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Wes Kao on the skills you need to become a master at shipping ideas

Description:

How to start a project,

How to let go of the fear, When you are about to start.

The difference between lazy thinking, and rigorous thinking.

How to de-risk your ideas before you start investing in them, investing your time, investing your money.

How to find product market fit

The ultimate skill. That you need to acquire to become a master creator.

Transcript

Jawad:

hi. Welcome to thinking backwards. This is your host Jawad. This podcast is here to help you tap into your inner creative and get you to ship your best work. We would interview guests have succeeded and failed. We would learn from them. And how they got their dream job. How did they get the raise they were looking for? How did they start their side hustle? But more importantly, how did they take the leap? To push. The start button. We have Wes Kao are with us today. Who is such an amazing person. I love what she has done. She has built the. ALTMBA with Seth Godin. Which I'm an alumni of. And literally this course changed my life and I am forever grateful. currently she is building a company with the co-founder of Udemy. And they're trying to build a platform to help anyone build a cohort based course. Which we know from other online courses that probably a lot of us took They can get kind of boring. And super crowded. What they're trying to do is To bring the class. Together make a smaller group. And help to professors create a more interactive and engaging experience while learning. Wes has an amazing mind and on today's episode. we're going to talk about a lot of cool stuff. We're going to discuss. How to start a project, how to let go of that fear. When you are about to start. The difference between lazy thinking. And rigorous thinking. How to de-risk your ideas before you start investing in them, investing your time, investing your money. how to find product market fit And the ultimate skill. That you need to acquire to become a master Creator.

Wes:

1:54

Hey Jawad.

Jawad:

1:56

how was your day going today? Good.

Wes:

So I'm pretty well. Yeah, it's snowing outside. It's beautiful.

Jawad:

All right, Wes. We have some listeners. struggling. To start their own side hustle or start their own projects. Where can they start? I know this is your strength, so where can they start

Wes:

Great question. I think. The best place to start is thinking about what's the smallest step that you can take to go in the right general direction. You don't need to have every detail of your map planned out, but you should know the general direction of where you want to go. I think one of the best ways of getting in the right mentality to start a project to own a project is to realize that when you start your own thing, whether it's a side hustle, whether it's your own business, whether you want to. You know, go out and be a solo consultant. You take full ownership for the outcome of what it is that you're doing. And this is actually pretty different than working at a company. When you're at a company, there are a lot of other employees. You have your boss, your boss has a boss, your boss has a boss. And so there's a lot of people where the responsibility and blame is spread out. If things don't work. Whereas when you're running your own company or your running your own side project. You are. The one who is responsible, your head is on the chopping block. So you have to find a way to get it done. It doesn't matter if it's pretty or if it's messy or sloppy. You need to find some way to get the thing done. So I think embracing that. sense of ownership I think is a really, really, important place to start. The second thing is that, deciding what to do, I think is one of the hardest things of starting anything. So not just like in the very beginning, right? Like what do I want to sell? What do I want to make? What do we want to create? But all throughout the entire process and journey, every single day, you are needing to decide what to do. And again, contrasting with being at a company, 80% of decisions are made before. Before task arrives on your desk. Pantene pro V the shampoo company. Is not going to start becoming a zipper manufacturer. Next week. They're not going to start making veggie chips, right? Like their company is consumer products, personal care shampoo. There's a price point. There's a target customer. There's a look and feel for the brand, their existing distribution channels. There's a business model. All of these decisions are pretty carved out already. So you might work on a tiny slice of the pie, your slice of the pie, but when you're running your own company or, you know, going out on your own, you. You get to make all those decisions. You get to decide, what should we build? What should we make? How should we price it? What should the positioning be? What customer do we want to serve? You can change any one of those variables and it changes the entire puzzle. It impacts everything else. You can even do the sequence a little bit differently and it changes everything else, right? Like if you think about a sales pitch and practicing how you all want to do your pitch on calls with leads. If you swap around saying something beginning versus at the end, That could change your conversion rate. Right. Like, that's like a tiny that's super zoomed in five inches above the ground. and. Every step of your business throughout your day, you are making all these. Hundreds of micro decisions that could really change the outcome of what it is that you're doing. And that kind of creative freedom and the choices that are available to you is, is really, almost overwhelming.

