Episode: 481 |
Dorie Clark:
The Long Game Connection:


Dorie Clark

The Long Game Connection

Show Notes

Dorie is a strategy consultant, executive coach, keynote speaker, a recognized branding expert, and author of several books, including the bestseller The Long Game, Entrepreneurial You, Reinventing You, and Stand Out, which was named the #1 Leadership Book of the Year by Inc. magazine and one of the Top 10 Business Books of the Year by Forbes.

She has worked with a variety of high-profile clients including Google, Microsoft, Morgan Stanley, Fidelity, Yale University, the IMF, and the World Bank. In today’s episode, Dorie talks about her working philosophy and her newest book, The Long Game: how to be a long-term thinker in a short-term world. Learn more about Dorie’s work at www.DorieClark.com.

Key points include:

  • 07:53: How to maximize connection dinners
  • 18:51: Setting boundaries
  • 25:03: The Long Game toolkit
  • 31:01: Creating an online course

One weekly email with bonus materials and summaries of each new episode:

  1. Dorie Clark


Will Bachman 00:01

Hello and welcome to Unleashed the show that explores how to thrive as an independent professional. I’m your host will Bachman. And I am so excited to be here today with Dorie Clark, who is the author of four best selling books, including her most recent, the long game, how to be a long term thinker in a short term world. Dorie, welcome to the show.


Dorie Clark 00:23

so glad to be talking with you. Thanks for having me.


Will Bachman 00:26

Boy, this book so closely aligns with my philosophy, I love the way you’ve, you’ve laid this out and made such a strong case for long term thinking. I want to just jump right into one of the sections, I really liked a section on thinking in waves. You have this framework, learn, create, connect, and reap sort of four waves. Talk to me about that framework.


Dorie Clark 00:51

Yeah, absolutely. So one of the challenges that I kept hearing sometimes from colleagues or from coaching clients, is that at a certain point, people just would often say things like, Oh, I feel like I’m stuck, or I feel like I’m in a rut. You know, I’m working so hard, but I’m not getting the results that I want. You know, it does, it doesn’t seem like I’m making progress. And so I would dig into that a little bit more. And what I discovered was that very often, what seemed to be happening was that they were not wrong, you know, they were working really hard. They were kind of tiring themselves out, doing things that were good things, you know, they weren’t watching cat videos, and somehow magically expecting, you know, that work was transpiring. But the problem was, we as humans are often really bad at recognizing when it is time to shift our approach. And so as a result, they were working really hard at the things that they already were good at, or the things that they already like to do. And they were neglecting to shift to other other things that were important at that phase for them to be doing. So what I came to realize is that in most of our professional lives, there’s there’s four key waves, and we have to get good at toggling between them. You were alluding to them briefly. But first there’s learning which I think important makes sense to a lot of people as you’re orienting to a new company or a new industry. But then we have to shift to creating, which is where we begin to contribute and share our ideas and make our value known. And then of course, there’s connecting, where you’re you’re meeting people, you’re building relationships, you know, you’re your ideas are only So, so valuable. If you’re in a cave, right? You need other people to know what you think. So connecting is important. And then we get to reaping and some people make the mistake of thinking, Oh, well, I’m done now because because you know, things are going really well and making good money and respected in my field. But the problem is, we can’t be there forever, we have to learn how to disrupt ourselves at a certain point and shift back into learning mode so that we don’t stagnate.


Will Bachman 02:57

Yeah, you can stay there forever. So what would be some of the aspects of, you know, of the, of the Connect modes? Tell me a little bit more about that. So you’ve learned about some topic, you’ve now some created some content around it, or you’ve you created a company or startup or a Broadway play? But what’s the tell me about the Connect piece?


Dorie Clark 03:21

Yeah, absolutely. So you know, ultimately, relationships, as most people understand, are a really important part of what we’re doing. When we think about long term goals and long term thinking, it’s almost impossible, no matter what our goal is, to get there purely on our own, we need to have other people around us to help us or who can guide us give, you know, open, open us up. So we even know what the possibilities are know to help us get better. So relationship building is a really crucial part of this. And some people shy away from it, either because it’s just doesn’t come naturally to them. Or maybe they have some kind of an ideology around, you know, being a lone wolf that, you know, no, I’m gonna make it on my own. I’m gonna make it on my own merits. But you know, frankly, it’s just kind of kind of short sighted because what it means is that you are limiting the data that you’re exposing yourself to. So your ideas probably, honestly are not as good as people who are, you know, working in concert with other people and being exposed to that cross pollination. And it also means that you’re limiting the opportunity to amplify your ideas, even if they are fantastic, because it’s just fewer people know about them.


