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Who, Not How

And the Who is not You

Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

“It is the best idea for you. Ever.” I’m vibrating as I explain to my friend how she can launch a course she has designed.

“Write the highlights as if it were a screenplay. Create an animation video and start to share it with your sphere of influence — they will love it!”

The only thing she heard was “create an animation video.”

“I don’t know how to do animation,” she said flatly. Like a pansy wilting in the heat, the idea died for her.

That was a light bulb moment for me.

She didn’t get it.

It’s the vision. To accomplish our goals, we need to consider Who not How.

There is a Who out there who can do the How. Learning all the Hows of life will slow us down. If we wait to know how to do all the Hows of our goals and dreams, we may never get more than a few feet from our starting line.

But if we can find a Who, the How is a non-issue.

I slowed down for my friend.

“Your strength is writing the course, creating the path, the vision. If you attempt to be good at everything, it will be slow, frustrating and may never come to fruition.

She was still rattled by my enthusiasm, so I let the silence linger. and for that thought to sink in.

“Tell me more about your vision,” I said, slowly, with less emphasis. “What do you want to accomplish? Why this is important to you? Why it will be important to the people who buy your course?”

Dan Sullivan of Strategic Coach and psychologist Benjamin Hardy collaborated to describe the WhoNotHow philosophy in a book by the same name.

My four biggest takeaways from that book are these:

Procrastination is wisdom. Research shows that when we lack the skills and abilities to do the job, we tend to procrastinate. This realization removes the negative self-talk attached to procrastination and can direct us to find someone who can complete the task. And we can do tasks that honour our talents.

Find Whos for all aspects of our lives. I hate bookkeeping. I can do it, but it is painful, draining, and time-consuming. When I found someone who loved turning numerical chaos into a work of art, my life shifted. I got to focus on what I did best, which included making more money to pay for the bookkeeping to be done by someone else.

Avoid using the wrong Whos. Back to the bookkeeping example. I needed a bookkeeper. I knew someone who had done simple bookkeeping but, in hindsight, not at a level I needed. A few months of the wrong Who meant it took the right Who more than a year to clean up the mistakes. Being clear about the What and Why will help attract the right Who.

Create effective collaborations. The right Whos will give support and encouragement. And they will know other Whos of similar values and integrity. More Whos, more talented Whos means faster results, more goal achievement, more getting to use our best skills and talents.

For many entrepreneurs and wannabe entrepreneurs, “the devil is in the details” and they place most of their efforts into them. However, as a business professor once told me, the sequence for success is Vision, Strategy, and then Operations or Details.

This flows into Who not How.

  • We create the Vision — for our lives, for our businesses.

  • We clearly describe the What and Why.

  • The Whos, who are our allies, are drawn to this What and Why.

  • They embrace it and work on the strategy and the details to make it happen.

  • This becomes the How.

  • Our dreams, our goals become reality.

And barriers like knowing how to create an animation video are merely part of the How for the Whos in your life, the Who who is not you.

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