Motivational Speaker’s BIG Question – I Know You Can’t – BUT…

Because I am a motivational speaker by profession, I make it a point to attend conferences that promise to give me great ideas about how to be successful in life.  Accordingly I attended a fabulous Tony Robbins event once that gave me a tool that I use when I’m looking for solutions that just don’t seem to be there.

In a room of about 2000 people a man stood up to ask Tony a question.  The video guy zoomed the camera in on his face, a woman thrust a microphone at him and the man appeared in gigantic living color on two HUGE screens in the front of the room.  He said to Tony, who was on the stage, “Tony, we have not been able to grow our business.  We’ve tried everything and failed.  I just don’t know what to do.”

Tony said to him, “Sounds like you don’t know what to do.  But if you DID know, what would you do?”

Puzzled, the man replied, “But Tony I don’t know. That’s the problem.”

Tony responded, “Oh I get it, you don’t know. But if you DID know, what would you do?”

Once again, the man persisted, “Well, I DON’T know.  That’s why I’m asking you!”

Tony, undaunted, said “Right. You don’t know. But if you DID know, what would you do?”

At this point the man realizes that he has a mad dog on his pant leg, 2000 people watching him and he’d DARNED well better come up with something.  So he said, “Well, um. Well… maybe we could call in an outside consultant.”

Tony said, “Great! What else?”

The man shifted uncomfortably and said, “Um, well, um….Maybe we could ask the staff to contribute ideas”

Tony said, “Fabulous! What else?”

Within a few short minutes, with Tony continually leading him back to that brilliant question, the man generated ten ideas of how he might grow his business.  Will they all work? Probably not, but there is good shot that SOMETHING in there WILL either work, or lead someone else to think of something that will work.

Like they say, if you want to get a good idea, you have to get LOTS of ideas.

So.  What is it that you absolutely DON’T know how to do, but if you DID know….


From your inquisitive motivational speaker, Linda Larsen

Helping people bring their finest, best & happiest self to life!




Motivational Speaker Linda Larsen, CSP has been described by meeting planners and audiences as "hysterically funny," and "riveting." Known for her ability to connect on an authentic and emotional level with audiences, her spontaneous sense of humor, and her engaging and powerful stories, Linda is passionate about sharing ideas to help people live their finest, best, and most productive lives. Her riveting and true story of being kidnapped and held hostage at gunpoint by an escaped convict, and the strategies she used to escape, will give people the tools THEY need to rise above any of life's toughest challenges, to communicate more effectively with THEIR difficult person, and to find creative solutions to THEIR problems. To book motivational speaker, Linda Larsen: 941-927-4700

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  1. Oh my gosh. I love this! Brilliant question. I am going to commit this to memory and use it! As motivational speakers we often tell people they can do it. We just don’t tell them how. This helps them figure out the how. Thanks for sharing Linda!

  2. I drove my children nuts with this technique growing up! Having seen Tony early on (and what an incredible motivational speaker he is!), I bought into this hook, line and sinker. What do you want for lunch? “I don’t know.” Well if you DID know what would you want? Thanks for the great memory and excellent blog.

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