Will Bachman 04:33

Now, one thing that I liked in sort of a follow on chapter, the right people write rooms as you talk about these dinners that you organize, and this relates to the connecting piece, and you talked about how when you move to New York City to know a lot of people so you decided to start organizing a series of you know, intimate dinners, to really build relationships and talk about that a little bit about how you structured those with your with You’re for an Elisa.


Dorie Clark 05:01

Yeah, absolutely. Well, you you have a little bit of a, an inside scoop on this will, because you were we met.


Will Bachman 05:08

Yeah, we had one of these. I think I knew Elisa from Renaissance weekend. And I think that’s how I got to know you the first time.


Dorie Clark 05:15

That’s exactly right. So yes, what you’re talking about is exactly right. I realized in moving to New York, which I, which I did, you know, seven or eight years ago, that I, I had plenty of people that I could, you know, sort of meet for like a professional coffee or something like that. But I realized kind of, to my alarm, that I didn’t really have, at that point, any good friends in New York, I didn’t have anybody I could hang out with or go to see something, you know, see a show on a Friday or Saturday night or something like that, and realize I could either fetch about it or actually do something. So the way that I chose to try to do something was to organize gatherings and events, sometimes they were more tightly focused, sometimes it was just for business authors. Sometimes it was kind of for broader, a broader ecosystem of interesting people, kind of in the, you know, media, or entrepreneurship, or tech, space, etc. And sometimes, to your point, I would co host the event with a colleague, including our mutual friend, Alyssa Cohn. And so in in doing that, it’s a fantastic way to build connections, especially frankly, if you’re co hosting, because you’re really able to benefit from sharing networks, you know, what I would often do with Alyssa is set it up so that, you know, I would invite four people, she would invite four people, and then our networks over time would get to know each other and build their own independent relationships. And it was amazing the connections that that would happen, you know, I have a colleague that I know who had a startup has a startup, and there was a guy that Alyssa invited to the, to one of our dinners, they met, and he became an advisor on her board, as you know, helped her with fundraising as a result of this connection. So you can do great things for other people. But of course, it benefits your own personal and professional life as well.


Will Bachman 07:18

Now, you have some, I think, helpful guidance on how to actually structure one of these, because it’s one thing to just to get, you know, 810 people together for a dinner, but if left unguided, they may just end up, you know, doing kind of chit chat about vacations or something, and you have a way of really helping to structure that conversation, to get people to open up and to, you know, increase the increase the likelihood that, you know, good connections will happen. Tom, talk to me about how you kind of, you know, guide those, the agenda, if you will, for those dinners?


Dorie Clark 07:53

Yeah, thank you. Well, I appreciate it. And it’s, it’s true, I actually like to err on the side of being a little more aggressive rather than less when it comes to how to moderate the dinners. Because what I’ve come to realize is this makes sense. If you are the guest, you’re certainly not going to step up and say, oh, you know, Hey, folks, here’s how we should run this thing. And that’s not the role of a guest. And they would probably feel bad, or they would feel like they were overstepping. So they are, they’re going to be passive, but they’re going to wait for you to do it. And so if you as the host, do not step up, then there’s, there’s often a little bit of a problem, because no, no one’s taking the lead. And when nobody takes the lead conversation usually devolves to the lowest common denominator, you know, it’s a bunch of people who don’t really know each other sitting around saying, so, you know, what are you watching on Netflix lately? Or, you know, God forbid, you know, talking about politics, or, you know, just these kind of boring, banal things that are not really that satisfying for anybody. So instead, I’m really a believer that the host needs to take responsibility for the quality of the conversation. So I try to do a couple of things. The first one, is I try to make sure that people feel comfortable going into it. And one of the ways that they can do that, yeah, is I try to typically send out but little bios of people beforehand if it’s going to be a fairly intimate gathering, because you know, if you’re an introvert, for instance, you might like it or feel more comfortable. If you know a little bit about the person, you can think about what you might want to talk to them about, you can look them up on LinkedIn and see if you know people in common, etc. So that’s one thing that’s helpful. And then another is at the dinner itself. Typically, I have two rounds of specific table questions. First is just having people go around and introduce themselves so that everybody knows who’s there. Talking a little bit about, you know, who are you? What do you do for work? Tell us a little bit about yourself personally. And then typically we’ll have a Another round with a table question where people respond to some prompt, you know, just just to get to know them a little bit more. And, you know, there’s no one right answer, but it could be anything from, you know, what are you excited about this summer to, you know, tell us about something that you did or learned during the pandemic that you want to keep up afterwards? Or, you know, who is the biggest influence on your life and why you know, whatever it is, but it gives you a little bit of an additional window into who someone is


