Understand - Simplify - Explain

~ 2 min read | Category: Newsletters

We bought a house about five years ago, and to be honest I’m still learning how everything works.

The quirks of the plumbing, the idiosyncrasies of the heating, the hidden mysteries of the electrics.

And it’s in my nature to understand and improve things (or try!)

Last weekend, I decided to get to grips with all the random wires attached to, or emerging from, the exterior of the house.

They couldn’t all be necessary, surely?

After some detective work, I discovered that one particularly paint-encrusted cable was attached to an ancient satellite dish.

So I ripped that off the wall.

I also traced some long-dead LED lights nestling in the flower beds to a dodgy-looking power socket in the garage.

I stripped those out too.

Afterwards, being me, I had to tell my wife what I’d done and how everything was much simpler and safer now.

All in all, it was a very satisfying couple of hours of work.

And reflecting on it later, I realised it fitted a broader template I almost always enjoy:

Understand - Simplify - Explain

In fact, I use it all the time when building courses.

  • First I try to UNDERSTAND a topic as fully as possible. The subtopics, the nuances, the possible pitfalls.
  • Then I SIMPLIFY it by creating models and frameworks that capture the most important aspects.
  • Finally I EXPLAIN how the topic works using these models and frameworks to cut through the complexity.

When you create your own course, I suggest that you U.S.E. the same approach.

You probably have most of the *understanding *already. (Although there are always opportunities to go a little deeper.)

When it’s time to simplify, use the Pareto Principle and ask yourself: “What’s 20% of this topic do people need to understand to get 80% of the results they want?”

And when you come to explain it all via the lessons in your course, ask: “How can I bring as much interest and personality to these explanations as possible?”

So let me ask you this:

What topic do you understand well, that you could easily simplify, and people would love you to explain?

Because that’s your course, right there.

See you soon,


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