Simple and Ignorant

Learning to Spell

A lot of what I do is simple. I help people figure out simple business models. I seek out simple ways to connect buyers to products and services. I seek simple ways to explain complex things. I love simple. Simple is how I get paid, more often than not.

A lot of what I do is ignorant. I don’t know the answers. I look at the blankness of my experience in an area and I find ways to understand and learn. I love ignorance. Ignorance helps me figure things out from a whole new perspective than the “experts.”

It’s funny how often we criticize things for being simple or ignorant. I make quite a decent living from both.

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  • http://www.entredaddy.com/ Andy Fogarty

    This just might be my favorite thing I’ve read here.

    Good stuff, Chris.

  • http://twitter.com/vascocv vasco vasconcelos

    People tend to think that the more complex, the better. I disagree. To quote the great Leonardo DaVinci: ” Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”

  • http://trafficcoleman.com/blog/official-black-seo-guy/ Black Seo Guy

    That’s the way I’m about my life..I live by the simple but productive way.

    “Black Seo Guy “Signing Off”

  • http://twitter.com/EvolutionCBL Evolution Career Bus

    While I was in the engineering field every time there was a problem and I was called in to fix it. The first thing I found was that my fellow engineers had over-engineered the problem and could o longer even see the problem. I would always take the problem back to basics to get to root cause and solve the issue in a matter of minutes. Yes simple works quite well for me for basics is the simplest form.

  • http://matthewm.org Matt Medeiros

    80/20 Great stuff. I do the same with the client service work I do. I always love to think in 3′s as well. Big 3, top 3, Fave 3 etc. Seems to work well.

  • http://www.blog.chrisehyoung.com/ Chris Eh Young

    I love simple. That’s where I get most of my compliments, my ability to translate difficult things into simple.

    There are those who will always undermine simplicity. It’s easy to hide in complexity, simplicity is transparent.

    Keep doing what you do knowing that there are many that appreciate it. That is all.

  • http://www.blog.chrisehyoung.com/ Chris Eh Young

    I love simple. That’s where I get most of my compliments, my ability to translate difficult things into simple.

    There are those who will always undermine simplicity. It’s easy to hide in complexity, simplicity is transparent.

    Keep doing what you do knowing that there are many that appreciate it. That is all.

  • http://www.blog.chrisehyoung.com/ Chris Eh Young

    I love simple. That’s where I get most of my compliments, my ability to translate difficult things into simple.

    There are those who will always undermine simplicity. It’s easy to hide in complexity, simplicity is transparent.

    Keep doing what you do knowing that there are many that appreciate it. That is all.

  • http://www.dogwalkblog.com/ Rufus Dogg

    At my corporation Rivershark, We used “Keep it Simple, Make it Work” for the longest time. Served us well. We’re now “To be the Best, To be there First.”. I’m kinda liking simple again.

  • http://www.dogwalkblog.com/ Rufus Dogg

    At my corporation Rivershark, We used “Keep it Simple, Make it Work” for the longest time. Served us well. We’re now “To be the Best, To be there First.”. I’m kinda liking simple again.

  • http://www.dogwalkblog.com/ Rufus Dogg

    At my corporation Rivershark, We used “Keep it Simple, Make it Work” for the longest time. Served us well. We’re now “To be the Best, To be there First.”. I’m kinda liking simple again.

  • http://damangmedia.com/ Matt Clark

    Always comes down to KISS, thanks for sharing!

  • Amy

    Ah, but there is a difference between ignorance and stupidity. Ignorance implies that you just don’t know better; stupidity means you’re just a dummy.

    The good thing about ignorance is that (generally) there’s a way to get away from it: learn stuff! The more you work on things, the more you’ll learn, and the less ignorant you’ll become.

  • http://www.mazakaro.com Rahul@MazaKaro

    hah very brief but lot of hidden important points !! there is a known French proverb that says :” plus simple plus beau ” . beau is beautiful, but here it means better , so being simple is better of course than being nothing or just overdoing things , i do agree with what you say and loved the theory !!!