Jawad:

It is. I mean, you have to wear so many hats.

Wes:

Yeah. Yeah, exactly. I think, that amount of choice and realizing that you have to make so many decisions, and have very, very few existing data points to build off of. I think taking that leap is a pretty big mental shift.

Jawad:

That's true. And how can we achieve that? How can we get into that mental shifts where I'm kind of getting told what to do. I do have some certain autonomy in what I'm doing at my job, and now I have to like, Do a whole shift. And now I have to build this product on my own. I have to do the marketing on my own. I have to figure out how to write copy. I have to figure out. If I want to raise money, how to raise money. There's so many aspects, like you said, that you have to learn. Is there a guide that we can follow or is it something that you just need to jump in and just started doing it to figure it out? And you make a lot of mistakes by doing it.

Wes:

Yeah, I think it depends on. On where your starting point is. On the spectrum of being an over-thinker versus maybe an UN under the, I don't want no finger sounds bad, but well, the under thinker is in you. You tend to act first and think later versus this side, it's kind of. You analyze a lot, you think a lot, you plan a lot. I think it depends on where your starting point is. So if you are the type of person who tends to overthink and plan and analyze a lot, Then you want to shift? To the other. You know, to the more in the middle of the spectrum, where. You get to 80% certainty. And then you take an action. If you are on the other side of the spectrum and you tend to just kind of go, go, go, you're throwing things at the wall. You're probably wasting a lot of energy doing stuff that you just thought about it for literally 30 more seconds. You would realize that actually that's not a good idea and I should just not do that. And I can do something smarter than said. So it's really a balance of. Taking the time to think about. What is the most strategic thing that I can do? With where I am now with the resources that I have available. At my disposal. With the assets that I have with the constraints and boundaries that I'm operating within, what is the smartest thing that I can do to get to the next step? So I don't agree with people who say just like, just go out and do do do, because actually you have, you have finite energy. You have finite morale, like if you were getting rejected. All the time. There was something wrong there. I don't, I don't, some people were like, Oh yeah, like go out and get like a hundred directions. That's fine. If you're trying to teach yourself, the goal is to teach yourself to be okay with reaction. That's great. If you're actually trying to build a business. You want people to say yes to you? Like you want people to buy the thing that you are selling them. And it's very demoralizing when you go out and you put your heart and soul in something, and the people are constantly saying no, So thinking and reflecting about what is a better way that I can present this to them. What's a better way that I can understand their needs. So I'm building something people actually want. What's a better way that I can read between the lines of if someone is hesitating or say no, how do I figure out. Where that hesitation is coming from so that I can remove that hesitation. And then the next person that I talked to you. I can actually proactively. Prevent that objection altogether. By the time that someone is objecting. That's almost too late. Already. If you can prevent that objection. That's really the Holy grill. So there's a lot of thinking involved with how do I, make a smart decision here? How do I think critically about what I can do given my resources right now, given. The imperfect information that I'm working with. I'm a big, I'm a big promoter of thinking critically and trying to be strategic at every single step of the way.

Jawad:

9:34

I think I read the newsletter for you. That's uh, Rigorous thinking over lazy thinking, is that correct? Can you tell us a bit about what is lazy thinking and what does rigorous thinking?

