deep trouble. Often so deep that the survival of the businesses concerned were in question. Had the Business Turn Around Agents not been engaged, the highly likely outcomes would have been closures or bankruptcies of many of said businesses.

In previous story I mentioned the hourly rate for a higher end business consultant would be about $500 an hour. In fact, that rate could well go higher up towards a couple of thousands per hour.

But again, if the investment actually saves the business in concern, and puts it back on a path of prosperity, turns it profitable and growing again, and leaves the business owner and his/her team with the knowledge and abilities to continue such path, then investment would be well worth, whatever the price.

To be more precise, the large and successful business consulting company my colleagues and I represented would offer the solid guarantee to the clients, stating that for every dollar they would spend with us, we would ensure they captured a value of at least two dollars.

Their return on investment thus was guaranteed at at least double!!

We kept track of all the improvements we instilled in each business and on each assignment, using only the client’s own calculations for same. We naturally established the baseline of the performance of the business in concern at the time we entered the business. 

So observing the business’ performance as depicted by its Profit & Loss Statements and associated Balance Statements,say a 12 month period following the end of our engagement with said business, it would be easy to gauge if the investment had been a solid one.

While I do not have the detailed numbers present, the performance of the consulting company, my colleagues and myself, showed immaculate levels, in fact to the tune of a success rate of some 97–98%.

For the assignments that I handled the clients’ return on their investment typically lay in the 4–7 doubling of their investment. Not a bad investment, if I may say so.

I attribute a lot of the success to the specific method and system we used and during more stories in this series, I will reveal more of this. Of course I would venture to say that my colleagues and (if you allow me) myself brought a lot of business acumen, experience, insights and intellect. But without a specific method that can be taught to the business owners and their teams, it would soon be difficult to see a success rate of this magnitude.




So as consultants we ask questions. A lot of questions. We obtain answers, but in the midst of it all, we also listen for any underlying sense of emotional attachment the client, his/her team or employees may reveal when they provide their answers. Such emotional attachments reveal a lot of answers in themselves too, you see, or indeed provoke the next questions that may provide supreme revelations for your quest to turn the business around.

Coaches use questions a lot too. If you a familiar with coaches and their approach to handling a client, you will realize the coaches actually rarely provide any answers. But via questions, the great coach guides his/her client towards finding the answers by themselves.

As a business consultant you often do a bit of the same. An answer the client finds with your guidance is often much more valuable than an answer you just provide. 


Well, first of all, via the questions you help the client come to realizations that bring about the answers. The process in turn helps the client become more adapt to finding the answers in future him-/herself, so in other words the client becomes better equipped for future challenges. 

Secondly, the client is likely to own the answer to higher extent, when the client reached it him-/herself (whether guided by the consultant or not).

Thirdly, You’re helping the client grow emotionally. Finding your own answers brings your self-esteem up which also strengthens your self identity which has a huge influence on your future results and success. I won’t go into details on this topic for now, but it may be worth talking about at a later point.

Ownership is important. 

In a business faced with challenges, just as is the case in many other challenges in life, it’s one thing to know the answer, but yet another thing to actually do what’s necessary to do, and do so consistently, in order to bring about the improved outcome you are looking for.

Ownership is also important in order to hold, in this case, the client accountable for what needs to be done, and to ensure it is being done, and to hold them accountable and committed towards the path towards the further business improvement.

In the course of making the business turn around happen, it is very typical that the levels of stress cycles up and down. 

Seeing a top turn around agent comes at a large investment, it is natural that the client will experience moments of sheer terror and more or less be freaking out over the expense to be met on a current and recurring (in my case upfront in full or weekly) basis, when some of the business improvements may take a bit longer to set in and when the business has no cash, and other vendors calling them down for way overdue payments.

With your guidance, the client has reached the answer and possibly calculated the benefits of the proposed necessary actions and now has ownership over the course of the implementation necessary. 

So when the client has a moment of panic, you can now redirect the client’s attention to such calculation and remind him/her of why the action are being implemented and ask what part of the calculations reached by the client him-/herself, that the client no longer believes to be true.

Usually, the effect of this is an instant realization for the client, that he/she is just freaking out about a cash tight situation and current pressures the client is under, but that the actions implemented will indeed bring the cash improvement in foreseeable future. And the implementations will bring the results.

It’s totally understandable that the client invariably is freaking out and it’s to be expected. Yet, the path is still sound, unless you completely messed up in what you need to do to righten the ship. The method my colleagues and I use makes is rather clear what you need to do, so chances of you messing up are relatively small.



