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How To Learn New Skills (FS077)

How do you go about building new skills when you need them but you don’t yet have them?

Maybe you need to learn how to create a blog or podcast. Or maybe you want to get better at design. Maybe you need to do some customer research but you don’t know how. Or maybe you’re trying to write killer articles that get shared and make some serious impact.

I’ve been stuck in that mire before. Too much to learn. Don’t know where to start. Don’t know what to expect.

What I didn’t know then is that there are some stages to learning new skills, and, with a little zooming out and structured question asking, the mire turns to solid ground, next steps and progress.

Whatever you’re trying to get better at, click play on this episode. We’ll help you dissect and discover the next steps by sharing specific stories (Barrett’s coaching story is worth the price of admission) and then a process for learning a new skill starting from ground zero.

Listen to the episode:

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“COMMUNICATE like an enthusiast. EXPLORE like an expert”


Some Bits In This Episode:

  • Let’s talk about skill building and what that looks like, specifically in the context of somebody who needs to get better at something and grow expertise over time.
  • It can be so hard because we say to ourselves, “no I just want a business!” Well, you’ve got, like, 3 years of work to get really good at your topic. That may need to happen BEFORE you can put a dent in your business.
  • You’re gonna save yourself a whole mess of time and disappointment if you just commit to a couple years to grow expertise.
  • Chase thinks ENTHUSIASTS make better bloggers than EXPERTS. But this needs some discussion.
  • “The way to succeed in a startup is not to be an expert on startups, but to be an expert on your users and the problem you’re solving for them.” ~ Paul Graham (10 min in)
  • Brain pickings, Daring Fireball, Kottke.org and other BIG blogs are curated by curious, enthusiastic people… not necessarily experts (and certainly when they started they weren’t).
  • Barrett’s coaching story… price of admission, this lil’ bit right here is worth it. (19 min)
  • “I found people who had done what I wanted to do, they shared resources, then I dove into those resources and put the hours in and saw what worked and what didn’t.” ~ Barrett
  • Notice how wide your aim is. Go for a smaller niche. A thing that has a beginning, middle and end. Blog about Ewok culture instead of Star Wars. Become an expert in plants indigenous to your area, not ALL plants.
  • Chase’s hand lettering and copying Chvrches story. (37 min)
  • (lots of great articles and videos in show notes).

“Find the enthusiast in you. What makes you like a 4 year old at an air show? It starts out so bad, but STAY INTERESTED ENOUGH TO KEEP GOING. The Ira Glass quote. You have better TASTE than you’re capable of DOING right now, but stick with it because this is how everyone you admire now got there, by pursuing taste through the delta.” ~ Chase


Show Notes

Deconstructing Expertise: Why You Desperately Need it & How to Get it “Some of the best advice I’ve ever heard for would-be bloggers and authors is this: have something to say.”

Romance & Revenue: Big Relationship Tips for Entrepreneurs (FS055) “The way you’re building your business, the passion and hustle and drive and chutzpah, might just scrooge you over.”

How to Build a Sustainable Coaching Business (And Double Your Rates in the Process) “To be the best in the world, you have to choose your definition of world, which starts with creating a crystal clear picture of your target audience.”

Coaching for Performance by John Whitmore “…the bible of the industry and very much the definitive work that all coaches stand on.”

Kathy Sierra: Building the minimum Badass User “A masterclass in thinking about software product development.”


“The way to succeed in a startup is not to be an expert on startups, but to be an expert on your users and the problem you’re solving for them.”

Before the Startup by Paul Graham


Watch — Everything is a Remix Watch. These. If. You. Haven’t.

Izzy Video Tutorials Make It Easy to Learn Video Where corbett learned Final Cut Pro X

Ana White “Let’s build something!”

Hacking IKEA | 99% Invisible “IKEA hacking is the practice of buying things from IKEA and reengineering them to become customized, more functional, and often just better designed stuff.”

How to Uncover Your Creative Talent by Using the “Equal Odds Rule” – James Clear “In 1977, a Harvard-trained psychologist named Keith Simonton, developed a theory that he called the Equal Odds Rule.”

2 Questions to ask Yourself About the “Equal Odds Rule” The article I wrote to help folks like us digest James’ article a bit.

The First 20 Hours – Josh Kaufman – How to Learn Anything FAST “The First 20 Hours is a practical guide to learning beyond our mid-20s, when our brains are fully developed.”

The 4-Hour Chef by Timothy Ferriss “The Simple Path to Cooking Like a Pro, Learning Anything, and Living the Good Life”

Some of Chase’s lettering doodles on Instagram Here’s one:

“What Am I Gonna Do With A Gun Rack” “I don’t even have a gun, let alone many…”



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