One of the things I get asked all the time is “James, how did you get to where you are today?”
It’s a tough question to answer because the truth is there are a LOT of different things that have helped me succeed.
But if I had to say, one of the most important skills directly responsible for my success has been learning new skills fast.
It doesn’t matter what I set out to do – whether it’s learning how to do a triathlon, real estate investing, building an online business, or even training my dog – I realized there’s a system I use every single time that has worked really well.
I’ve reverse-engineered it and broken it down into 5 different parts. And in today’s article, I walk you through it step-by-step.
Let’s get started!
Step 1 – Find somebody to model.
I believe this is the most important step and that’s for a few reasons.
First, you make it a LOT easier on yourself because you don’t have to reinvent the wheel.
Having someone who’s been down the road you want to go makes the entire process that much easier because you just model what they are doing. Make sense?
Second, it shows you that what you’re setting out to do is actually possible. I don’t think there is any point in trying to do something that doesn’t have a high probability of success.
And finally, having someone to model gives you inspiration.
A lot of times it helps a LOT to see something before we can believe it. And if you can see that something is already working, that somebody has already figured it out, then I believe that’s going to give you some inspiration.
I know for me, when I see somebody doing something, I’m like, well, if they could do it, then I can too.
Plus, by modeling someone you know you have a proven model you can duplicate.
Step 2 – Take responsibility and COMMIT.
Once you’ve found someone to model, the next big step is to take responsibility for your own success. Nobody’s going to hold your hand. Nobody’s going to do the work for you. Know what I mean?
We’re adults now and we’ve got to take responsibility for our own results and I believe that starts internally with yourself.
Remember: 90% of the game is played above the shoulders. I firmly believe that. So after you take responsibility, you need to COMMIT that you’re going to do this, no matter what.
For example, when I wanted to get into real estate, the whole process was foreign to me and super scary.
I’m not even a “handy” person.
But the one thing I DID do that not many others are willing to do, Is I committed to making it happen.
I told myself I would buy my first real estate investment property in 90 days and was willing to do whatever it took to make that happen.
Commit to being resourceful and figuring it out no matter what obstacles come your way.
It’s like Henry Ford once said, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.”
So make sure you adjust your belief and KNOW that you got this and will make it happen. Good things will follow when that is your attitude.
Step 3 – Immerse Yourself.
The next thing you’ll want to do is completely IMMERSE yourself in whatever it is you’re wanting to learn or achieve.
I say this because one of the biggest mistakes I see people make when it comes to achieving anything in life is that they just dabble.
They’ll chip away at something for a day and then get distracted by something new and then come back to it a month later.
That’s dabbling and it will KILL your chances of accomplishing anything great or learning anything fast.
Instead, if you really want to master something and get results in the fastest time possible, you have to immerse yourself.
It doesn’t have to be forever, but especially at the initial stage, going “all in” is super important.
Some of the ways I recommend you can do that are to read a ton of books … go to seminars … go to trade shows (if it applies) … join a mastermind … get a coach … do whatever is necessary to eat, sleep, drink, and breathe whatever it is you’re trying to do.
I’ve always done this.
I’ve paid a coach $10,000 to help me with my business.
I’ve invested over $25K to be a part of a mastermind.
I’ve read the books.
I watched the courses.
I’ve done it all, no matter what it is – whether it’s learning to swim, build an online business, etc.
And sure – I’ve got resources now to do some of these things, but when you’re first starting out, you may not have the money to hire a coach, go to exclusive masterminds, etc.
So be resourceful.
That’s what I had to do early on. Try and surround yourself with the people who are where you want to be.
Offer to work for free or volunteer to get you into events and around mentors..
Instead of hiring a coach, take some people you look up to out for lunch.
Whatever it takes to dive deep into what you’re trying to learn or achieve be willing to do it to immerse yourself.
Step 4 – Schedule time DAILY to learn the new skill.
This is where a lot of people drop the ball – they don’t schedule in time DAILY to do the work.
Doesn’t matter what you’re trying to accomplish, what gets scheduled gets done!
So schedule the same time every day to get to work.
And remember, it has to be every day. Consistency is key.
There WILL be times you want to quit and give up, but it’s when you stick with something over time and do it every single day that you’re truly building your skills and making progress.
So here’s what I recommend:
Set yourself up for success. If you can only commit to 15 minutes every day, just commit to 15 minutes a day to start with, but commit to something every single day so you can work on this new project and skill.
I personally recommend at least 30 minutes, but start where you can.
And also make sure to avoid another big mistake I see – don’t spend 100% of your time just learning.
There’s nothing wrong with learning, but here’s the thing is that you’ve also got to make sure that you’re actually taking action and implementing what you’re learning.
So this is what I recommend. This builds off of what I just told you about scheduling …
Schedule 30 minutes a day to learn and then schedule 30 minutes a day to actually take action and implement what it is you learn.
The action is the most important thing and when you’re trying to decide what to focus on, focus on the highest value thing you can at that given time.
For example, for me when I was buying my first investment property, I focused on seeing new properties. That’s what I did every day.
I drove around with my real estate agent and literally looked at new properties. That was the highest value thing I could do. And it was an invaluable experience.
Step 5 – Get Feedback
Finally, the last step is to get feedback.
Don’t try and do everything alone. Nobody is self-made. So it helps to have a coach, a mastermind, a group or something where you can get feedback, see your “blindspots”, ask questions, get help, and stay accountable.
This feedback is where we learn what’s working and what’s not and then can adjust our course moving forward.
It’s super, super important…
So when you run into challenges, don’t be afraid to ask for help and get feedback and advice and when something is working really well, ask how you can do even more of it.
For example, after I got my very first investment property, I was like, wow, I did that and here I am, getting money from a tenant. How do I get another one?
That’s when I went to my mentor and asked him. Then he explained what to do. Same thing when I came across a challenge with a tenant, etc.
And it’s through this iterative process, having everything set up, putting things out there into the world, getting feedback that you’re going to ultimately get the result you want.
So those are the five different steps.
And what I want you to take away from it is that if you do all the steps, you’re literally setting up and entire structure and system to make your success happen automatically.
This is a huge part of why I’ve achieved everything I have today.
And I know if you follow the steps, it will work for you.
And by the way, let me know what new skill or business you want to start. I’d love to hear about it.
Leave a comment below!