I hate the expression “Think Outside The Box"
I just… do. It’s one of those buzz phrases that just irks me to no end. It’s like nails on a chalkboard for me - mostly because I don’t like defining our thinking and in all actuality - if we thought inside boxes, we might find we are more creative, more organized and overall, more productive.
When I finished week 2 of the Ruby on the Beach Program, I remember it being so tough. Being in Bali? not so tough! But even with the gorgeous scenery, it can sometimes take a back seat to your computer screen when you are knee deep in a big concept and rapid learning.
Week 2 reminded me of the Biggest Loser, the reality show. Everyone has an amazing Week 1, and then no one loses weight during Week 2 despite working super hard. Everyone is sad, angry, disappointed - wanting to stuff their faces. It was no different for us. We were all frustrated and defeated, but by week end - we got it. Collective hi-five millions and coconuts all around.
One of the key concepts we learned was “separation of concerns.” This was a really interesting concept as I could totally relate to it.
When we have a project, small or large - overwhelm sets in and we don’t know where to start. When we are coding something - the first thing we’re taught to do is to “pseudo-code.” We record what we think the project will do, so that we can break down the project into small concerns. Aka: chunk down the project into tangible and actionable pieces.
Boxes if you will.
This directly relates to our businesses. Sometimes we have grand notions of things we want to do and it just seems so daunting. How will you ever get it done? Think inside the box, sister! Separate your concerns!
For example, let’s take my podcast, The Top 3 For Entrepreneurs. DANG. That was a big project. Took me and my team months to get this thing off the ground. But we took it one box at a time.
Box 1: Research the tools I need to record a podcast
- Call Recorder
- Podcast Hosting Service
Box 2: Create a format for my show
- Bio of Guest
- Ask a success quote
- Ask for a surprising secret
- Top 3 Tips
- Ask for a book recommendation
- Ask for a challenge to the listeners
Box 3: Get guests to agree to come on my show
- Create an email template explaining why my show rocks
- Describe accolades so they know it’s credible
- Get a few cool close contacts to agree right away
- Set up time to interview them
- Send them the format of the show so they are prepared
Box 4: Actually record the show
- Write out my intro for each guest so I can read it off cleanly
- Prep guest before we hit record
- Let them know to stay on after I end recording
- Thank them profusely for joining me
Box 5: Show notes pages
- Each guest gets a show notes page
- Determine how I want the urls for each page set up for max SEO
- Wireframe how each page should look
- Get an intern to write the bio, 3 tips, book recommendation, etc. in the wireframe format
- Create each page but don’t set to live until corresponding interview goes live
Box 6: Edit the shows and upload
- Learn how to use editing software - eeek, help YouTube!
- Record an intro and an outro for each episode
- Edit the recordings, add intro and outro
- Upload the file to Podbean, Libsyn, whoever you use to host your podcast
Box 6: Follow Up With Guests
- Create an email for each guest that has their unique URL in it
- Email should also include ways for them to promote their show via social
- Have an intern create each email in a word doc
- Copy and paste the email from the word doc into Gmail
- Set Gmail to boomerang out this email to each guest the day their episode goes live
It’s a lot, right? But if we chunk it down - it’s totally doable and you can see how. If I said, “I’d like to create a Podcast today!” you can probably bet that instead of doing that, I’m really eating Chicken Fried Steak while watching Biggest Loser, feeling bad for them in Week 2.
But thinking inside the box and separating your concerns will actually allow you to break up your project, delegate it to your team and actually get it DONE.
Now - go think inside the box.