--- J.K. Rowling
How can you make seemingly impossible problems disappear? By solving them. Like a magician.
At a recent conference, David Ben performed some magic --- mainly with cards. He even revealed how he did some of the tricks (what he called "effects"). More importantly, he shared a simple, classic process you can use to solve your problems.
The Four Steps
Dai Vernon, an influential Canadian magician (1894 - 1992), identified four steps for solving problems
- define the objective
- generate solutions
- evaluate the solutions
- implement the solution
Define The Objective
In magic, you start by defining the effect you want to create. Your objective may change during this process because you may not know what you really want. You may start with a vague goal and then refine it by digging deeper.
For example, maybe you want to be "wealthy". Drilling down, that may mean "financial independence". That may mean retiring at a specific age. That may mean a specific financial goal. That may lead to plans to reach the target dollar amount.
You might call this "brainstorming". Quantity counts. You want lots of ideas. Suspend your negative thinking and open your mind to new ideas. Our preconceived ideas affect the outcomes.
David asked this question: How would you put 36 cubes of sugar into three cups of coffee so there's an odd amount of sugar in each cup?Think about this. Share your answer in a Comment. I'll post the answer on Monday morning.
Evaluate The Solutions
As a former tax lawyer, David reminded us that pigs get fat but hogs get slaughtered. This means that ideas that technically follow the law must still pass the "smell test". Charitable giving provides a great example. If you get a tax receipt several times larger than your donation, be on your guard.
What is too-good-to-be-true? Sometimes you can't tell. Your advisor helps by screening out flaky ideas. Generally, the simplest solutions work best. Easier to understand. Easier to explain.
The simpler the solution, the more that it will mean.Your experience is your greatest advantage. The same applies for your advisor. Experience isn't always valued, though (see Your Car Mechanic: Paying For Effort or Results?). That's too bad.
--- The Strawbs, Lemon Pie
Implement The Solution
Detail makes for perfection, but perfection is no detail.Like talk, ideas are cheap because supply surpasses demand. Proper implementation is key. Simple ideas are often difficult to implement properly. You wouldn't generally know (or care) what takes place in the background.
--- Leonardo da Vinci
David defined magic as the summation of hundreds of apparently inconsequential details. You can probably say the same for craft. This is certainly true for sales, especially for intangibles like financial products or services.
You will sweat. David Ben pointed out that you can perspire in front of your audience or in private. Naturally, the best place is while you're practicing in private.
How interesting to get perspectives from a tax lawyer turned magician. The magic behind the magic is a process we can also choose to use.