Today I will be sharing with you tips on how to become excellent at your chosen field with the hope that you will find some encouragement and clarity in becoming an expert in that field.
Tip No 1: Let Your Choice Be Clear
The mistake I see a lot of people make is that they want to be good at something today and another thing tomorrow. You have to be clear and focused about your choice. When I chose to become a daily blogger in 2013, it took me a week to make up my mind about it and I was clear about my decision. I didn't suddenly want to be a 3 times a week blogger the next week or a once a week blogger the next month.
It was also the same with my choosing to be a business data analysis consultant. I was clear about it from the day one. I created my website to reflect it and filled most business forms to reflect just that. I never for once felt the need to add something else or move to a different field. I had even done all these before fortunately getting Microsoft Most Valuable Professional award in April 2014. I had registered the company in October 2013. I had quit my day job in March 2014. I had begun my journey as a full-time business data analyst before I got the award letter on April 1, 2014. And all throughout the last one year plus, I have gotten countless advice to diversify and to move to something else/better. I didn't.
If your goal is to be above average at something, then you will need above average focus. You will need to keep at it beyond the point the average person quits.
Tip No 2: Understand That Failure Is Likely, But Give It Your Best All The Same
I know this tip sounds twisted. But it's not a play on words or an attempt to give a clever statement. It is the plain truth. As long as you have picked something of significance, then you will have thoughts about what if you fail. You will even have days that you feel like you are failing. So you are only making the journey unrealistic and more difficult if you try to ignore that likelihood. Everyone has a breaking point and not being realistic makes recovery very difficult when you are pushed past your breaking point.
I have had many days I felt like quitting the daily blogging thing. For the first 3 months I would spend more than 6 hours a day trying to come up with a blog post. It was more draining than my day job. I couldn't sleep at night till I have written the blog post for the next day. I couldn't travel until I have made the blog posts in advance for the days I won't be by myself. It was like I had found the perfect way to make my life more difficult. Then there were people who got offended from getting daily emails from me. I pulled through those times because I was determined to give it my best no matter what.
And same with my consulting business. I remember asking for advice on my blog on whether to take a part-time job as no projects were coming in for the first months of my setting shop. I am glad I got so many good advice and encouragements to not give up. I scaled down on my expenses and promised myself that I will stick to the original plan until it fails completely and I run out of my entire life savings. I did run out of my life savings but the doors of opportunities had begun to open at the time and I was confident things would work out fine. Now it looked like those times were a decade ago. I went from doing nothing and sleeping and overthinking to being overwhelmed with projects in just one year.
When you start it is like planting a seed. It might take days or weeks or even months for that seed to germinate. As long as you keep giving it your best, miracles will happen and you can bounce back from any failure.
Tip No 3: Have Fun
A lot of people tell me that I give away too much information. That aren't I afraid of creating my own competition. The truth is I don't care. Then even if I did care, the possibility is very small. I do what I do at an intensity very few people can match and I am more patient at not getting a commensurate result now. I have done more free jobs than I think anyone will be willing to do. I enjoy what I do and so I spend almost all my waking hours doing it. I quit my day job for this because of my passion for it.
I am having fun doing what I do and so it makes it easy for me to pull through the tough times. When the money is slow in coming in I am still happy doing what I'm doing and when the money comes in floodlike I don't think of having a break and enjoying myself because I am already enjoying myself.
And those are my tips to becoming very good at what you do.