A boy and his father go fishing together. While in the boat fishing, the boy asks, “Dad, how do fish breathe underwater?” Dad replied, “I don’t know.”
A little later, the boy asks “What makes the boat float?” Dad replied, “I don’t know.”
A while later, the boy asks, “How do the fish see underwater?” Dad once again replies, “I don’t know.”
A few more minutes pass and the boy asks, “Dad, do you get sick of me asking all of these questions?” Dad replies, “Not at all. If you don’t ask questions, how else are you going to learn.”
There is a lot of truth to this little story. You need to ask questions to find the answers. But you also need to ask the right people. I imagine that this boy just learned that his dad didn’t know much. I think that people need to ask other succesful people how they do things. It is common for succesfull coaches to spend time with other coaches studying film and discussing philosophies during the off season. Priests and other men of the cloth attend retreats to study and discuss scripture. There is always somebody that knows more. Likewise, in the show industry, many of the so called experts, will talk together, compare notes, etc. There normally aren’t many secrets, just discussion of feed, genetics, new products, etc.
Now, I also think that you need to earn the right to ask the questions. Don’t just walk up to somebody that you really don’t know, or haven’t done any business with and go to firing off questions. That approach isn’t going to work. At a show or sale, I will almost always try to answer kids’ questions. Adults–you might get a grunt, growl or a cuss word. There is a time and a place. You get me at my barn, sitting on a bucket and you can get all kinds of info–some worthwhile, some of it, maybe not.
The person you need to question the most is yourself. You need to constantly question your goals and are you working properly towards your goals. Have I done everything that I can possibly do to do this right? Can I do this better?