  • http://www.margieclayman.com Marjorie Clayman

    I compare your posts to those “magic eye” illusion thingies. If you look at it head on or without an eye for looking for more, you may think your posts are simple.

    However, if you approach it from any given side, you may end up seeing, I don’t know, a lobster and a crawfish or something. You encourage your readers to bring their own perspective. It’s good.

    As for ignorant, I think ignorant means you think you know everything and you don’t. I think the word for not knowing things is “human.” Hey, you should start a company with “Human” in the name!

    Wait…

  • JimGenet

    simple is good, $$$ for simple is very cool

  • http://circaspecting.typepad.com scott davis

    We are all simpletons and ignoramuses. It is only the wise who realize this and explore accordingly with humility and curiosity.

  • http://raulcolon.net Raul Colon

    Simple allows many to understand therefore leveraging the power of more people than more complex.

    I see to many times either at clients or friends that have small businesses where they complicate everything to a point where it might lose its real essence. They really might have a good intention but by complicating everything it limits the amount of people that might be interested.

    I think that the people I really admire are those like you Chris which take a subject or topic and break it up into simple pieces so everyone can consume and really engage without being left out!

    You make your money with Simple because you take complicated things at translate them into simple stories or solutions.

  • http://twitter.com/GACConsultants Mark Harai

    I can imagine with your work load it does no good to over-complicate things… Thanks for the golden nugget for the day Chris : )

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      Not only that, but people really do want simple. They just forget that’s what they want.

  • http://www.slymarketing.com Jens P. Berget

    Simple is usually the hardest part. I remember reading a few novels that at first, I thought I could have written a better story, but it’s actually a lot harder to write a really good short and simple story than a long and complex one. Just look at the novels by Mitch Albom, wow.

  • Anonymous

    KISS it is the hardest thing to do, finding sense in chaos takes talent. People have a great way of increasing the complexity of it all – Thanks for posting this, making life simple and knowing that we do not know is the answer. People who think they know scare me.
    Great post (again) Chris, thanks for sharing.

  • Anonymous

    KISS it is the hardest thing to do, finding sense in chaos takes talent. People have a great way of increasing the complexity of it all – Thanks for posting this, making life simple and knowing that we do not know is the answer. People who think they know scare me.
    Great post (again) Chris, thanks for sharing.

  • http://www.naoisnow.com Christopher A. Craft

    I have to admit. I’m often venturing into new worlds when taking on certain clients. Sometimes the people who work with me ask me, “are you sure we’re ready for this?” As long as you do your homework (which includes soaking it all in from blogs like Brogan’s), outsource the parts of the project you know others are better suited to accomplish, and use your God-given talent(s) to attack the project from your own unique angle… the payoff is usually huge. Being able to confidently sell what you can do and what you have done is a major part too. I’ve heard it said many times… if you wait until you think you’re 100% ready to take on an opportunity.. the opportunity is usually gone.

  • http://twitter.com/philiphorvath philip horvath

    there are definitely different kinds of simple. before enlightenment: chop wood, carry water. after enlightenment: chop wood, carry water. You seem to be on the second side of simple. My friend likes to say “you are smart like you have done something stupid before”. thank you for making complex things simple and choosing to continue to stretch your ignorance ;-)

  • http://www.summerhills.com Byron Bay Accommodation

    I love this post. Why? I totally agree that most of what alot of people do is based on simplicity, or rather, simplying problems that seem insurmountable to the person facing the problems. The difference is having the confidence to know that you can problem solve in an area that you know little about. Confidence is the key difference between the problem solver (the consultant) and the problem facer (the customer). Great post. I love the simple terms in which you present every topic – it is so much more refreshing to read than technical mumbo jumbo for the sake of being technical. You get to the heart of every topic, every time.

  • http://www.associatedknowledge.com desabol

    Chris,

    It’s a double-edge sword isn’t it? You stay true to your principles, you give, you help but yet people call you out for the exact reasons that have made you successful. What you are doing is not only right, it’s also what people (myself included) need to hear! Someone needs to speak to and speak on behalf of the average person (and by average I don’t mean boring, just of average means) – and you fit the bill / do the job well.

