Episode #2: Going Deep Vs Going Wide
I hope you enjoyed episode 1 of the HFB podcast! If you missed it, click here to listen.
This episode is about going wide vs going deep. Inherently when working with a larger group of people, you necessarily have to go wide and shallow. This has both advantages and disadvantages.
If you’ve worked with enough people, you know there are commonalities that when applied generally, help tons of people.
For example, most people who are unhealthy can make simple changes to their daily habits and reap huge rewards. Eat less garbage, eat more vegetables, exercise, read some books, etc. You don’t need to go into some extremely deep history and examination to help people make positive changes in their life. Going wide and deep is exactly how you have to work with the 10,000.
When working on a more individual basis, you are going to be narrow and deep. You’re helping one particular person with something that requires specific attention. The devil is in the details. There are complexities you may have to sort out.
If someone has complicated health issues, you have to get deep with them. You have to look at everything they are doing, be it how they move, how they think, how they eat, how they sleep, etc.
Working wide/shallow and narrow/deep can complement each other. When you are able to work intensely with one individual and do that again and again and again to gain experience, you see the generalities that can be applied to the 10,000. That small group or one on one experience is crucial. It cannot be skipped and it shouldn’t be ignored. Not working with people individually is inauthentic and not something we advise (at least, that is, if your claim is to be working with people one on one and giving recommendations).
Conversely, working with 10,000 people and seeing large amounts of data is very hugely valuable. More data means you can see trends, you can see common themes. Imagine if you saw 10 people a day, 5 days a week. That would take you 200 weeks to see 10,000 people. If you could gather that data more quickly, by reaching out to larger groups, you can collect 4 years of information (granted, its shallower information) more faster.
This allows you to make sense of things on a larger scale and push forward your skills, your experience, and your knowledge.
This Episode’s Challenge
Your challenge from this episode is to think about your specific skills that allow you to reach 10,000 people and how the data from those 10,000 can positively help the smaller groups or individuals that you work with. Also consider, the people that I see on a smaller scale, what common characteristics do they have and how would that experience allow me to identify the larger group that I can best help.
Wide Vs. Deep Transcription
I’m Dr. Ryan Debell! Thank you for tuning in to episode 2 of Health Fit Business podcast. Last time on episode number one, we talked about the idea of 10 vs. 10,000: How to reach 10,000 people and help those who need it most. This episode is Going Wide Vs. Going Deep: How to approach working with the 10 people differently than working with 10,000 and how to benefit the 10,000 with the work that you are doing with the 10 and how to benefit the 10 from the work that you are doing with the 10000. So, without further ado, let’s listen in to episode number 2.
Anthony Alright, Hello!
Ryan Hey Anthony! How’s it going? It’s good to see you again.
Anthony I’m doing fantastic! Last week, we’re in LA for CrossFit games. Here in San Francisco to teach workshops all over the place.
Ryan So here we are sitting at Dolores Park.
Ryan This is beautiful. Sunday morning, Dolores Park overlooking San Francisco. What are we talking about this week?
Anthony Well, it has been years since we’ve seen each other and two times in one weeks. That’s special.
Anthony A lot of ideas are flowing so we recorded the podcast last week about 10 or 10,000 and being aware of the value providing hundred people we could be reaching. Today we’re going to come discuss picking up back since we’ve been thinking about last week. It’s not, you shouldn’t eliminate the 10 but that should be feeding the 10,000. That makes sense.
Ryan So, the way you think about going deep vs. going wide. How to use experience of working with a larger group on a larger scale to both help smaller group like the individual stuff that you do and then how to use the individual stuff to help wok with the 10,000.
Anthony You said going deep vs. going wide. You kind of explain a little bit what that means.
Ryan So for example, if I’m working with someone one on one I can get more in depth with them. Let’s say, the way I work with them in person, right? I can spend the time analyzing particularly what they are doing, talking in depth with them about what’s going on and so I am able to go deeper with a particular individual. When I go wider, say with a group of 10,000, obviously, you can’t use the same techniques or you can’t use the same time in depth with 10,000 people. Right? So, you have to go wider and shallower. But I think for most people, I’m sure you can agree with this in terms of like health, the stuff you do, like the nutrition. Most people issues don’t require this complex depth in terms of 80% of people, they just need the sort of general things that typically help people.
Anthony Right. For example, of this in a practical way. Let’s say you’re a personal trainer and somebody is trying to lose 20 pounds of fat for instance. You’re going to help them out and they’re going to come to you and you’ll be all personalization, nutrition plan, you are going to get them nice work out program and have a very individualized approach versus there’s obviously people online who have programs that are non-specific but people could still get there the same way, they could help the same amount of people or at least 80 or 90% people. Right. And so, going deep vs. going wide, there’s reason for doing both and neither of them should be eliminated.
