Kathleen Shannon 0:04
This big boss episode is brought to you by twenty20, where creative entrepreneurs get authentic real world stock photos. If you're looking to make a new habit of delivering an honest message to your audience, the photos you use will matter. twenty20 has crowdsource millions of photos from a community of over 350,000 photographers, all available under a simple royalty free license. Today, they're offering listeners of being boss a five photo free trial to start yours right now go to twenty20.com/beingboss. That's the word 20, then two zero.com slash being boss to get five free photos.
Caitlin Brehm 0:43
Okay, Emily and Kathleen, we talk a lot about putting on your CEO hat as a boss. But sometimes you have to put on your scientist hat. We have an exercise in the being boss book called The scientific method for creatives. And if you have the book already, that's on page 66 and 67. So what does this exercise all about? How do you apply the scientific method to your business?
Emily Thompson 1:07
First of all, I just have to say as a student of geography and a branch of science, there really is a hat that sign whenever you said that it took me back to undergrad and as joking about all these not goofy but kind of goofy hats that all of our professors wore. So I probably wouldn't be caught dead and one of those hats but David totally would.
Kathleen Shannon 1:31
Is that what is the hot like, what does it look like?
Emily Thompson 1:34
It's like a little like a little Safari hat. Almost. And it's
Kathleen Shannon 1:37
cute. That's right. mazing
Emily Thompson 1:39
Yeah, there they are kind of cute, but it is it is a hat. And it's a thing where even now, David, David and I are walking around down the look, there's a geographer hat. It's totally a thing.
Kathleen Shannon 1:49
Okay, so, Emily, you and I both have kind of like sciency backgrounds, and artsy backgrounds. So you double majored or minor in art history and geography,
Emily Thompson 2:03
and geography, minor art history.
Kathleen Shannon 2:06
Gotcha. So I majored in art. And I thought I was going to go into science, like, I thought that I wanted to be a biologist and doctor, like, that was kind of my thing. And I was actually I know, this is gonna be fascinating. I was really good at it. I was really good at biology, but I went the art route. And what I found though, like in high school, I was always in the AP science classes, and I loved all that stuff. And what I found is that there was a big link between the scientific method and the creative process. As I went down more the creative process road, you went down more of the scientific method road, and I love that we were able to bring it all together in this exercise. But I have to admit, this is the exercise that I do the least of all of our tools that we employ. This is the one that I want to get better at. So Emily, can you explain how to do the scientific method for creatives and why? why we do this?
Emily Thompson 3:01
Absolutely. So if you've been listening to podcast for any amount of time, you've probably at some point heard me or Kathleen, say, testing change. And it's the sort of name we've given to this process of just showing up trying something out seeing if it works, if it works, high five, if it doesn't work, you go back to the drawing board, and you start again, because one of the things that you need to learn about entrepreneurship is no one actually has the shit figured out no one we're all here just testing and changing along the way, and high fiving ourselves whenever the tests equate to success. So testing change is really just the scientific method or can be employed in the scientific method. If you give it a couple more steps and a little more, a little more intention behind it. For anyone who does or maybe doesn't have a scientific background here is really what those steps are. First, you make an observation, and then you're going to ask a question, you're going to form a hypothesis, and assumed the answer to this question. In science, you conduct an experiment with the purpose of proving your hypothesis wrong, which I think is fascinating. And whenever you're done, you analyze the data and draw a conclusion from what it is that you just did. So in business, this may look like something, or this may look like testing and changing how it is that you gain clients. So you're going to make an observation, you know, how are you currently gaining clients? Or is there an untapped pool of clients somewhere that you see and you want to like dig in? And you're going to ask a question, you know, can I change the way I'm marketing myself to attract more or a different kind of client, and you're going to form a hypothesis and your hypothesis may be sure, you know, if I do this thing, this other thing will happen. And then you do it. You do it and you see what happens and once you see what happens you Decide if it's something you want to continue. Or you go back to the drawing board and start again.
Kathleen Shannon 5:05
So I think that what this really does is it helps you reframe success and failure in a whole new way. You're not taking it all, so personal. And it's all an experiment. It's all seeing what's working and what's not. Now I do take issue with the scientific method as far as trying to prove yourself wrong whenever bad for business bad for business. So I would not try and prove yourself wrong with creative entrepreneurship, it like makes my little metaphysical heart hurt. Because I believe so much in the law of attraction and putting out what it is that you want to create that if you're trying to prove yourself wrong, well, then you're probably going to prove yourself wrong with something that has so many variables, such as creative entrepreneurship, they're just too many variables to conduct a truly scientific experiment. But at the hardest
Emily Thompson 5:54
scientific experiment for creatives, not a scientific experiment for scientists, and cancer researchers and all of those legit life or death things.
Kathleen Shannon 6:04
And one thing I read recently, we're both reading the book geography of genius, which I'm hoping to get the author of on the podcast, or to really dig into that whole book on the podcast at some point, but one of the things that I read in it just, you know, over the past couple of days that I highlighted was to never come to a conclusion as or never tried to analyze the results as you are making the observation. So I'd love to talk about that a little bit, like just making the observation, seeing it for what it is, without your judgment being clouded by either emotion or by reason, and really just seeing it for what it was it made me think of really kind of using analytics, to really see to capture one part of the story. So look at the analytics, observe them, gather the data, and then make an analysis.
