You know when you are in an high-energy conversation, ideas flowing from all sides, the enthusiasm building, and you say, “Here what’s what I think you should do: __________ “. And you say it with total certainty?
Whatever fills in that blank is often very valuable – it reduces a risk for your customer, or clarifies their next steps, or inspires them to take action.
If you solve problems with your thinking, ideas like that are a big part of what makes your business valuable.
But how do you get those ideas? One way is just to talk, talk, talk. To be honest, this is sometimes be the best way. Much as we groan about back to back meetings all day long, they are where you hone your ideas through talking about them back and forth.
But this approach is tedious and wasteful. It only works for one or two people in a meeting, if that. It leaves most people numb. But worst of all, you don’t always get to talk about the right thing. Instead, you get bogged down in trivial issues, low-value issues, issues that you’ve covered before.
So how else can you hone your ideas as a consultant, analyst, designer, programmer, or other knowledge worker? How can you talk about the most expensive problems you know how to solve?
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I wrote yesterday that I intend to make 2021 another year of “daily publishing”, where most days I’m thinking about how to make life better for my customers in some way.
In 2021, that’ll mean following Flannery O’Connor’s wisdom:
“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.”
My challenge for you is pretty simple – join me in writing and reading aloud in public. Every week, we’ll publish at least one email newsletter article and at least one follow-up video on YouTube. Prior experience, technical knowledge/equipment, your area of focus, etc., none of that matters – my tech stack is Loom and a YouTube account. (It’s actually a lot bigger than that, but that’s the general idea – low-cost or free tools. I’ll share with you exactly how I do it).
You can do it on your own, or think of it as joining a cohort with me, the Flannery Cohort. If there’s enough interest, we’ll meet up on Zoom every now and then to review progress. The cost to join? $0.
But while there’s no monetary cost, there’s a significant time cost and ego cost. You should be willing to (a) spend about 10 hours a week and (b) look stupid.
This is what it takes to get better – and this is an investment in your business.
If you can afford this investment, consider it!! I’ll finalize the 2021 cohort by the end of the month of January. Hit reply or forward to anyone you know who wants to take this leap.