Will Bachman 10:35

what you’ve done a lot of these, I think you mentioned the book, you’ve done 60 plus of these, what have you learned about some of the very practical parts, like sending out invitations, you don’t want to send out like 20, invitations, you know, and have, you know, everybody except, but you also need to get people, you know, enough people accepting and confirmed. So how do you manage that very practical piece of, let’s say that you want to land at four people? How do you? How do you end up getting four guests and no more? No less?


Dorie Clark 11:03

Right, right? Well, no more no less part is always a little bit tricky. Just one of the things that I’ve come to realize is that almost inevitably, somebody is going to cancel last minute. It’s, it’s kind of this this rule of thumb. But my biggest take is that it’s important to start the invitation process. Early, you know, we can’t do it too early. I mean, if it’s three months out, nobody, nobody has any idea what they’re going to be doing. But you want it to be early enough. So that if somebody says no, then you have plenty of time to invite someone in their place, and it doesn’t feel weird or awkward or last minute. So, you know, if we’re if we’re talking about, you know, sort of like a New York City dinner party, inviting somebody a month in advance or three weeks in advance is probably a good move. And then, you know, presuming that they’re responsible and get back to you, within a few days, there’s lots of margin so that you can get the right number of people. Typically what will happen, you know, if you’re having, let’s say, a 10 person dinner party, you know, you have to have a little bit of room for things to go wrong. Your co host gets overexcited and you know, invites an extra person. Okay, now we’re at 11. And you know, and then, you know, last minute, two people come down with COVID, or whatever it is. So the numbers are a little bit of a moving target. But you can, you can certainly get approximate even if you can’t get exact.


Will Bachman 12:33

Any tips on locations, like any particular restaurants in New York City that you love, or doing this in a private space with maybe a shaft or something or talk to me about like locations?


Dorie Clark 12:47

Yeah, well, I mean, of course, something that is always nice, is if you can host it at your, at your home, and, you know, cook for people. That being said, that’s hard to do. I literally tried to do it once in, in New York City, and I immediately gave up because I thought I was being so clever. It was I kept it small. It was six people, including myself, and I was already making everything vegetarian. And then And then suddenly, you know, okay, somebody, somebody is vegan. Okay, I planned for that. And then last minute, some somebody brings an extra friend who had happens is gluten free. Yeah. And meanwhile, I had advertised it as a spaghetti party. I’m like, Are you joking?


Will Bachman 13:33

You can have some spaghetti sauce here. Yeah.


Dorie Clark 13:36

Yeah. So I quickly realized that that was it was just too complex for me. But if someone is a little bit a little bit better in the kitchen, then you know, that’s certainly a nice way to do it. But that being said, in New York, the biggest problem is twofold. One is noise. Because you know, this is true in many large cities. But there’s a lot of places where they just you know, they’re packing people in. I think a lot of restaurant tours, somehow or ruinously think that someplace will sound hip and festive if it’s incredibly noisy. Whereas, you know, it’s really just annoying. So you have to find a place that’s chill enough that you can actually have a pleasant dinner. So so it pays to scope it out if you can. The other which it depends how you want to play it right? You may want to be the host of this dinner and pay for it, in which case no problem Anything is fine. But if you want to do it as a kind of, you know, people are going Dutch scenario, which for a long time I did because I was having a lot of them like it would have gotten incredibly expensive if I was paying for everybody. So the challenge is that a lot of restaurants will not accommodate separate checks for large groups. So I actually had my assistant at the time, call 100 I’m not joking 100 restaurants in New York and he came up with four, that would be willing to do separate checks for a group of eight or 10. And so I am happy to reveal them. They’re both sort of local chains that have multiple outposts within New York. But one is Rosa Mexicano, which I love. And the other, which is also wonderful is called Westville. So those are typically the places that I used. And you know, the other the other consideration, which I think is helpful is, is does the restaurant have a wide enough variety of food that, presumably, you know, your average swaths of America would like it reasonably well, you don’t necessarily want it to be a super esoteric cuisine, you want people to have a lot of different choices. And also, particularly if you are going Dutch, you want it to be reasonably priced enough that it’s not excluding people, if you’re if you’re picking someplace that’s incredibly fancy, and the entrees are 50 bucks, you are going to probably create an awkward situation if, if you’re inviting, you know, anybody who is not already quite wealthy,


