How to make people think you’re a genius

Business & Strategy

When I look at some of the most successful people in the world, what it comes down to is their ability to do one thing: Come up with a repeatable framework for producing results.

People do this in different ways.

If you’re Elon Musk, you’re not trying to become an Internet guru with your framework. His (called The Algorithm) is a production methodology that works across the scope of his businesses.

If you’re Jason Fried, you’re writing about it in your books, but ultimately you’re applying it to running your own software company. And every new feature or product you build follows the method.

If you’re Dan Sullivan, you’re a business coach, so you create your frameworks as a way of teaching other entrepreneurs how to think about their problems. You apply them to your own business, see if they work, and then implement them with your clients.

Each of the above names is a “legend” in their respective field. They are referred to as geniuses by everyone who admires them.

But on their own, they don’t feel this way.

Elon is, by his own admission, a deeply flawed individual with daddy issues and Asperger’s. Jason doesn’t even set goals—he just shows up to work every day and tries to do a good job. His own measurement is, “Did I enjoy that, and would I do it again?” Dan refers to himself as “a smart drunk who can’t pay the rent” without his business partner and wife Babs.

The thread that ties them all together is, in a manner of speaking, “intellectual capital.” It is a framework of operation that informs what they do. Some make money executing the framework, some make money teaching the framework, and some make money doing both.

So… what are your frameworks? You can have more than one (all three of them do, Dan and Jason have dozens, maybe hundreds). I have a few frameworks, too. What I am realizing as I write this (which is part of why I write, by the way) is that I need to be spreading these far and wide and talking about them a whole lot more.

It’s easy to create these. Let’s make one right now, from this post.

I hereby dub this, The Genius Framework:

To be a genius,

  1. Create a way of thinking about or accomplishing an outcome.
  2. Test the methodology by applying it to your own business or processes.
  3. Crystalize successful tests into frameworks worth sharing.
  4. Tell others about your frameworks so they can improve their business.

This sounds so simple, but I’m telling you right now, the development, execution, and sharing of frameworks is at the heart of the very most successful businesses today.

Jan 29, 2024

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Hey, I'm Steve — a Christian, entrepreneur, thinker, and creator. Thanks for stopping by!

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