I believe many business owners forget to ask questions. 

Life shows up, the business has developed a life of its own too, and soon enough people follow their usual routine, even when the world or the market may have changed and the premises for your business no longer are the same.

They forget to question what they are doing, how they are doing what they are doing, if they should be doing what they are doing or if they should be doing things in a different manner. They go about business how they have always done or even worse may have lulled themselves into just doing the bare minimum.

But the world is dynamic and as a business owner you have to be adaptive to the disruptions that invariably comes around. It seems to me that disruptions are even coming more frequently these days. And that’s possibly quite alright too, but it requires of you that you can remain flexible and open to making necessary changes in your business and for how you go about things.

I believe many business owners forget to truly listen to the answers they’re given when they do ask questions.

Answers reveal many things. Very often they hint at underlying themes that are not told, but yet, when you listen intently enough you’ll soon realize when there’s more going on than what’s being said.

You may have come across the idea to ask your question 7 layers deep. I.e. you ask the same question 7 times over, and each time you are looking to get a deeper level of response in return.

This can be a powerful exercise, not least when you ask yourself of something. Perhaps when you ask yourself about something you do in your life even when you know it doesn’t serve you. 

Perhaps you have a strong reaction in specific circumstances. Perhaps you should ask yourself 7 question deep to find out why your reactions are so strong in such instances. You may be surprised at what the answers may reveal and they potentially will provide you with clues of how to resolve “your issues” once and for all.

Ask yourself why you have such a strong reaction when such a specific circumstance arises. Then keep asking yourself over again, why you your reaction is so strong, why it should matter so much, what it triggers with you, what lies behind the reason it triggers you.

Going through the exercise often helps you reveal the true answer to your question, when the initial replies only provided you superficial responses or perhaps even misdirections.

For the most part when I’m with a client I do not necessarily ask 7 times deep. I’m already asking so many questions that that would soon be too costly in time and delay the action steps and implementation of actual business improvements needed in the business. Time is of the essence during these types of engagements and seeing I’m charging for every minute I’m there, I’d better make some cash come about for and with the client.

However, I will often later on, after I have ensured the most critical factors have been addressed and corrective measured implemented, circle back to repeat topics of previous conversations and even repeat previous questions to dive deeper into something.

My foremost charge when I’m with a client as a Business Turn-Around Agent, is to make the client more money. I consider it not only a necessity for the business’ survival (that’s why I’m there), but seeing I must collect full payment for my services every single week, I have an obligation to help the client make way for that money too.

That means that during my entire engagement with a client, I’m constantly searching for more cash. More cash that’s probably inherent in the business, and to be found if only you do the right things in the business and with the business.

In a client engagement, whenever I needed to find more cash to satisfy and validate my presence in the business, I would always go back to asking more questions, and soon enough we would find more cash.

You’d be surprised how much cash there is to be found in most businesses.

Most of the clients I’ve seen have been in the range from $400,000 in yearly revenue all the way up to $30 million. Often the companies in the $10 million plus range already do many things right. It’s kinda necessary in order to take a business to such levels that you do many things right. But there’s still many improvements that typically can be made. 

However, where I typically see most improvements is in the businesses operating in the range between $800,000 to $10 million. Quite frankly, because they have messed up the most.

I don’t say this to be derogatory or demeaning of said businesses, but it’s really kind of the truth.

The businesses may have grown considerably, but oftentimes the internal business systems and the business acumen didn’t grow appropriately along with the business’ growth.

Honestly, it’s a great opportunity for the Business Turn-Around Agent, cause it provides such an abundance for implementing changes that brings cash to the business and improvements all around.



What questions should you be asking yourself in your business? What questions should you ask your team members and your employees? What questions are you avoiding to raise?

You want better answers?

Ask better questions.


Over the course of this series of posts, I will share with you my insights, including many secrets of the Top Business Turn-Around Agents and how they do it. I hope, you’ll follow along as I extend my personal invitation to do so.

If you wish to learn more about me and what I do, you can find more information on my website

If you wish to learn most of the content from this series of posts on how you too can turn your struggling business around or make your successful business even more successful, then visit

That’s right, there’s a free training that reveals the system I use.

At time of posting this story the training isn’t yet available, but if you sign up for it I will let you know as soon as it is. I expect it to be available within a few days. So sign up now. It will show you the system in its entirety and as I have said, it has helped me personally change the lives of more than 50 businesses and many more thousands that were helped by colleagues of mine who used much of the foundation of this system.

(This story is a continuance and part of a series describing real life like existence of a top business turn-around agent. To be continued soon…)

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