The Scientific Method (bear with me, I'm going somewhere with this)

At Thought Leaders we teach just one thing – the cluster strategy, a cluster being a combination of a message, market and method. An offer to a market, in other words. 

We recommend that to get to black belt thought leaders launch a cluster every 90 days for three years. The intent for each cluster is to earn $10k a month in revenue. And we expect half to fail. 

So in three years, we’ll launch 12, fail 6 and end up with 6 turning over $10k a month. If you run the maths on that its $60k a month and $720k a year – a black belt practice. 

Looks simple when you put it like that. 

The challenge comes with the ones that don’t work. We’re not psychologically equipped to deal with them. When I create a program I set up 10 meetings with prospects, pitch the program. If no-one buys it the voices in my head have a field day. What was I thinking, who am I to try and help these people, I’m not up to this, I shouldn’t have quit my job et cetera. Whatever my current version of “I’m not good enough” is.   

That’s where the scientific method comes in. I think applying the scientific method to our practices is the perfect hack to deal with these unhelpful voices in our head.  


Wikipedia gives a fascinating history of the scientific method (if you’re into that sort of thing, which I am). In essence it comes down to what Roger Bacon described in the 13th century as a repeating cycle of observation, hypothesis and experimentation. 

So if I’m a physicist I might observe that whenever I drop something it falls. I could come up with a hypothesis about how fast something will fall, and then create an experiment to test my hypothesis. The beauty of this is that if my hypothesis is wrong, I’m happy with the experiment. It’s good feedback and I can adjust or abandon my hypothesis. 

Dr. Jason Fox introduced me to the idea of applying this to a thought leaders practice when he spoke at one of our immersions, and he has a most elegant description of its application to worthy quests in his latest book

This is a beautiful way of thinking about a new cluster. We start with a hypothesis – “I reckon these people will buy this thing for this much money.” We then run an experiment to test the hypothesis. The experiment usually involves meeting with a bunch of these people, and saying something like I’ve got this program that I think could help, here’s what it costs, do you want to buy it?” 

What’s so powerful about this is that if no-one buys it, we’ve just disproved the hypothesis. 

Like a dispassionate scientist we can just adjust or abandon it. It doesn’t mean that there is something wrong with us, we’ve just run an experiment and got some feedback. Gold.