How One Question Led to a Million Dollars

A floor washer went into a meeting with a company to try and earn $20,000 worth of business. One question led him to walk out with a million dollar contract.

What was that question?

The floor washer is a client of Steven Kuhn, a world-renowned turnaround consultant. He called Steven and told him he was trying to get the $20,000 contract to clean the company’s floor.

Kuhn replied, “Don’t ask how to clean their floors. Ask why the floors are dirty.”

Upon asking this question, the floor washer learned that it was the trash company that was dragging the trash and dirtying the floors. He then asked this and won the contract to be their new trash company.

One question.

One million dollars.

This wasn’t luck, though. This was once again an example of how Kuhn’s way of viewing problems as opportunities paid off.

Kuhn has lived an interesting life. He’s an American combat veteran who now lives in Europe. After the army, his hunger for opportunity led him through a maze of experiences before he became a consultant, his ultimate passion.

He worked as a bodyguard to Mick Jagger. He sold insurance. He was on TV and in movies. He authored a book. He did it all for the money—and he had a lot of it. Eventually, though, he decided to leave it all behind.

He went into the mountains for 6 months to live with monks.

“The monks told me to go into the forest and meditate,” said Kuhn. “I was 41 years old during this. I had never meditated before, so it was difficult. I found this person [myself] who is incredibly powerful and really soft around the edges and very caring…”

This self-awareness eventually led him to become a turnaround consultant, where finding opportunities within problems is his day-to-day.

“When you tell me your problems, I don’t listen to what [you think] your problems are. I try to figure out what the real problems are,” said Kuhn. “I figure out your pain points, and then we do something immediate so the pain is gone. Everything I do is immediate impact.”

Beyond problem solving and immediate results, Kuhn says he is guided by three principles: honesty, Integrity and Transparency.

He refers to this as his H.I.T. principles. To learn how you can create an ordinary life using Kuhn’s H.I.T. principles, please visit

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