“It should be possible to explain the laws of physics to a barmaid.” – Ernest Rutherford
This quote is often misattributed to Einstein, or misquoted as “You don’t understand physics until you can explain it to a six/eight/ten-year-old.”
Who cares who said it? I do, because clarity is important.
What the quote actually means is “”If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”
In every business field, there are consultants who succeed by making simple things seem complex. I’m sure you’ve been to business seminars, or even read books, that could be boiled down to one or two sentences:
“Oh, I should ask my clients what they want, and then give it to them!”
“Oh, my staff actually cares more about continuing education than another raise!”
“Culture is important because my clients will get better care if my staff is happy!”
It’s not hard to turn these central ideas into a 300-page book. But why would you?
A good mentor will give clear, simple directions. A great mentor will dole them out step-by-step. Because you already have enough good ideas. Most of the time, a mentor’s job is to simplify your problem and present a clear path forward.
We don’t give TwoBrain founders a list of 50 possible metrics they might want to track in their business. We say, “Track these four. And if you can only track ONE metric, this is it.” Spoiler: it’s profit. Our “Metrics That Matter” lesson is private for TwoBrain family members, but anyone can read the Kingmaker Equation here.
One of the signs of a charlatan is their propensity to measure and improve meaningless statistics. This is part of CrossFit’s appeal: the recipe for health is described in 100 words, not a bunch of garbage about LDL levels and total knee replacements. The reason squats are more important than the selectorized leg extension machine is because squats get you up off the toilet when you’re 85, and pin-stack machines won’t. Call it Occam’s Razor or call it Pareto’s Principle or just call it elegance: the best path to getting what you want is the straightest one.
Lipitor doesn’t make anyone healthier. Situps don’t make your abs visible. And having 200 members doesn’t make you a good business. Those are red herrings in the pursuit of the real goal.
If you’re unhealthy, Lipitor won’t save your life.
If you eat garbage, you won’t have abs.
If you’re not profitable, you don’t have a good business.
A good mentor will tell you so. And that’s why I have one.