    To the haters I’d say two things:

    First, “Don’t hate the player, hate the game! (Ice-T)” You figured out something they never will (that personality and personalization matter). Second, “Be good, or be good at it (Lil Wayne)”, you’ve moved beyond your individual potential and transcended it, deciding to help others as much as you help yourself! A fortunate side-effect is that you’ve not only done both but you’ve done better at each.

    As far as I’m concerned, you’re neither simple nor ignorant. As for people who respect you – bigger or smaller (me) than you – who cares what they think! As long as you are honest, genuine, and true to yourself, I don’t see a problem with it. If nothing else you are leading the way for more honesty and transparency. The truth sometimes takes thick skin.

    Thanks
    Dave

  • http://www.intheframeuk.com/ In The Frame

    Would also add “Lazy” to that list.

    Someone asks you to do a procedure which involves 6 steps…and you cut it down to 3 because you are super efficient, or lazy and can’t be asked to do all 6.

    How many great ideas have come from being Simple, Ignorant and Lazy?

  • http://thecelebrityeditor.blogspot.com/ Donna Marie Williams

    Socrates said, “I know nothing except the fact of my ignorance.” Chris, you’re in good company.

  • http://twitter.com/susangiurleo susangiurleo

    Simple isn’t easy. To take a complex thing and boil it down to the easy-to-understand takes knowing 3 things: 1. The complex thing, and 2. how others need to hear or learn it, 3. Translating or creating a bridge between the 1 and 2.

    Chris, you do that beautifully and I learn from you all the time. Don’t let the turkeys drag you down.

  • http://twitter.com/susangiurleo susangiurleo

    Simple isn’t easy. To take a complex thing and boil it down to the easy-to-understand takes knowing 3 things: 1. The complex thing, and 2. how others need to hear or learn it, 3. Translating or creating a bridge between the 1 and 2.

    Chris, you do that beautifully and I learn from you all the time. Don’t let the turkeys drag you down.

  • http://netvibes.com/monikahardy monika hardy

    thanks Chris. love it.
    love this:

    Not only that, but people really do want simple. They just forget that’s what they want.

  • Youareglue

    Ok…I’m simple. But what the heck is the picture of?

  • Youareglue

    Ok…I’m simple. But what the heck is the picture of?

  • http://dmipr.com/ Donovan Moore

    3 words. simplify, simplify, simplify.

  • Brandon Yanofsky

    Really love this post. Explains exactly what I’m doing with my business.

    I have one question though. Can you explain the ignorant part a bit more? Do you mean when you enter an industry you’ve never worked in you figure it out and bring new ideas that experts in that industry never considered?

  • http://www.danieldecker.net Daniel Decker

    Simple is the new complex but for those who can tap it, they will succeed.

  • http://twitter.com/PaulStoltzfus Paul Stoltzfus

    I like this!

  • http://www.brandevelop.com Info

    A lot of what i do is done with arrogance. Initially don’t know how, what or when. All I know that this arrogance gives me the confidence to say yes I can. Arrogance keeps me confident and ahead of the game. I love arrogance.

    I make a decent living too.

  • http://www.brandevelop.com Christian Mikolasch

    A lot of what i do is done with arrogance. Initially don’t know how, what or when. All I know that this arrogance gives me the confidence to say yes I can. Arrogance keeps me confident and ahead of the game. I love arrogance.

    I make a decent living too.

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  • http://www.thechicgeek.com/ The Chic Geek

    I {heart} this post!

  • http://www.thechicgeek.com/ The Chic Geek

    I {heart} this post!

  • Pingback: Learn To Be More Ignorant | B-List Marketing

  • http://www.planetoftheherbs.com/ herbal incense

    Simple and ignorance are the two best powerful tools to get success in any domain, if your plans are easy than you can implement them easily and most of the times hurdles are comes in between the plans then there is a need of ignorance…