Emily Thompson 6:57
Right. And for me, that's, that's where like, the scientific method comes in, where it's a process, you're not asking the question and conducting the experiment, at the same time, you are doing one step after another along the way until you get to the end. And you start over. And I think, I think all too often, you know, especially super giddy entrepreneurs who want to do the thing yesterday, they're all about doing it all at once. And that did just get super jumbled. I mean, it's all about the process, whether it's your creative process, whether it's a scientific process is taking one step after the other so that whenever you do get to the part of analyzing the data, all the data has been collected, because that's where you can make the best decisions. And it's the best decisions based on both gut to which we absolutely warrant as a very, like applicable instinct in terms of making decisions. But it's about the gut and the data too. Because if you're just going through life, trusting your instincts, you may be missing some opportunities. And likewise, if you're doing the same with just data,
Kathleen Shannon 8:06
I also find a lot of creatives asking us how to find focus. And I think that part of what's happening with creative entrepreneurship is that there's not enough like, if the sky's the limit, and you have no boundaries, it's going to be hard to be creative. And so I think the scientific experiment really frames up some good parameters and rules around what it is that you're wanting to create, that gives you focus. So it gives you a starting point, it gives you some variables of like measurement, so and it allows So okay, here's what I'm trying to say. Whenever I think about going about this, I think about conducting an experiment, I have to really understand what my hypothesis is. And with that, I'm going to find some focus on what I'm doing, I'm going to find some points to measure whether or not it's working. And I don't know, I think that alone is going to allow me to just do one thing, and to strip away some of the variables to create boundaries and rules around it, and see how it actually works or not.
Emily Thompson 9:08
Right. And the other thing that I really love about this is it encourages you to play and try things. And I think you'll play and try things that you didn't see or listen to in that podcast or get in that blueprint that you bought for giving you your six figure business or whatever it is, it's about thinking about what it is that you want to accomplish in your business and how you want to go about doing it so you can create your own path for yourself. So this is something that you know, I've employed, myself and my business all along the way. And it's a one that you're right is so very close to the creative process and how it is or design thinking even like direct parallel between the two. It is a part of how it is that we create and we discover things and so for that reason, it is something that we included And the being boss book, it's obviously something we're talking about here. And it's something that we do employ in our businesses consistently. Because, again, no one has this figured out. And the more you can show up in your business and play and enjoy yourself and try things out along the way, you're going to be setting yourself apart from others. And you're going to be finding a path that's yours, and will be working if you do this often enough.
Caitlin Brehm 10:27
So can we talk about this for a second, because this is one of the biggest problems that I notice. When people are going through an experiment, quote, unquote, I'd say it's more like a launch or a challenge that they're doing, that's outward facing so that people are interacting with it, I see a lot of people in the conducting the experiment part. So the launch is happening, the content is going out. And before they get to the analyze the data, they're freaking out and cut it short, or decide not to do it without gathering, giving the chance to gather all the data. So how do you know when it's time to pull the plug before you get to the analyzing part? Or do you just push through so that you gather all your information?
Emily Thompson 11:13
I think that there is no answer to this question. No single answer to this question.
Kathleen Shannon 11:21
Well, I will say if I'm going to pull the plug on something, which I've kind of been doing a lot lately, as I've been figuring out my bandwidth, and sometimes that happens during the former hypothesis phase of really conducting that experiment. And my hypothesis is blank, like, let's say it's going to be a total success. And I guess it is going to be a success. And I think, Okay, do I really want to conduct the experiment and see it through? I will, I will say like, once I'm at the conduct the experiment phase of it, I am seeing it through like, once I'm engaged in a challenge or a launch, or whatever it is, I will see it to the bitter end, even if it is a total flop, because the whole point is to get as much information as possible. And you're not going to get a whole picture if you cut it short. So I would just say it's an issue of commitment. commit to doing what you say you're going to do, especially if you're in the middle of it, or pull the plug before you get started and let it go. Don't be hanging on to, you know, the what ifs? Like what if I did a challenge? Like what would it be like I should really do a challenge either do it or don't
Emily Thompson 12:28
Kathleen Shannon 12:32
or shelve it? I mean, there's there's something to saying like I can try this later. I can try this experiment in a year whenever I have time.
Emily Thompson 12:39
Right? I still like the back there. Or I like the idea. There is no answer to this question. There's no answer. Do what feels good for you. It's creative, right? But But I think the thing here though, is, whatever data you have gathered, analyze it, and figure out why you didn't get the results that you wanted, no matter what part you pull the plug.
Kathleen Shannon 13:01
In our book on page 67, we actually have a chart where you can conduct your own creative experiments. But I wanted to mention that whenever you buy the book, we include a URL in it, where you can download these worksheets, print them off and do them over and over again, if you're scared to write in the actual book, or if you buy the audio book or on the Kindle, you can print off these worksheets and they are so handy and helpful. We hope that you'll use them forever.
Emily Thompson 13:29
And you can find the book if you don't have it already at beingboss.club/book.
Kathleen Shannon 13:39
This minisode was brought to you by twenty20. Check them out at twenty20.com/beingboss. That's t w e n t y 20 as in the number.com slash being boss.
Emily Thompson 13:53
Did you like this minisode Be sure to check us out on our website at beingboss.club. There you can find more from being boss including our full episodes minisodes and blog posts. And while you're there, be sure to sign up for our mailing list so that you can get access to behind the scenes and exclusive content from Kathleen and myself to help you be more boss in your work and life. Do the work the boss