Will Bachman 16:11

right? Let’s turn to another part of the book, he talks about strategic leverage. And one of the recommendations, one of the things you got to do is to stop doing some things, which sometimes is actually more powerful than adding new things, you can’t really add new, you know, investments of your time, if you if you don’t stop things, talk to me to some of the about the things that you have stopped or that you’ve seen other people kind of just decide to stop doing and eliminate from their life to clear up space.


Dorie Clark 16:43

Yeah, this, this is a really important question Will and you know, frankly, this is one of the most challenging things that we have to do. Because it’s, it’s always easy, of course, to add on new things. It’s exciting, oh, it could be lucrative, you know, we can get behind it. But stopping doing things is awkward, it’s either awkward, because we feel like we’re letting somebody down. Or it’s awkward, because we’re a little bit afraid of the consequence, you know, oh, I could I could stop doing this. But, you know, that brings me money, and I might need that money. So we often hesitate to do it. But I’ll give you an example from my own life, I have decided as kind of a strategic direction for 2022 that I want to drastically reduce, probably not eliminate, but drastically reduce the amount of one on one coaching work that I do. Because I think it’s really important for me to free up my time to focus on scalable activities, like creating online courses and better marketing the online courses that I already have. And you know, I do run up against some serious time barriers, you know, there’s just, there’s just not enough time given what I have to do in my schedule. So you have to make time somewhere. And one on one coaching, of course, is time consuming. So what I have done, and this is this is a very recent vintage bar, I literally took coaching off my website, I just I don’t have it up anymore as an option. Now, it’s possible if somebody reaches out to me and they seem fantastic, then you know, maybe I’ll agree to do it. And certainly I’m keeping up with my current clients until their contracts expire. But I am I am not advertising it. I’m not prioritizing it. So that I can reduce it and reallocate the time more strategically.


Will Bachman 18:37

You also have a description in there about just saying no to requests, right? And how to do that in a graceful way. Which is, which is tough for us when people ask for, oh, could I have 20 minutes of your time to pick your brain or something?


Dorie Clark 18:51

Yeah, it’s true. I mean, you kind of you kind of feel a little bit like a villain when somebody sends you some heartfelt note about, Oh, I love this. I love that. And it meant a lot. And would you be willing to hop on a call? And, you know, it’s, it’s a little it’s a little bit heart wrenching, which is actually partially why one of the activities that I am, that I’m in the process of operationalizing now is handing my inbox over, you know, with with procedures in place to my assistants, because he is far less likely to to have his heart tugged at because I’m sorry, not request him. So he can actually be a little bit more objective about whether the particular request fits into the parameters that we have set. But yeah, it’s it’s incredibly important, because one of the themes will that I talked about in the long game is, you know, for most professionals, and certainly it’s true for you know, high high achieving accomplished people like the Umbrex community is you know, it’s it’s not like we’re wasting a huge amount of time at It’s, you know, it’s not like oh, yeah, you can get 10 hours a week back like, now, you know, over the years, most people have gotten pretty efficient at things. It’s not like there’s massive pockets of time to discover. But where we really can excel is by by just guarding the boundaries a little bit more aggressively, I really believe that this is a battle, that is one at the edges. It’s one of the edges of our inbox and our calendar. And so being smart enough to be able to reclaim an extra 30 or 60 or 90 minutes a week, which I do think is doable, for most of us, actually, can make an enormous difference.


Will Bachman 20:40

Yeah, I mean, for someone, like yourself, or any, you know, a lot of the independent professionals listening to this show, we’re not on a fixed salary, right. So your income is to some degree proportional to the time that you spend at it. So someone asking for half an hour of your time or something, it’s equivalent to saying, Oh, would you give me $500? Or would you give me $1,000? Just mean, no one would say that, like, just walk up to hey, I love your stuff. Would you give me $1,000?


