RL42: How to become world-class at almost anything
You have to be willing to be terrible before you can be good
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I’m going to level with you - I am pretty bad at most things.
In fact, I’m not amazing at anything - I think I’m decent at communicating - writing, speaking, etc. Unfortunately, the list of things I am mediocre or terrible at includes (but not limited to) -
Home improvement projects
I could list a thousand skillsets I don’t have, but you get the point.
As an entrepreneur, I am constantly pushed past my preconceived limits and forced to pick up new skills.
This has forced me to improve, and today I’ll teach you how to learn a new skill.
Learning new skills
Here’s a surefire way to get good at (almost) anything -
Identify a skill you want/need to learn
Watch a YouTube video or read an article on how to do it
STOP researching and START doing
Spend 50 hours doing it
50 hours may be too long - I bet you can become reasonably good at any skill in under 50 hours of practice.
The problem is that most people stop between bullets 2 and 3 above - they research and watch videos on the skill but never actually begin practicing.
The key here is to actually DO it.
Researching how to start ad nauseum feels good, but practice is the only way to improve.
Here’s how it normally goes when you practice a new skill -
You suck at it
You keep doing it
You suck less
You get good
It seems obvious, but to improve in any skill, we must be willing to be terrible at it.
How this applies to entrepreneurship
I’ve had to learn so many new skills as an entrepreneur; it’s absurd. I’ve been a founder for 3 years now, and during that time, I have -
Prepared tax filings
Prepared 3 financial statements
Marketed products on every social media platform
Published a podcast
Hosted in-person events
I have sucked at each of these endeavors.
The willingness to suck and put in the necessary hours separates those who become excellent from those who languish in the ‘research’ phase.
I don’t pretend to be world-class at any of these new skillsets, but I hope that I can stay in the arena long enough to do so.
Bonus way to improve - teach someone else.
In addition to spending 50 hours practicing, you can become an expert by explaining a concept as simply as possible.
Truthfully, this is one of the reasons I write this newsletter - I’m practicing teaching in public so that I can get immediate feedback and get better faster.
I can’t recommend it strongly enough.
What are you trying to learn this year?
How can you shortcut the ‘research’ phase?
What new skills have you learned in the last year?