What you miss when you don’t do your research.

The importance of research…

Damn. I missed an excellent opportunity to do something different. I was too impulsive and thinking too much in the moment. 

Demonstrating overusing my action-orientated skills, I didn’t pause to do some simple checks. Off I went on a journey, thinking I would explore the terrain as I went, and I ended up missing a trick.

I didn’t even realise what I had missed until I was doing some research while producing my latest YouTube video. 

It was an amateur mistake. Dumbass!!

What I missed the other day would have been a glorious addition to the finished YouTube video. It would have made it stand out. It would have helped the video pop with colour, flair and variety. The story would have had an elegant simplicity that ended in a crescendo so exquisite that it would have left the audience dazzled with its brilliance. The video would have been our best production yet. (Hear Jonny Ive speaking when you read that last paragraph)

Ok, a bit much. But I did miss a fabulous opportunity to capture a moment.

When I realised what I missed, I was pissed at myself. Frustrated with me, I bent my leg at the knee and kicked my own ass with my heel. I deserved that. 

What exactly was my crime?

I totally overlooked the idea of doing some simple research. So I missed the chance to eat in an excellent restaurant in Beijing that has a great view of the city and serves up good food in an unusual setting.

I hurried off the other day to shot a video about a building I was curious about. I had seen the building from the gym in my apartment block and always wanted to take a short trip up to visit it. It has a formidable presence in the distance. A tall, black, oddly shaped building that stands above the other buildings in the surrounding area. It is a foreboding, brooding building that brims with attitude. Having passed it in a taxi a couple of times, it screams at you to come to pay it a visit. 

I was in the gym, and I noticed the building again because the sky was so blue. I made the call to go visit, and off I went. Without A thought… we’ll apart from, ‘If I don’t do it now, I will never do it.’

I shot the video of my trip. Capturing the bike ride from my home to the mysterious building. I also grabbed a video of the surrounding areas, some additional b-roll of installations, and my lunch.

I missed visiting the fancy Rodeo restaurant on the top floor of the mysterious building I saw. It is a great location to eat at, and it would have given me some incredible video footage. Have a look at the picture below from their website.

The Rodeo Connection Restaurant, Beijing.

They have a website. How could I have missed that?

What will I learn from this bungled opportunity?

I learned today that a small amount of time doing research will return a far greater positive swing on the enjoyment swing-o-meter than doing little to no research. 

This is a no-brainer. 

But yet, I don’t always take the time to do the groundwork to maximise the experience. The reason I don’t is purely nonsensical. My excuse concerning not having the time or my claim that it is a waste of energy because I like to discover things when I arrive is dumb. It doesn’t make any logical sense. I would spend far more energy fluffing my way around the place than what I would do if I studied beforehand and had a clear purpose.

In fact, a vastly more significant level of positive energy will always pay back the negative energy spent doing the research, producing much better results…

…producing better YouTube videos for a start.

What will I do differently after learning this valuable lesson today?

I will plan my video shoots better by doing careful research. I will add my findings to my scripts and be clear about the story that I will tell. If the narrative changes, then I will be flexible and change with it.

Above all, I will look for the key story element and ensure I capture it. If the critical component isn’t there, I will research and do the work as preparation before I set off.

Like a Boy Scout, I will be prepared.


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