Dorie Clark 21:10

Well, you know, in New York, so some of the panhandlers are pretty brazen. Well, that’s


Will Bachman 21:15

true, right? I don’t get I don’t get emails like that. But you know, you do get emails just saying, Oh, would you you know, hop on a call with me, I’d love to ask you. So, you know, I’ve been following approach similar to what you recommend as much as I can. And we’re at the boundary, you know, if it’s, you know, I’m trying to create content that can scale, right. So if it’s a, if I’ve done a podcast on that topic before, I’ll be like, Here, here’s a link to this podcast where I answered that question. And take a listen to that. And if it doesn’t answer your question, then email me. So one area that I’d love is your topic of and I haven’t done this myself, which it’s an interesting framework to think about, is your framework of heads up and heads down periods of time. Talk about that a little bit?


Dorie Clark 22:06

Yeah, well, this, this is something that I think is perhaps especially relevant as we are, you know, fingers crossed, and hopefully, coming out of the pandemic, because for many people, the past couple of years really have been a kind of, overwhelmingly heads down time. You know, it’s a time when, when many of us just felt like, Oh, my God, you know, I just, I just have to get things done, I’ve got this mountain of work, I’ve got all these responsibilities, and I just have to plow through and execute. And the truth is, some sometimes life is like that, sometimes we do need to do that. And that’s the right move. But it’s equally true that life shouldn’t always be like that. It’s kind of, it’s kind of a bad idea. Because if life is always like that, then you know, not only is it kind of hard slog II work, but in addition to that, we often might make strategic mistakes, because we are continuing to execute on a plan, where circumstances might have changed. And so you periodically need to get smart about going into a heads up mode, basically, you know, as a way of number one, getting reinspired. But number two, even more importantly, making sure that the assumptions that you’ve been operating on, and the goals that you’re working toward are still in fact, the right goals. So we you know, this, this goes back to what we were talking about, at the beginning of our call, well, that we need to get smart about understanding how to shift between different phases, we can’t get away with just doing the same thing over and over again, we have to understand that we need to adapt as circumstances change.


Will Bachman 23:51

And I didn’t really tee it up. But let me see if I am kind of properly summarizing that that framework so that the Heads Up mode is when you’re looking out to the world. Maybe it’s when you’re marketing, something that you’ve created, it’s when you’re looking for new ideas, looking for new opportunities, you’re sort of exploring, and this heads down mode is when you try to extend you can close out the world so you can focus on creating or building something, you know, maybe based on that research, where your heads up would be you’re looking for new book ideas and researching heads down mode as you’re closing yourself in the room to write the book for three months. Is that a fair fair way of summarizing that framework?


Dorie Clark 24:33

Yeah, absolutely. I mean, just like if you need if you need an image, think about Punxsutawney Phil, you know, are you are you going back in your hole to do some more work? Are you keeping keeping your head out and getting out of the hole to see what’s up?


Will Bachman 24:48

No, you have a toolkit on your website that people can download. Let’s just mention the URL for that. We’ll include it in the show notes and tell us a little bit about what we will Get if we download that toolkit.


Dorie Clark 25:03

Yeah, thank you so much well, so it is true, there is a, a long game strategic thinking self assessment, and folks who are interested in these questions can get it for free at Dorie Clark comm slash the long game. And basically, this is just a series of guided questions that that you can work through in a workbook, you can, you know, it’s one of these PDFs that you can actually type into yourself, and then save and keep your answers. But it really aims at helping you apply these principles to yourself, how to really take some of the frameworks we talked about in the book about long term thinking and becoming a better strategic thinker, and helps you turn the lens on yourself in your own career. So I hope it might be helpful to folks.


Will Bachman 25:50

Fantastic. Let’s talk a little about your consulting practice. So from your books, which I’ve read all four of your books, I have a pretty good sense of your your outward facing content creation, you have a lot of great stuff about how to get recognized for expertise and how to monetize it. I don’t know as much about your sort of private consulting practice. Tell us a little bit about the types of clients you serve and, and what sorts of issues you help them address.