Wes:

Yes. Lazy thinking is. Going through the motions. Without thinking for yourself. It's. Making assumptions that you don't even know that you're making. And it's it's blindly following advice. That you hear without thinking about, does this actually apply to me? To my situation? Rigorous thinking on the other hand is thinking about the context of everything. If someone is giving you advice, What is their background? Where have they come from? What was their experience? What was their situation? If their situation was drastically different from yours. The advice that they're giving you might not be very applicable to someone in your situation. So making that just pausing and considering. Okay. what about that is useful to me? I'll keep what's useful discard. What's not. Instead of getting into an outrage of like, well, this is this idea of Stevie, this person doesn't know what they're talking about. And it's like, no. Let's let's be, let's be chill here. Take whatever's useful for you. Whatever's not just discarded. It's fine. Not everything is meant to apply to you. So having that sense of wisdom, I would say is part of rigorous thinking. The other part of rigorous thinking is. Developing assertions of what to do. Assertions meaning hypotheses. That. You've developed based on what you know about the situation. So I think of assertions as, if you think of a spectrum where there are facts. Insights and assertions. Facts on the one end. Are things that. You can point to, and, you know, are, are true. But facts alone, don't lead to any time type of action. Like everyone realized like, okay, like, You know, this. Maybe your, your friends or at a restaurant. And someone says like, Oh, the lights here are, kind of bluish. Okay. Like that's a fact. Yeah. Like the lights. The color of lights are cool. Right?

Jawad:

Okay. We can't do anything about that.

Wes:

Yeah. It's like, so what does that mean though? Like, is that good or bad? Like, are you saying that this is good? Or are you saying this is bad? Right. Like no idea. Someone points that out. Right. So that's a fact. And insight would be someone then saying, Because the lights are cooler. it creates a more sterile feel like there's not as much of a warm feel to this restaurant because the lights are too cool. Okay. Now, now there's a point of view there. That's starting to get interesting. And then the assertion moving along the spectrum. The assertion is saying, because the lights are bluish and it makes the room feel kind of sterile and less, less warm, less a feeling of camaraderie and closeness in the space. I recommend that they change the lights out for something that's warmer. And, maybe dimmer. Because right now, it's too bright. It's too sterile. And by changing this lighting, we can change the ambiance of the restaurant. Which increases. the customer, it improves the customer experience and increases the perceived value of the entire experience to the point where you might even be able to charge more. Four food items on the menu, because it just feels like a more upscale. Experience. Right. Instead of like fluorescent lights, like flickering. Now you have these beautiful Edison bulbs, diffuse lighting makes everyone's face look glowy, right? So that's an assertion where it's like, now they're now that's something that, that you can really work with. All bosses love when you make assertions. The problem is that everyone default state is more lazy thinking and we'll point out facts or insights there's no. So what Rigorous thinking is about the, so what. So you pointed that out. What do I do with that piece of information? So the assertion is making a recommendation and a suggestion. And there's a hypothesis built in to saying, your recommendation.

Jawad:

Okay. So I'm not supposed to only come up with or just come say the facts and just leave it at that. No, I'm supposed say the fact and then same with, I think should be done about this fact also it's not only just left I did my work now. I got the date on this is what it says, and we're all good to go now.

Wes:

Exactly. Exactly. If you apply that to being an intrepreneur in the workplace. It's a difference between saying, I'm noticing. I'm noticing that plaid is a trend in summer 2020. I'm using fashion retail as an example. This is actually, this is a true story. This actually happened to me. This was

Jawad:

Okay. That's better. Let's hear that.

Wes:

15 years ago. At the gap. So, so we'll, we'll go well, you know, take a trip down memory lane. When I first started the gap, I was fresh out of college. And, I was bright eyed, bushy tailed, excited to be in retail. And I would approach my bosses and boss's bosses, and mentioned these trends that I was noticing in the market. and they'd encouraged, did junior people to keep your eyes in your sharp for, you know, for what's going on so that our company can, stay present to what customers want. So I'd go up to them and I, and be like, okay, I'm noticing that. Plaid. Is a big trend right now. All the stores are doing pod. Or that, fringe, right? I'm seeing some persons with fringe or t-shirts with fringe. and my boss would always just be like, Okay. And.

