Who Cares?

It’s an important question

After you ask that, here are nine more issues to think about:

  • Where do they meet?
  • Why do they care?
  • What makes them tick?
  • How many are there?
  • Who is it for?
  • What do they want?
  • How to they interact?
  • What is the context?
  • What do they refuse?

The Foundation of Strategy

The questions matter

Professional strategists use the questions “why” and “where” to start an inquiry instead of “what” and “how.”


“Why” and “where” tells you about the other side.

“What” and “how” work on assumptions.

Understanding the “other side” gives you insight that helps build better assumptions.

The inverse isn’t true.

Ask the right questions and get make better decisions.

Small Time Chunks Better Than Big

Time is the secret weapon

Yesterday we discussed why your time commitment has to be the inverse of your passion for the project. No one wants to look like a liar or a failure. If you internally commit to an idea and your time commitment isn’t there, then there you are. By swinging for the fences too early in terms of time, you kill your drive.

So, you’ve set aside 10 minutes to get started Monday morning, and it goes well.

What’s next?

You commit to at least 10 minutes tomorrow.

And you do that every day after that.

Small, controlled consistency is compelling. 

A few reasons:

  1. It forces you to make smaller milestones, which makes you more likely to make something happen. We feed off of small wins. The more small wins you have, the easier it is to get up for the next one.
  2.  You spend more time thinking about the idea. After you walk away from the “office,” your subconscious doesn’t quit. It continues to tinker with the notion. All the inputs that happen to you interact with it providing you with inspiration for tomorrow’s work.
  3. You don’t have to work for just 10 minutes. By making the barrier to entry so low, you know you can take care of the work without making yourself feel like a liar. All the work after that 10 minutes is a useful bonus.

So, your idea is starting to get compelling. You got it off the ground, and you are spending time on it daily. There is one more piece of this that makes this framework very potent.

We cover that part tomorrow!

Don’t Forget to Breathe

You always have time.

When you watch an action movie, the hero always does one thing before going into that room filled with bad guys.

We see it help with their success, yet it is so easy to neglect. 

What is it?


Whenever something bad happens to someone I know, the first thing I do is tell them to breathe.

There are always questions, depending on the level of anger. All of the questions they ask eventually lead to “What does breathing do for the situation?”

Breathing doesn’t do anything “tactical.” It, alone, won’t save your life.

Breathing won’t:

  • Put money in your bank account.
  • Get your significant other to call you back.
  • Stop your boss from firing you.

It’s about your strategy moving forward. Strategy informs tactics, tactics inform emotion.  Breathing gives you the opportunity to improve the strategic mindset by doing several things all with one action.

Breathing helps:

  • Slow down the situation.
  • Take control from the reptilian brain (fight or flight).
  • Increase empathy for the other side.

By breathing, our hero makes the right call. Help yourself make the right call by taking a second to breathe.

When In Doubt, Teach

When we grow up, most of us attend public school. Within those walls, the idea of teaching and learning separate . You see yourself as one or the other, and it stays that way through the secondary school system. We get to the work force, and expect to follow through w. The option to teach is seldom given, if at all.  I think this is a mistake, because in my life I have found that it is much easier to learn something once you teach it. It gives the teacher the ability to going over the material again and keep what they learned in the first place. It also lets someone learn a new perspective through the questioning of students, opening options that haven’t been explored before.

Knowledge retention is a difficult task. Even if we spend the time to read all that we can, and take all the notes that we can, we can’t expect to remember everything. Having a reread list helps, because it allows you to pick up the things you miss. With that said,by teaching the ideas you learn, you relearn what you thought you understood. Like with the reread list, going over things, especially with the perspective of teaching something, changes what you keep and puts pressure on you to keep it.  Learning is hard, but stress can make it better.

You become a better student when you learn how to ask good questions. They  bridge gaps of understanding, and force everyone to take a second and consult what they know. When you teach, you get the opportunity to turn that on to the student. Those questions open up a world of experiences. Students can flip this on you, and  that is scary, because it shows our inefficiencies. But if we are strong enough, we can see that we can learn through those very same inefficiencies and become better. Through questioning, the teacher can become more in touch with the knowledge they impart, and find holes to either fix or to investigate something else. Each person we meet opens a new door for us through their experience.

It sounds counter-intuitive, but to teach is to know. Each time we get the opportunity to teach, we get the opportunity to learn more about our selves and the world around us. Teaching is by no means a one way street, because by teaching you get to improve your knowledge retention and gain a new world of ideas from another person. Each new person is a new experience, and each experience makes connections. By adding the concept of teaching to your toolbox, you gain another piece of learning down.