Dorie Clark 26:20

Yeah, thank you very much. Well, a lot of the work that I do, I am a big believer, this is actually one of the one of the topics of my book, entrepreneurial you. But I’m a big believer in creating multiple revenue streams. So I have a fairly diversified business. That is one of my favorite ways to de risk for the future. But a piece of what I do is giving corporate keynote talks. So I’ll do that for corporations. I also do a lot in the online course space for entities like LinkedIn learning or Udemy, or skill soft. And then I also run my own online courses, including my, my big program, which is called recognized expert. And as we as we talked about, I do some some coaching, although de emphasizing that it’s one on one coaching. And so that is either with corporate executives, who are largely focused on their communication. So, you know, how do you how do you become a better communicator both externally with different stakeholders and within your organization, sort of more effective at conveying your vision. And or we entrepreneurs or you know, self employed folks like consultants or executive coaches to really focus on platform building and helping them become thought leaders in their fields. It’s primarily what I do. And then I also run a mastermind called the trajectory mastermind, which is a year long program for mid six figure, typically self employed professional service providers who are looking to grow their their platform and their profile and, you know, hopefully hit seven figures.


Will Bachman 28:01

What do you know now about creating online courses that you wish you knew when you started?


Dorie Clark 28:09

Well, I think that I, I don’t necessarily regret the process, because I feel like in a lot of cases, you have to hunt around and just try a bunch of things to see what works. But certainly, early on, I experimented with a lot of a lot of different styles and a lot of different providers. And not all of them worked out. I mean, just as one example, there was a course that I did, that was actually sponsored by the kind of online learning arm of a, I’ll call it sort of a platinum media brand. And I thought, Oh, that’s cool, be cool to be affiliated with them. So I did this course with them. And it was it was interesting, you know, it was it was not a super long course. So it didn’t take me a huge amount of time to create. So not terribly better. But, you know, over a period of seven or eight years, I mean, oh my gosh, I don’t even know if I made a few $1,000 from it like it was it was not it just did not bring in much money. And in fact, I got an email from them a few weeks ago, saying that this company was planning to disband their online learning arm so it is no longer a thing so So even for things that you feel like, oh, wow, this would be great to do. It doesn’t always work out. I have plenty of colleagues who have signed on with other sort of nascent platforms and really hasn’t gone anywhere. But that being said, some of the online courses that I have created myself or have partnered with other ones have become just astounding lucrative. So I actually think it really is oftentimes a question of needing to try a bunch of things, but then just doubling down your efforts on the things that aren’t working.


Will Bachman 30:11

Yeah, and what are some of the things that you found? So I’ve taken a few online courses, and, you know, they vary on few dimensions, like, some of them, there’ll be interactivity where you have, you know, you can expect it to post and, you know, someone will perhaps respond, and there’s some synchronous element to it, sometimes of exercises you could do sometimes it’s just simply a set of, you know, eight lectures and your watch, you know, or 40 short videos or something. What have you found in terms of like format, in terms of level of interactivity or level of community? Or, you know, like the exercises. So, for somebody, you know, that’s listening that has some content that they, you know, that someone would find valuable to learn? What are your tips on getting started creating an online course?


Dorie Clark 31:01

Well, I think that certainly, one element that I’ve learned from running my own course, the recognized expert community over the past six years, is there’s sort of a saying, or a truism in online course, creation circles, which I think is 100%. True, which is that they come for the course, but they stay for the community. And you know, what we mean by that? Is that a, you know, it’s, it’s a, it’s a very hard, like, sales proposition, most people are not going to be like, Yeah, I’m gonna pay you X 1000s of dollars, you know, to join some community, like, whatever, like we all think, you know, that sounds weird. That sounds lame, why would we do that. But actually, this is, this is one of the elements where the, the full value of it is really hard to convey in less than people who’ve experienced it. So what they think they’re signing up for is the course material. But what makes it sticky and powerful is the relationships they build with, with other folks who are involved in the process. So the more that you are able to connect them with colleagues and help them build relationships, the better it is, because it really not only inspires them to go deeper in the material and kind of make it more a part of their lives. But you’re really able to positively transform them by helping to fill their social circle with other like minded people that are interested in the same things that they are. So that’s been a very powerful lesson for me. But you know, going back to kind of the original premise of your question will, I think that the truth is, there are a lot more people who actually have the knowledge and expertise to be able to teach probably quite high quality courses, there’s a lot more of them. And there are people who can sell the courses. And so I think that probably what’s most important here is for folks to make sure that before they go too far down the garden path of, of course creation, which can be quite time consuming, if they have a really detailed plan, at least, for how and to whom they’re going to sell that course, because the last thing you want to do is to create a course and then just like, Oh, I hope somebody buys it. Because that’s usually not a winning strategy, you either want to have already figured out your distribution strategy, you know, whether that’s, you know, your client has volunteered to buy 100 seats or 500 seats, or maybe you already have a great email list of b2c consumers Gray, that would be fantastic. Or maybe you have made an arrangement to do it with a company that already has their their own base of users like a LinkedIn learning or something like that. In which case, you don’t really have to worry about the marketing, because they have built in marketing for that. But what you don’t want to do is spend a lot of time creating a course and then not not have a clear plan of who you’re going to sell it to.