Jawad:

What can we do about that?

Wes:

What do you, what do you want to do about it? Like, what do you want to do it? What do you want me to do about it like that? Like I was pointing out this thing and then just like acting as if I. Just dropped the biggest knowledge bomb, like guys like this. This is the thing. And they're all just like, okay, what do you want us to do with that? So it wasn't until years later, really? That, that I realized that what I was doing was literally not useful at all. Like negative, negative usefulness, not even neutral, but like negative usefulness. And that. What would have been useful. And what I do now is saying, okay, if I noticing this trend, then I say the next step I assert and recommend and suggest what does that next step? And maybe it's that. All right. Well, we need to do is, you know, we have. Three items in our line of 15 that are apply. We need to buy more units of these products. Because these products will likely sell out, given that this is a trend right now. So I recommend that we increase our unit purchases by 30% across all sizes. That is an assertion. That is a recommendation. Or it's saying that, I think that we should, chase into some of these trends now by doing some rush orders, it'll cost more for our design team to quickly mock something up, send it to the factory and airlifted instead of doing, ocean freight. Usually it's, you know, three months over the ocean, we're going to, we're going to do air to get these products over just in time. And it's going to increase the cost. Of these products, but we're going to make up for it in the volume that we're going to sell. Those are recommendations that someone can push back on and say, well, Wes, I disagree with that because blank or yes, I agree with that. Go ahead and do it. Green light. Go make it happen. Go talk to designers, go talk to their production. People go, you know, make some phone calls to the supply chain, people to talk to the factories, right? Like there is a Ford motion with rigorous thinking and having a proactive posture where you are, you are recommending what to do next. And not just. Throwing out some random insight or fact thinking that you did your job. That you drop some knowledge bombs and that someone else should handle thinking about what to do with that information that you just gave them. Like you are responsible for figuring out what to do with that information. That's

Jawad:

Amazing. The knowledge. Reminds me a bit of a Twitter. I see a lot on Twitter. People just dropping it like one line. knoweldge Bombs, but then there's no follow-up and I'm supposed to figure out what it means. Reminds me a lot off. Of this happening in the workplace. Still where people just, sometimes they, yeah, I have this cool idea. What are we going to do about it? Do you think this applies. To entrepreneurs Is it the same? Do you think they come up with ideas, but do they even have the luxury of that? Like I have this idea, but I'm not going to do anything about it. It's just an idea.

Wes:

I recently. Going to say that. Yeah. But you don't even have the luxury of that. As an entrepreneur. If definitely, I mean, At a company, you have someone to tell to these, these ideas and then see if, you know, maybe you assume that they're going to do something about it, but as, as a business owner, There's not really anyone else. Like it's you and yes, it's your team, but, if you're not driving things forward, no one else's. Right like that, that is just at the end of the day, you are pushing things forward. You have to push things forward every single day, otherwise things aren't

Jawad:

That's very true. It's very true. How do we make that shift? That's the thing, because. It's such an important part of being an entrepreneur, or if you, if you want to be an entrepreneur. Is that you come up with an idea? The acting part. Coming up with assertions and doing them. Is the hard part. I think a lot of people struggle in that side. Cause I'm sure you hear it a lot. And I hear as a loss. Just people have amazing ideas. They come up with great plans, either for the companies they're working as, or for a project that they want to start. But it just keeps. Going into the Snoop off the talk, the research. But not much into the doing part. How can we get that mind shift? How can we change that? Because. This is the purpose of my podcast. This is what I want people to do. I want them to have that mind shift. What can they do to do the flip and go for it? After doing the research after taking in all the data that you need now, it's time to go. How do we go?