Ryan Yeah. Exactly. Some people will require more in depth work. Some people have certain circumstances that require you to work with them deeply. But the vast majority of people, you could go buy program on the internet for example and people just need to work out. People need to eat healthy. They don’t need a specific special diet. Now are there are cases that are harder that require more depth? Yes. And that’s where, I think one on one work, is important. You know what I mean?
Anthony Right. And this is where you can use the depth to refine your knowledge and systems, to be able to help and scale, to provide more knowledge to more people.
Ryan Yeah. So, an example that I think is for me would be this. By doing workshops and traveling around, I get to work with hundreds and hundreds of athletes and coaches that do CrossFit. And I get feedback from people doing the things that I make videos of. And I can use all of that knowledge to see sort of statistical stuff. So, if I look at 500 people or thousand people a year, I can see so many things that people do commonly, so many ways that people use their body, and then by seeing that large sample size, you are expose to more than you can be exposed to by seeing 10 people or 15 people a day.
Anthony So it’s just a matter of statistics.
Anthony You are able to collect more data and with more data comes more fine results.
Ryan Right. Exactly! And then when I work with people one on one, oftentimes that gives me idea, like when I’m see something in my clinic where I would not find that working with a larger group because I never know what people are going to do clinically. Like when I work one on one, you still don’t know what people would do until you watch them. So, when I see something two or three times a week in my clinic, I go, “I’m going to make a video of this type thing in the internet so then I can take what I learn working with one on one and then share it with 10,000 more people.” And then I get the feedback from that and it just goes in this loop of refinement, improvement. Refining, improving, refining, improve. And that I think is the value of having both aspects in what you do. Whatever you do. Whether that’s nutrition or functional medicine or exercise or fitness weight loss goals. Whatever it is.
Anthony Right. And I think a lot of people when we explained to our colleagues that we want to help expand to more more people, they think we are trying to get away from this one on one work a 100% but that’s not the way I’m trying to see it. They way that I approach the one on one aspect is that that’s where I am learning. That is where I am testing new ideas and that’s where I am getting better as a clinician so that I could help more people.
Ryan Yeah. Because you’re not just going to like experiment necessarily with sharing something to a huge audience if you’ve never tried it in smaller sample sizes. I think that would somewhat be a mistake, don’t you think?
Anthony Right. If you stop working with people one on one, you are not getting this, you are not pushing the envelope, you are not trying new things and you’re not growing and providing more value to people in scale programs.
Ryan I also think that is not kind of authentic. If I was going to work with large groups of people or teach clinicians how to work with CrossFit athletes or other athletes working up but I don’t do it with myself, to me that’s inauthentic. I think this park is wild. I think authenticity is mission critical for your success. You have to be authentic. Let’s say teach people how to do something but you’re not doing it yourself. I mean how’s that helping anybody?
Anthony Right. When looking at clinical activities on one on one stuff or if you are therapist or trainer or any type of service-based position in the healthcare field, I think that you should start thinking about your one on one as more of a learning process rather than an income generating process. Right?
Ryan Yes. By having the 10,000, you can essentially generate an income that does not require you to be worried about income working one on one with people. So, you can have better intention. Let’s say you are working clinically, you’re worried about or how do I charge maximally or how do I get reimbursement from insurance company? Rather than focusing on trying to help the person get better, you are focusing on just purely making money off from that one on one interaction.
Anthony Right. I think that even if it’s not people’s intention it could still creep in your subconscious effect of having to pay the bills by seeing people one on one. If you completely remove that and are able to just see people just trying to learn and make your processes as the most efficient and effective as possible, everyone is going to benefit from this. You’re going to be able to get people better, quicker and you will be able to use that information and scale it when you are helping the 10,000 people and you can get feedback from them and that you can then bring back to the one on one scenarios.
Ryan I don’t know. Probably people listening to this feel perhaps some people feel that they don’t know what their 10,000 idea is. Maybe they are sitting there listening to this, they go “I don’t have a 10000 idea. I don’t, I just work one on one.” What do you do on that case? How do you figure out what is your 10,000 like for someone who doesn’t know? Do you have any ideas?
Anthony Right. I think it’s been a long week we touched on this last episode but I think you will find patterns with people you are working with one on one. Just the same as I have in nutrition and the Movement stuff, if you see things repetitively that you are good at fixing, other people will have those problems. There are way more people in this world than just that 20-30-40-50-hundred people that come in to your clinic or your gym, that also have the same questions, same problems that need to be answered.
