Start With One Skill and Don’t Pick Another One
At least not yet
The internet is a blessing and a curse because of the diverse options we have. We can choose to ditch one thing and have other opportunities waiting for us in just a matter of clicks. Online learning is growing at a tremendous rate, and all we can do right now is to get on the train or be left behind.
In a bid not to get left behind, we try out different things that people say is presently the hottest thing. Then we leave what we’re doing and jump on it. And when we don’t see the expected results, we follow the next trend, and we continue that way.
This is how everyone started before they found out their thing. I did it — you did it. The problem is if you keep on searching for the hottest trend. It’s risky because you’re battling against time. Everyone has the same number of hours in a day. What you spend your time chasing is what defines you.
As young people (I’m not trying to sound old, I’m just 22.) The best thing we can do for ourselves is to find out our thing as soon as possible and stick to it — whatever it might be.
It’s just like a marriage; you look for a partner, then when you get married, you stick with your partner to try and make the relationship work. You don’t go after other people that are not your spouse — unless you want to ruin the marriage.
That’s how you should see your skill. If you think one would give you more money, you can go after it, but it would cost you. Every profession has a learning curve. You would have to go through the rigorous path of earning pennies before you start making them thousands of dollars weekly that you were promised in the Youtube video you watched.
Every skill has a process.
It doesn’t just become rosy from the start — you have to stay through the cultivation stage, you have to watch it grow by learning, plus the mistakes you will make along the way before you start to earn big.
I think there was a time I wrote about how I wanted to learn motion graphics because I thought it was futuristic, and not many people were doing it — meaning more money for me. At that time, I was in between laptops — my laptop had issues, so I was planning to buy another one. So I was looking at those high end $1000 laptops with heavy specifications. I thought I would juggle it up with writing, then maybe go into motion graphics fully.
But to learn Motion graphics, I would have to go through the learning curve, which would take months, then years to become an expert.
I didn’t take into account that I was better at writing; I just cared about the money.
The mistake you would make is if you learn a skill or start a business because you heard people are making thousands of dollars weekly, so you abandon what you’re doing and jump in. The typical end is that you and the other hundreds of people who jumped on the train would probably quit after sometime when the promise isn’t fulfilled — then you’ll move on to the next best thing.
It’s innate in all of us. We’re attracted to shiny things. A typical example is how we get all hyped up when it’s a new year. We like the idea of something new and different. Or how we check out the new iPhone model, even if we don’t plan on changing our phones yet — we check it because it’s new and we like new things.
Some days I feel like I shouldn’t focus on Copywriting alone, that maybe I should learn Forex or Programming. It’s like an urge that comes in from time to time, but you should always avoid it and steer your course.
If you give it enough effort, the skill you started with will provide you with more than you imagined.
See Jeff Bezos, for instance. He started Amazon as an online store to sell books. I’m sure it occurred to him once or twice to quit and find something more trendy to do — but he kept at it, and see where he is today. I’m not saying your skill would make you as rich as Jeff Bezos, all I’m saying is, you have to stick to it for it to manifest richly.
Many other attractive skills look like they would bring more money. But they all demand that you put in the work. You cannot abandon the work you’ve done, improving your skill to start something else that you have no knowledge of. You have to keep going. Some people would see what you’re doing and think, “Oh, I should be doing that. It would bring me money too.”
You hear people talk about staying focused. Those motivational terms have become so cliche that we don’t think about how deep they are. You have to focus on one skill in one industry, get so good at it. Then you find something else to learn — in that same industry.
That’s how it works when you become an expert in something — you’ve gone deep enough, you can start going horizontally. That’s all. So please stick to your course.