Wes:

I think the best way to start is. Thinking about the smallest thing that you can do. For your idea to interact with reality. Reality being the market. So instead of making a project really big before you can release it to the world. Thinking about what's the smallest way that I can test this. Not on a thousand people. But on literally one person. You can test your idea on one person that in fact, to get to a thousand people, you go through one, two, three, four, five, all the way to a thousand anyway. Right. You don't do the thousand in a batch. So thinking about what's, what's the smallest group that I can do. Even if you're thinking about emailing your email list, let's say you have a hundred people on your email list. Instead of emailing all hundred people with some idea. You can email 10 people, right? You can reach out to 10 people. You can even do it instead of doing a blast, do a personal, do a personal email saying, Hey, I'm Jawad. I'm, I'm super excited, you know, on this list, I'm actually testing this idea. I'd love to get your feedback on it. Right. And you do it with a small segment. So that you save the other 90 people for. Other experiments that you want to do. Right. You learn from this group of 10. And then you do you talk to another group of 10 and then you talk to another group of 10. And that way, every group, you have fresh eyes that haven't been tainted with no backstory and context that you already gave them. So they're, they're, you know, fresh pair of eyes, fresh customer, and. You get, incorporate the learnings that you had from the first batch into the second batch. This is something that is so key that You never grow out of this. Like I literally do this every week. If I'm emailing some of our, so right now we're working with instructors to build courses. And we're filling seats for an upcoming course that we have about how to build courses. It's very

Jawad:

I like

Wes:

I know. So. Right. Instead of just blasting hundreds of people. I'm starting with a handful. Where I test a prompt that I'm giving them, I'm testing a prompt to see how committed they are to doing the course and seeing if they could be a good fit. So I have a couple of questions. I want them to answer. I don't know if those are the right questions. I don't know if the project prompt and the exercise I'm asking people to do. Is. Too hard. If it's too easy. If it's, if it's the right thing to be asking people to do, I don't know yet, I thought about it and, I think it is, it's the best thing that I've come up with frown. So, I tried it on seven people. And you know, did this earlier this week. Four people have already responded, And I'm like, okay, great. So based on their response, I, and now getting a sense Of the reaction from the market from reality. And then for the next group of people that I do, I might email it out to 30 people. And now I feel more confident With my email with, the exerciser mass and people to do. And it improved that improved from the. The group of seven that I originally sent it to, to the next group of 30, that I'm probably gonna email, uh, next week, early next week. So this idea of these like small little feedback loops, these tight feedback loops, where your trying something, with a small number of people figuring out your learnings, your insights. And then incorporating into the next group. And then eventually I'm probably going to send it out to 500 people. Right, but I'm not just doing that. I've already proven to myself that. There's a higher likelihood that this is going to work than if I had just like done it without doing any kind of testing. So I'm a really big proponent of De-risking ideas that you are not sure if they're going to work, you don't have to just blindly do it. If you feel like there is some hesitation. You're a smart person. That hesitation probably has some grounding, right? It's not just like, let's ignore our fears. That's way too simplistic. If you are worried that, like, I don't know if this is the right thing to ask people right. From my like three questions. There's, there's a good chance that, that, that fear is,

Jawad:

Yeah.

Wes:

reasonable, right? Because if I'm asking them the wrong things they might not convert. Right. They might drop out of my funnel. like the stakes were actually relatively high. if the questions are phrased better, they might be very eager to participate. And that could increase my conversion. So there, there are reasons why you feel hesitant or you feel fear. You are nervous about certain things. And it's usually because, The thing that you're about to do, it's about to interact with market. And could have real results that then like permanently change your situation permanently, even if not like longterm forever, but just like, you know, they say no, then like, okay, I can't, I can't just go back to them and like,

Jawad:

Yeah. How about this?

Wes:

They're they're basically out of my funnel. Momentarily. I might re-engage them. I can't just like immediately go back to them. It's like, all right, I'm going to let it cool off for like a month and then go back to them. For example.