Ryan I think it also depends a lot on your background too. So, one gal that we went to school with, her background was dance, I can give a background in dance or something like that. That should be where you aim your 10,000 at. If you have a background like in football or baseball or something, that’s how you approach your 10000. Use your individual background and history of sports or life whatever. And I think that’s where you can start figuring out your “what is my background unique to me that other people may not have experienced with?”
Anthony Right. Everyone’s going to have a different skill set of solving problems, and so using the clinical lab or workshop to be able to say, “Okay, this is where I am best at solving and in this way.” I think it’s how can you end up scaling up and helping more and more people.
Ryan So I think, what’s actually more interesting that maybe you can share with us is when you thought of pureWOD, wasn’t just a serendipitous? Is that the word that I’m looking for? Wasn’t just a “Oh I’m just going to do this!” You were brainstorming actively?
Anthony Right. I was helping other people with kind of making custom-things and helping with nutrition and tailoring things specifically for them. And so, when I was thinking about different ways I could provide value to more people, instead of just going and training my time one on one for people and helping people one at a time, it is an easy thing as “Oh, I’m very interested in nutrition I’ve done a lot of work on myself on nutrition, working on health issues. Kind of improve things step by step, I feel very confident in doing this.” And so, when, I listed three different ways that I could help more people. It does not have to be “Oh! I got ideas. I’m good at this I’m already doing with other people,” and boom! That was the thing where I could help nutritional with tons of people.
Ryan So rather than hoarding your knowledge of working with people doing that experimenting, what made you decide? What was that thing that led you to go, “I want to do this? I want to take this stuff and do it outside of the clinic.” Other people have their expertise but maybe this conversation is enough to like to lift the veil so to speak. To get them to go “I’m okay.” Now try to push this to a large audience. Was there some catalyst for you that made you decide to move forward with that?
Anthony I was thinking that it was the scale and scope of which I could promote it online in making people aware of nutrition, that I had done it so much one on one with so many people. That I knew the problem needs to be solved.
Ryan I think we should challenge the listeners, to think as they listen to this and sort of little exercise that you can do. Think of what you are doing with 10 people or 20 people, whatever you work with within a day that is not the norm. Like doesn’t fit the standard quote and unquote most people would consider “the everyday thing” and then consider how can you take that to 10000. So, what is something unique about you that you can take to the 10,000? I think that’s the challenge that we should give people to start brainstorming and actively thinking in that way.
Anthony Right. And then so, for you, right, you always see still use that one on one interaction to hone in and increase the value that you can provide to more and more people.
Anthony So it should never be like “Oh, I’m really good at this one thing and I’m going to write this program and do this system or have this product that help a lot of people then that’s that.”
Ryan And you are never seeing anybody in person? Working with people one on one. That’s not what we’re saying.
Anthony Each of those things, you should be striving in getting better and providing better and better value to people as you progress.
Ryan You exponentially become better. Like when you can work with that larger group, when you can get that feedback you speed up maybe five years, ten year. You advance in one year whatever take you can in five or ten years. Why would you not want that?
Anthony Right. And this is where we come back to data collection point right.
Anthony If I can work in nutrition with 10,000 people and figure out patterns, that I won’t be able to see with 10 people a week.
Ryan Right. You’ll never be able to see that. How long will that take you? It would take a you a thousand days at 10 people a day to see 10,000 if you just do it one on one. That’s three years where you could have collected in a very short period of time. Right. You just push fast forward but in a normal development.
Anthony And I can take a pattern that I recognize, for instance, and then bring it back to one on one interactions with some hypothesis and be able to test that very quickly and try to extrapolate that back in to a scalable system.
Ryan Yeah. Exactly, so do we have more to add to that?
Anthony Yeah. I think that in summary, pretty easy to just say you should never be neglecting the one on one because this is where you could go deep, learn the most, progress, which will in scale to 10000 which then you can learn and bring back to one on one which then you can scale back and forth, back and forth. You should always be striving to increase value that you could provide to other people and I think that having both the deep and the wide is the best way to do that.
Ryan So last week, we said think about 10 or 10,000. This week, think about where can I go deep, where can I go wide? And what is the thing that I bring that’s unique?
Anthony If you think this is valuable or even if it sucks, let us know. This is just a short little project that we are doing. If you have any question or if you want us to cover anything that you’ve done or questions that you have. We may be up to 4 listeners this week,
Ryan Maybe 5.
Anthony Who are you guys listening?
Ryan Send us an email. You can reach me firstname.lastname@example.org
Anthony And I’m email@example.com for now.
Ryan Alright. Until next time Anthony. It’s a pleasure.
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