Many of you know I just spent the week with Russell Brunson’s Inner Circle, and this time around, I chose to spend my presentation time asking a hard question about ethics in marketing. But before I did, I wanted to offer one REALLY important lesson I’ve learned after teaching (literally) thousands of students, and also teaching others how to teach.
Being able to do something is one thing.
Teaching someone else to do it is another thing entirely.
Let’s imagine for a minute that you’ve been in business (or been an expert at something) for the last ten years.
Throughout that decade, you’ve learned a lot of stuff. Much of it by accident or through failure.
After the decade is done, you decide you’re going to package up your expertise into a course or book. So the first step? Look back on what you’ve done and accomplished and try to make sense of it.
Us humans – we love hindsight. We love looking back and seeing the patterns, the themes, the lessons, and the layers. If you’re a particularly visionary type personality, this might be the most fun part of the teaching process – where you’re lining up all your lessons and principles and organizing it all in a beautifully woven storyline and narrative.
If it’s a course, the story is unfolding in modules.
When it’s all done, you stand back – so proud of your work. Everything is in order now, and you think to yourself, “Now someone will be able to go from A-Z without missing a step!”
What you don’t know is that you’ve just fallen prey to the CURSE of the Decade in a Day.
The truth is that your student is not going to be able to execute on everything in order.
They may try and get overwhelmed, or they may not have built up the stamina or capacity to be able to handle doing everything (without skipping any steps). After all, you didn’t do it that way either! You learned it very differently than you’re now teaching it.
Here’s the lesson:
The FURTHER away your teaching is from the way you ACTUALLY learned it, the more likely it is that your student will get overwhelmed or not be able to achieve the success you’ve had.
It’s not that we don’t want to provide them with solutions to the stuff we got stuck on (we do!), but knowing WHEN to reveal that is the key.
Think of a cyclone shape for a minute. When we’re building a course or program, we want to lay a REALLY big foundation, and then build layer by layer as we go along. We start with ALL the insights and revelations we “think” they need to succeed, even though we ourselves didn’t see them til much later. That’s the top circle in this tornado. Then, if our student can get through all that, they move to the next section, but inadvertently we’re helping them make a tornado of overwhelm. It’s top heavy.
This is also why people who become forever students can’t get momentum. They are paralyzed with too much information. They are trying to create this huge foundation for their empire but they end up in the tornado of content overload. Disillusionment sets in because they don’t know why they haven’t made any progress.
Most people do better with AS LITTLE INFORMATION AS POSSIBLE in order to get the desired result.
Imagine giving them the info just enough for that little top piece.
It’s enough for them to keep going and then they can build the second layer, the third, etc. And each time, the layer gets bigger and deeper. That’s ultimately an easier way to learn. And eventually, they’ve built the opposite of a tornado. Their growth matches their capacity and absorption of information and ultimately, they’ve built a MUCH more stable shape.
Call it a funnel, a witch hat, or (my favorite) a whip cream tower.
I hope that lesson helps you as you study and teach!