Jawad:

How do we know? If that. Like, how do we balance that fear? And doing it. Like, obviously the fear is always going to be there. At one point, do I know. This is good enough. Like I know. Okay. I know it's not perfect, but this is good enough. Is that the mentality that we should have.

Wes:

Totally. I, I deal with this all the time. I think there's a certain point when you realize that you are. Polishing. You're polishing something that, you know, the first five hours that you were working on it, you were making leaps in progress. And then the last. The last five hours, we're just polishing. You were making these like tiny, tiny tweaks and like, you know, shortening one sentence, lengthening one sentence. You know, like moving some paragraphs around, like at that point, I think I need, you know, like you can feel it that I now in the phase of making these tiny incremental changes that I know are just delaying going ahead and sending this out. So. A lot of it is catching yourself. Is being mindful and calling yourself out when you are starting to bullshit yourself. And when you start polishing, that's that you're in the territory of right now, I'm just delaying. And when you realize that, then saying, all right. I'm going to call myself out and I'm going to go ahead and ship out the first batch of whatever it is I'm doing.

Jawad:

I want to go back to, the part. Which reminded me of all the Graham school of thought, which is doing things that don't scale. so w what'd you were mentioning is that, and I give this advice to. I will say is. Sometimes we're shooting way too big. But we should probably start really small and. Focus on getting one thing, right. And then try to do it again. And again and again, when we're starting to provide it to two people, three people, four people. Until it reaches a point where, okay, I can't do it on my own. I need to actually to get someone to help me with this. And this is kind of a very good signal to know that you're on the right track. But how do I know that I have product market fit?

Wes:

I think that looks different for every business, but when there is a fit, there's a certain velocity. There's a certain forward momentum. That you're seeing with customers really wanting to buy the thing that you're solving. I think that. Getting there. what you said about trying to get to everyone? I think that that's a very insightful point because. You might want to be for everyone, but you can't get to quote unquote everyone in a single leap. So I like thinking about it with what I call concentric circles of customers. And if you imagine a bullseye. Where there's a center of the bullseye. Those are people who are the most like-minded customers. Those are your diehard fans, your core true believers. You don't really need to convince them because they already believe the same things that you believe. And they're basically happy that you exist. Now, they're waiting for your product to come out there. There was such a good fit that they're like, I have this problem. Jawad now has a solution this is awesome. Take my money. Right. So they're the core. They're the, they're the middle of the concentric circle. And you want to saturate each wrong before you move to the next wrong. So you saturate everyone in this. In this middle circle. The bull's eye. And then you move one rung out. You don't try moving. 10 rungs out. Right. You move just one. And then another and then another, and then another, and at each phase, when you were moving from one rung to another. You might need to adjust certain parts of your business. Your positioning, your pricing, et cetera. the things that got the diehard customers to convert. Don't want to buy it from you. May not be the things that get the second ring. To want to buy. So. The middle of the concentric circle. They're usually early adopters. They want to go first. They like newness. They like being the Guinea pigs. Right. There's certain pride with trying something before everyone else has gotten to it. But the people on the further out or wrongs. They. Want something that's safe. That's proven where the kinks are ironed out, you know, why am I paying to be a Guinea pig? Right. Like, why don't you fix your product first and then sell it to me. I want something that I know just works. I don't care about being new. I want something that's stable. That's standard. that's reliable. So even from a positioning and messaging standpoint, the things that you're saying too. Two different rungs can change. And. I think having that framework is very helpful because it helps you think about when you might need to evolve and change. That the way that you're running the business, the positioning that you have, When you might need to update, your own mental models to get to that next level, to get to the next rung in your concentric circles.

Jawad:

Talking about all of those things. Maybe someone could ask. But what is the skill? That I must have. For me to start my side hustle or my new project, like what does that one skill that I need to learn? Is it. Coding is a sales. Is it marketing? Because you got to do a lot of those things. So which one do you think is. The killer first, I must go for.

Wes:

I'm going to say the skill of being an end-to-end operator.

Jawad:

What is that?

