There has never been a better time to skill-up. Grab your favorite music and Go!
There has never been a better time to skill-up than right now. With this new-found free time on your hands, get after those creative projects you’ve been procrastinating on. Develop new ones. Hone new skills. Get out there and practice! Make mistakes. Practice again. Make more mistakes. Hone it. Whittle it. Keep going. Share it with others. Get feedback. Then, go create more. Go, go, go! Momentum is your friend. It is good for the mind and for the body. It is all a part of your discipline — what you choose to employ to serve — your difference and distinction. We need your creation now more than ever! We need you at your creative best now more than ever.
Skilling up ought to be one of your big goals in your high performance habits. What skills do you see will be more rare and valuable in the future for your profession? Where do you see that there will be a need or a big gap to fill? What will people need and be happy to pay for in the future? It is this sort of thinking that can guide your skill development now, if you choose to align with future market needs.
# Take something you suck at and get good at it.
Still don’t know? Then pick something that has always interested you. It doesn’t matter what it is. It could be drawing. It could be a new work-out. It could be studying to become a coach. It could be video work. It could even be speaking and vocal work. All of these are viable and good things to learn. The point is to study and practice something currently outside your comfort zone, even something you suck at that you want to get good at.
# Don’t neglect Social Skills.
It could even be social skills. Given the current environment, we will not exactly be the most social people on the planet, even though our species is the most social species on the planet. Like all unused skills, our social skills will blunt and become rusty. While we won’t devolve back to caveman-type of social skills by beating each other up with clubs, we likely will be socially weird once this fog lifts. Plan for that. Study for that. Even practice for that with the limited interactions you get each day. People love to be around highly social, outgoing people, people who lead and merge groups. You can be this person. Be this person! I admit it: I like being this person in group settings. It is a prestigious position, most everyone knows you. You make everyone around you feel comfortable. And that is a superpower. Collect and practice your superpowers.
# Get good at Storytelling.
I am convinced that storytelling is an exceptional skill to practice and to learn going forward. The word is out: people love stories. All people love stories. So, as a sales & marketing & tech pro, get good at telling stories. Good stories are multichannel: they’re good in video, on the blog, in e-books, in traditional books, on podcasts, etc. They can be timeless if you tell them correctly and the topic has a long history.
We are surrounded by stories all day, every day. Everywhere — there are stories! We’re always telling each other stories whether we realize it or not. This is one of those skills that you’re employing in your speech that perhaps you’re undermining. You may be better at this than you already think. You just need to put some thought and action and practice behind it. I love this one because the ROI on practice it is so high while the investment upfront is something all of us are already putting in. Sure, some of us are terrible storytellers right now, but that doesn’t mean we cannot improve! Of course, we can improve. Duh. The question is whether you want to make the investment or not in improving.
Storytelling, to me, is a top 3 social skill to hone and learn and get good at. Yes, it is that important. The personal and professional future belongs to good storytellers.
## Come see what it is like on the inside.
How else will you choose to skill-up? Try creating some behind-the-scenes scenes to what you do. People love behind the scenes stuff! They love how-it-is-made stuff. They want to see what things are like in the lab when the cameras are off and not rolling. They want the inside scoop. You can give it to them.
We all have different means and processes in how we make the donuts. Some of us get up super early and get after it; some of us work late into the evening to continue to get after it after the rest have gone off to bed. Some of us work in big blocks of time, 10, 12, 15 hours. Others of us work in shorter time blocks, just more spread out, but achieving the same results as the big day workers. Some of us work fast and really make things happen. Some of us are more deliberate and methodical and precise in what we create. Some of us listen to Metal while we create. Others listen to silence while they create.
As you can see, there is a wide range of creative production. What’s yours? What behind-the-scenes journey can you take your people, your fans, on? What will they see? What won’t they see? Who will they see?
Behind-the-scenes allows you to get more personal with your fans, with your people, with those you seek to serve. And people will pay more for this special access. Will you give it to them?
The cool thing about behind-the-scenes is that they get to see you screw up and see your human side while you’re producing your works. That’s cool! We all love to see the blooper reels and outtakes that didn’t make the movie’s final cut at the end of the movie as the credits roll. This gives you a brief glimpse into what it is like when the actors are messing up. We like to be in the studio with our favorite bands when they are laying down tracks for the new album. For the most part, it is fun, sometimes tense, which makes for great drama for those watching.
Offer this access to your fans even if you feel that your creative process isn’t interesting at all. Trust me, it is interesting to a certain group of people out there who want to see how you make the donuts whether at midnight or at 4 AM. Watching a great work get made is a cool thing.
## Behind-the-Scenes Stage Time.
Behind-the-scenes is a great way for you to hone your skills, too, and work on camera comfort. Most all of us are uncomfortable on camera. It’s awkward and weird. It is strangely scary. It is hard to get back to feeling like yourself on camera after you hit record. But with practice, practice, practice (and more practice), you can get there, back to your natural self as if the camera were never even there. As natural as, with the same amount of aforementioned practice, you could take the stage or podium and give a talk. It’s just a matter of doing it over and over and over and over again. Stage time.
Think about what more stage time / more camera time can get you. Think about earning it through practice, practice, practice. Then, imagine what you can become to your fans and to your friends and to your family — to your people. Imagine how your creations enhance their lives over and over again.