Will Bachman 33:55

So do you would you recommend if unless you’re going to do something where it’s, you know, LinkedIn learning where they are going to market it on your behalf? If you’re going to do it on your own, would you recommend first making sure that you’ve built up a reputation as an expert that you have a set of followers that you have a an email list with, you know, with a certain X number of subscribers? Who might you know, sign up for your course?


Dorie Clark 34:19

Generally, yes, I mean, the exception to that is if you are a consultant that has a significant b2b practice, you know, as they say, wholesale is always easier than retail, right? So if you’ve been consulting for, you know, whatever Bank of America or whatever company for years, they trust you, they love you. You can often cook something up with a client that you have a good relationship with, and you can say, Oh, hey, you know, been thinking about creating an online course, you know, on such and such topic, do you think your people would be interested in that? And if they say, yes, you could offer to give them a really discounted rate to be your beta testers and And you can essentially create the course be paid to create the course with them. And then just make sure that you retain the rights to sell it later. And that can be fantastic. Because you know, you already have X number of people who are testing it, giving you feedback, and perhaps building up a constituency within that company, you know, maybe you sell 100 seats, but if if other people like it, and it goes a little bit viral, maybe you can continue to sell seats, even just within that company. So there’s a lot of ways to approach it.


Will Bachman 35:35

Let’s talk about long term goals for a moment. And I’m not talking about one or two year goals, but you know, 1020 30 year types of goals, share some of yours, and or some of the ones that you know, of people that you’ve talked about and gotten feedback from your book about you in the book, you talked about you that you want to get a show on Broadway is one of your, you know, 10 year goals, talk about some some of the other things that you have on your long term agenda.


Dorie Clark 36:07

Yeah, absolutely. One of the things that I think is, is really interesting and kind of liberating, is that a lot of people sometimes hesitate to lay out or express longer term goals, because they, they feel sort of embarrassed or stymied that they don’t know what to do, or they don’t know how to achieve them. They feel like they can’t necessarily name a goal until they know how the how they’re going to do it. But the truth is, for an especially long term goal, you don’t have to, you don’t have to know how to achieve it. I mean, it would almost be humoristic, to imagine that, you know, if we’re talking about something as a 20 year goal, that you know, now exactly how it’s gonna play out over the next 20 years. I mean, the world could be a super different place, 20 years from now. So I think, realistically, all you need is that vision, and then at least a sense of just what do you do in the short term, you know, what is what does it look like? You know, what’s the next step? What’s his step tomorrow, and he keeps taking those steps. But for me, personally, one of the, one of the big goals that I’ve been pursuing and working on over the past now six years, is to, to become really good at writing musical theater, and to write a show that hopefully ends up on Broadway. And so I have a musical theater collaborator, I do, you know, called booking music, or sorry, the book and lyrics, and she does the music. She’s a composer. And we are partnering together on a couple of different shows that we’re working on. So we’re really working hard to try to move the ball forward.


Will Bachman 37:48

I love that. I love that. There’s really a, you know, by setting long term goals, you can make investments that just wouldn’t make sense. For if your horizon is five years, right? You can make investments and relationships that have no likely benefit to you in five years if you’re only thinking short term, but if you’re thinking long term or infinite kind of game, then it just opens up types of investments that can have a horrible high ROI, but not necessarily short term return. So I really love the the whole the whole book that you have the long game. Dorie, where would you point people online, if they want to learn more about your work?


Dorie Clark 38:30

Well, thank you. I really appreciate it. Well, my website is Dorie Clark, calm, it’s got all the all the details, and I’ll just remind people that they can get the long game strategic thinking self assessment at Dorie Clark comm slash the long game. I really appreciate the chance to speak with you,


Will Bachman 38:46

Dorie, it has been such a pleasure educational. We’ll include those links in the show notes. And thank you so much for the discussion today. Thank you

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