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I was listening to a book I refer back to every few years. “The 5 Elements or Effective Thinking” by Edward B. Burger and Michael Starbird. They are both university professors and business consultants. What I really like about the book is that it can stop and make us think about how we think.


They divide the book up into 5 different Elements – The first Element Being “Earth” – talking about Grounding your Thinking by Understanding Deeply.


When you look at people that are very successful, they seem to focus on continually mastering the basics. They have put in their 10,000 hours a concept popularized by Malcolm Gladwell. Through that deep knowledge, they understand the reasons, rules, and how something works. Watching a master at work they always make it look so simple, but we have to remember they probably have their 10,000 hours.

It makes me think of those of you who are good cooks and since a lot of you are in the food business, you are probably are! Well in my family, the men cook, Steve is an awesome home cook and my brother-in-law and nephew are both trained chefs. One thing I came to realize is that when cooking for pleasure they never follow a recipe.


For them, the recipe is the starting point and then they let the magic happen. The reason that they and probably you can veer off the prescribed instructions is because you ‘Understand Deeply’. You understand how foods combine, how spices and temperatures affect the outcomes of the finished product; creating something super delicious!


What I want to do is to take this concept to apply it to other areas of your business, those that are fundamental to your success (that you don’t plan to outsource) . While you might not get to the 10,000 hours you will help boost your understanding by taking time to think and delve into some of the other topics.


Do you need to learn more about how to scale your recipes, fundraising, increase your social media presence? Plan how you can a deeper look and spend more time on these essentials.

Here is one way to accomplish this.


Take an inventory of what you know about a topic and then delve in!

  • On a piece of paper, write down what you know about the topic (no cheating, just what you know from the top of your head).

  • Check and see how accurate you are on the subject. Research to see how your understanding stacks up against experts, websites, and other resources.

  • See where there are gaps are.

  • Expand your knowledge in the places that you see gaps, building on your prior knowledge.

  • Write, explain or teach. the idea, process or information to someone else.

  • If possible, put the knowledge into action as you proceed.

  • Repeat!


This is just one of the ideas contained in “The 5 Elements or Effective Thinking,” but it is the one that I go back to when I am trying to gain more knowledge and understanding of a topic. Retrieving information is one of the best ways to learn or study. This applies to what we need to learn for our businesses - which is why this method can work!


Even if you use another method to gain deep knowledge, realize that ‘Understanding Deeply’ is what allows us to have the knowledge, to start experimenting, breaking some of the norms, differentiate our brands, and have fun in our business.


Feeling inspired to delve deep? What do you want to dive into?


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