The Power of Curiosity: How Asking Questions Can Help You Connect With Others

Be curious NOT judgemental. The Power of Curiosity

Most people use social media to kill time or scroll through meaningless content. If you’re one of those people, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity. If used correctly, social media can be a powerful marketing tool. 

As a decorator, you should be using social media to show off your work, connect with potential customers, and build your brand. Posting photos of your work is a great way to attract attention and generate leads. 

But it’s not enough to just post any old photo. You need to make sure that you’re posting high-quality photos that accurately represent your brand. The right photos will attract the right customers and help you build a successful business.

But, unless we get the culture right a lot of decorators are scared of the negativity they may receive from the content they post. 

Decorators often get a bad rep, and I think that’s mostly due to guilt by association. A great example of that is how many people are afraid to post in groups, which is crazy because it’s a great opportunity to learn, get your point across, educate people, and get exposure. But people are afraid of it, and I get it because social media can be a tough place. Here in this group, things are different—we’re more focused on business— but the idea is that I’m trying to give you some insight into how I’ve dealt with social media in a positive way.

I’ve learned the hard way that screwing up time and time and time again is no way to live. I used to let my passion/ego override my sense and better judgment, and I realized that you have to play a fairer, better game. You need to be a better person. I use a lot of Asana nowadays to stay organized, and one of my favourite quotes is from Walt Whitman: “Be curious, not judgmental.” I recently did a hashtag on Instagram about it because it’s something I live by. I’ve been in this business for over 30 years, and I know that there will be times when you’re attacked and you second-guess yourself.

You’re like, “Shit, I shouldn’t be involved in social media. It’s a really bad thing. I’m going to pull myself off.” But you can’t afford to do that when you’re running a business. You’ve got to use social media in a better way. So for me—I’ve been doing this for 30 years—my youngest son started working with us properly about two years ago. He has dipped in and out since he was a kid. I let him come on-site. He’s a bloody good sprayer. He’s just wired that way.

You have probably had people over the years who are just switched on—that’s Aiden. He’s just a really hands-on kind of guy. He was spraying a kitchen. He sprays pretty much all our kitchens in KPN. He can do anywhere between four and six kitchens a month, high-end.

He can average between £1500 to £3500 per kitchen, and a lot of these he’s doing on his own. We have a little bit of involvement, and his older brother helps, but he does more of the office work. He does go on-site, though.

So he does it himself and is really good at it. We still help out when necessary, when there’s something a bit more awkward, obscure or something he’s not come across before. Most of the time he does it by himself and, you know, credit to the guy, he takes the video for reels and social media, he does stories, etc. His sister, Rhyanna, does our marketing and has for a few years now. She took one of Aiden’s videos and put a post out on Instagram to promote the PaintTech Academy’s kitchen course.  it was 24 seconds of a 5-day process. We spray with doors on in some scenarios and this was one of them. Obviously, we’ve done everything that needs to be done, backs, sides, edges, etc. Just putting that out there before someone says I’m doing it wrong again!, So this post went out on a Friday evening and I was actually away for the weekend, funny enough with Rhyanna and this post went viral for days! firstly was like, defend, defend, it’s your kids, your business, your passion.

I was just getting told by a bunch of people that I was doing everything wrong. They said we were shoddy, cowboys, and some of them were incredibly rude- swearing and saying all sorts of stuff about my son. He was only eighteen at the time and was doing a really great job spraying kitchens. The customers loved him and were happy with the results. But these people were more than happy to publicly attack not only my son but this young guy who was honestly trying to do this as a business. I had been watching all of this over Christmas while I had COVID and was really sick.

I was bedridden for around five days and one of the things I watched was Ted Lasso. I don’t know if you’ve seen it, but it’s an amazing show. It’s not what it seems if you haven’t seen it, so please stick with it because it’s very clever and plays on emotions.

But there’s a scene in it about him playing darts, and I won’t spoil it, but it’s really, really clever. The moral of the video was to be curious, not judgemental, and it got me thinking… Up to this point, the video we posted on Instagram of Aiden spraying the kitchen that went viral has had 1.6 million views and over 450 comments!

I mean, some of those are obviously my replies, but a lot of the comments were hugely negative towards us. They just jumped on this bandwagon. And this is the thing I keep coming back to about our culture… it got me thinking, do we really hate ourselves and the industry so much that we would attack an 18-year-old lad for doing a really good job?

You know, I got virtually no positive comments. We did get a few and I truly thank those of you who commented.  Everything about that post that could have been positive was negative. But ultimately the key here, the whole point of this is – to be curious, not judgmental.

The number of times I said, why don’t you just ask why? Why are we spraying with the doors on? Why not just ask why are you doing it differently? Or how are you doing it? I mean, I answered question after question trying to explain what we were doing and what we were doing it.

I just kept saying, why the attack? Why not just go at the responses differently? Why not just ask, why not be curious? You might learn something. You could have said “ah, do you know what, personally I don’t do it that way but that’s actually got me thinking. I mean, that’s how I would do it.

I’m always thinking out of the box, I’m always looking at stuff and thinking – “could there be a different way of doing it?” The point of these ramblings is to use social media for two reasons/ in two different ways. You need to be better at it for yourself and you need to be better at it for your business.

Be positive, be uplifting, and be incredibly supportive of anybody that is actually doing something that is done in a good way. And maybe, just maybe, they’re doing something different that you don’t understand. Before you ignore them, slip on by or maybe come at them with negative comments, maybe just pick their brains by asking better questions!

Say, I don’t get it. I don’t get why you’re doing that or why are you doing that? Be curious. If we can change the culture to be more supportive, be more curious then surely it’s got to be a win-win. 

The more people that join the growth club and start using social media in a different, more positive way, the better it will be for everyone. Social media is two-fold: it’s not just about you posting. In fact, you get rewards for commenting on other people’s posts. Just be positive and you’ll get a lot back. Facebook, for example, rewards you more if you leave a heart instead of a like. It’s easy to press the like button, but if you hold your finger over it and go to the heart, you’ll get more in return. It’s a bit like givers gain.

The more you give, the more you will receive. You know, that’s a natural thing anyway, but social media does work that way. So think about things differently, think about social media. And if you see something and you’re not sure about it, be curious, ask a question. The engagement really does help, it helps you, it helps the person that’s actually posting and be positive, even if you don’t necessarily agree with what they’re doing, at least find a positive spin on it.

In conclusion, it is important to be different in order to build a better culture. Instead of attacking or belittling others, get busy instead. We should be engaging and commenting. 

By joining the Decorators Growth Club Pro Members group we can come together to build this culture, to think differently and put that out into the industry. For only £25 a month you get a lot of value

If you want to watch the scene in Ted Lasso then watch it here:

Be curious, not judgmental, and have yourselves a cracking day.

This is just one of the topics that we chat about in the Decorators Growth Club. If you are interested but don’t want to part with any money then check out the decorator’s growth club FREE group where we post lots of great tips that can help us make more money, BUT the best way to get even more help and guidance is to join the Pro Members Group for only £25 a month.


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