Wes:

End to end means that. You can think of the idea. you have the vision. You. Develop a strategy. And you're able to put it into action too. That it's not those, those things aren't split up with three different people. One that has this massive vision, one that comes up with the strategy. The other, that executes that you, you are that person, you are one person and you are doing all three of those. And throughout the day, you're switching between all three of those, you were switching between being at the 30,000 feet level, thinking about strategy. And then. 10 minutes later, you've zoomed five feet above the ground and we're actually executing on that strategy. That end to end skill. Encompasses a lot of different things. But it's basically the idea that you are. Flexible. You are resourceful. You are critical thinker. And that you. You have the ability to switch from high-end high to low, high, to low high, to low for any given task. And that's especially important when you are running a side hustle or when you're running your own business and just starting out, it might just be you. There's not there's if you need to outsource too much to other people. You're you're going to move too slowly. You need to be able to do. A lot by yourself and to be able to switch gears from thinking about the strategy to actually executing. And I think developing the skill of end to end is, is. Super helpful throughout your career, because if you think about it, You don't want to have to, Have a strategy, but not be able to execute and need to rely on someone else to bring it to life. You want to be able to know how to bring it to life yourself, and then once you figure it out, you can then systematize it. You can productize it, you can automate it. You can teach someone else how to do it. But if you only have the idea of, you can only think about the vision strategy. But you, don't have enough. Closeness with a problem or skills to solve the actual problem. You really giving up a lot of power and a lot of control to some third party who you are relying on. To execute something close to your vision, but who knows if they're actually right, like going to do that, you know, so being able to develop. This end-to-end skill is one of the most important things that you can do. And I have an example of that. if you think about, employee you want in an employee too. Employee one says, Hey boss. I think we should start, posting videos. on LinkedIn. to share about our product. I don't know how to do that. Don't know how to make videos. Don't have to do a script. Don't understand the technology. but you know, there's my idea, right? Kind of like going back to what we said earlier with like here's some random insight with no. So what, or like any ownership. Employee number two says the same thing in the beginning, they say, Hey boss. I think we should start posting videos on LinkedIn about a product. And then they say, I've drafted a script. I think it should be two minutes because I looked at a bunch of other videos and the ones that perform best are, two to three minutes. So I created a script for two to three minutes. I use my iPhone with little tripod. And recorded myself talking about the product. I edited it in I movie. To trim out. Any LOLs. And then I use some captioning software to add captions because I noticed that. A lot of people watch videos with the sound off. So I've go, I've gone ahead and added captions to that video. And I created a fake LinkedIn. So I actually posted this video. On my fake LinkedIn profiles. So I could show you. What it looks like For someone who is scrolling through their feed and what that video would look like. So. Given all of this. I'd like to start doing this. On a weekly basis. For the next few weeks, here are the topics that I would talk about. I take full responsibility for getting us up and going here and show you my phone. Here's what the video looks like. Do you have any feedback? That's end to end. Right. Like that is employee number two. And actually that, that applies even more. If you're an entrepreneur, if you're an entrepreneur, like you are the one doing all those things anyway. So like you, you have to lead into that end to. But you really see the difference between employee one who has his idea, but has no idea how to execute on it. And maybe even suggest, you know, we'll, we need to hire a freelance script writer. We need to hire someone on Fiverr or Upwork to do video editing or like all of a sudden that project becomes very big. Unnecessarily big. Whereas this other person employee number two is like, I went ahead and did it, right. I, I had the idea, I executed on it and now I have something to show you and then we can improve on it from there. If we realize that our customers are liking these videos, then we find someone on Upwork who can help us edit faster. Then we find a script writer, but before then you don't even know if it's worth putting in the effort To make this a thing. So that end to end skill of thinking about the vision, the strategy, and then executing it, getting it out the door is such an important skill that all of us should try to hone.

