What are you good at? What do your friends wish they could do that you’re pretty great at? Probably a lot of cool little things. I bet that you have some skills that would make me pretty jealous.
The good news is: you have lots of skills. The bad news is: you need to learn new skills.
Screw New Year’s resolutions! There’s no time for that crap. I want you to do something real.
I’m calling you out to the ultimate challenge here on Start Freelancing Now. What’s this challenge? What’s the ultimate goal?
I want to see you master a new skill. I want you to hone in on one new skill and start from scratch and don’t stop until you feel like an expert in that field or area of expertise.
But wait — why bother mastering a new skill?
Freelancing is all about skills. It’s all about being the best at something. It’s about teaching others how-to become as good as you – or even better in some cases (I’m sure many of you reading this are better freelance writers than me).
As a freelancer, your goal is to teach a process or a skill to others. Your goal is to deliver an end result in a favorable position. Customers come to you because they want to learn what you know. Former boxers usually end up as trainers because everyone wants to learn from them. Freelance writers are in high demand because they deliver knowledge to the public. Graphic designers are paid well often because it’s pretty challenging to master the skill of designing graphics. I certainly have ZERO abilities in this area.
I also need to stress the significance of the process of mastering a new skill. The ability to start something new from scratch, hone your craft, and then become the best, is an phenomenal experience in itself. This is a transferrable skill that you can apply to other areas of your life. Plus, I’m sure it looks great on a resume.
Most important of all, learning a new skill can and WILL lead to more money in your pocket. How so?
How can you make money through a new skill?
This is where things get interesting.
Your new skill can help you make money with the following strategies:
- You teach this new skill to others.
- You find a process that can be taught along the way.
- You learn how to learn.
- You master a skill that’s highly in demand.
- The skill happens to be in a lucrative field.
More skills = more money!
How can you pick up a new skill?
This is a bit tricky. There are all sorts of theories out there on how you can pick up a new skill. Different strokes for different folks. There’s a plethora of learning styles out there.
Instead of throwing out hypothetical scenarios, I’ll look at what has worked for me when it comes to picking up new skills, based on experience and education acquired.
- Start off with low stakes. You don’t want the pressure to be too high because you’ll get frustrated. It’s like learning a language for a week and then speaking to someone fluent in that tongue. You’ll feel bad and give up. Low stakes means there’s no eyes on you.
- Seek out help. As you start learning, you need to look for more help.
- Challenge yourself. Eventually you need to throw down a challenge. How will you challenge yourself to learn this new skill?
- Keep yourself accountable publicly. Now you need to make your goal public. You want your critics and your fans to know about your plans.
- Repetition is the mother of all skill. Consistency is key!
This process usually applies to 99.9% of skills out there. There are the obvious exceptions. If you’re a skinny dude who can’t gain weight and don’t like to fall down, you won’t be the WWE Heavyweight Champion anytime soon nor will you be challenging for the title in the UFC. Most other skills can be learned.
What are great skills to master?
The first answer is that this totally depends on what you’re naturally inclined towards. I can’t tell you to master BJJ if you hate working out. I can’t suggest that you learn how to design when you despise playing around with colors.
Instead of telling you what to do here, I just want to share the skills that I’m working towards.
Learning a new language. I’m currently busting it to learn Spanish. I have been listening to lessons on a daily basis. I hope to be conversational in Spanish by mid-2013. I’m already bi-lingual (Polish and English), so I’m ready for the challenge of learning a third language.
Cooking/eating better. This is something that I’ll likely be working on until the day I die at 112 years old. I love to try out new tips when it comes to eating well. I also have fun toying around with cooking up a decent meal. I must admit that my cooking is mainly centred around chicken and broccoli. I’m going to cook more and eat better.
Are you going to get in on this ultimate challenge?
If so, the rules are simple:
- Pick a new skill that you want to acquire.
- Share it with us below.
- Share your plan to master this skill or talent.
- Start working.
- Share your progress.
Winners will get, well, a new marketable skill that can lead to thousands of dollars in new income!