Jawad:

That is amazing. I agree with you. This is a must have, but what about adjacent skills? I hear that. You might have to have. You know, a skill that's on the right, but another one that's on the left. Uncomplimentary.

Wes:

Yeah, so. Adjacent skills are skills that. are not necessarily within your function. But right next to it. So, if you are a marketer, for example, adjacent skills would include sales. Negotiation. Copywriting. Design. Right to be a better, you would be a better marketer if you knew. How design works. If you could quickly design something yourself, Even formatting a Google doc or notion doc with a design sense, having a good eye for design that already makes you create work. That looks better. And is more shippable, right? so developing these adjacent skills. is a way to supplement your work and sharpen your craft. Because you're getting inspiration from. Different areas. Besides just your immediate area. And you're developing skills that make you better at being a martyr. So sales, I think is the most is the most obvious one. in a lot of organizations, marketing and sales are pretty separate. and like die hard people say like, well, they're completely separate. I think they're not that separate. Okay. Like basically it's like, how do we get someone to do the thing we want them to do? Right. That's at the end of the day. Right. And you can approach it from different ways, negotiation similar, right? Studying persuasion, studying behavioral economics, and unconscious biases. These are all things that. Influence, whether someone will do the thing that you want them to do, same with copywriting, right? Understanding words, and the impact that words have and, and very slight changes and phrasing. Can get people to think of different things and be more open to your ideas. So if you're a marketer, It just seems so foolish not to study sales, persuasion, negotiation, copywriting, behavioral economics, as these adjacent furious. So, whatever it is that your field is, think about what are the things that would make me better at my job. And how can I block off? 10% of my week. To sharpen that skill. And that 10% can even be following accounts on Twitter or Instagram, or subscribing to newsletters that talk about those things. So that you're automatically. Introducing fresh ideas into your world that are not just your immediate job, because that a lot of times you just kind of become narrow, narrow, narrow. You kind of box yourself into a corner. Just only thinking about. You know your exact problem, where your exact function, you want to introduce chances for serendipity, for fresh ideas to impact and improve your work.

Jawad:

Amazing. I like to end all my episodes with an actionable question. For the audience, something that they can act on. So obviously they learned from this episode. What can they act on? Do you have a question for us?

Wes:

Yes. So I want to end on. The question of. Turning bugs into features. So, this is the idea that if there is something about your product that you think is a negative or a downside, or your, you know, you're bummed that there is something that is lacking. How can you turn that into a selling point? How can you turn bad into good. This applies for people to, for yourself. If there is something about yourself that you are lamenting like, Oh, I wish I weren't such an introvert or I wish I weren't so blank. How can you turn that into a positive. How can you think about if I doubled down on this, how could this be a selling point? That it's actually a great thing that I'm introverted salesperson because I understand people more. I listen more, I don't suck all the air out of the room. Like extroverted sales people do. So I want to challenge everyone. Who's listening to think about a bug. That is in your life right now, whether it's your product or your own personality. And think about turning it into a feature. Turn it into something that is good. That actually becomes a selling point. And instead of trying to gloss over it, or, you know, be embarrassed about it, you double down on it and make it a thing that you are proud of. And think about what kind of people would appreciate that this is the way that you are, that this is the way that your product is. I think a lot of times in the beginning, especially we spend so much time. Feeling bad that we don't have everything we need. That if only our personalities, we're a little bit different. Or if only we had this skill or this background, things would be so much easier. So I want to challenge you to, to flip that around and really turn any area that you think of a weakness into a positive. And then see what kind of opportunities that opens up for you that allow you to think differently about the assets that you have available to work with?

Jawad:

Amazing. Thank you very much. for coming on. This was fantastic.

Wes:

Alright, jawad this was fun. Talk to you later.

Jawad:

I hope everyone enjoyed it. But before I let you go. Please leave a five-star review. If you like it on Apple podcasts, it will really help me out with ranking. Thank you very much and see you guys on the next episode.