What’s your definition of Mastery?
I’m always looking for ways to improve my skills as a marketer, speaker and educator.
If you’re anything like me you, too, might be driven by the pursuit of continuous improvement or what the Japanese call, “Kaizen“.
I remember when I studied Aikido (a form of martial arts), asking my Sensei Joe what he focused on when he practiced as a 7th Dan Black belt.
To my amazement he pointed to an area just under his right arm and said at the moment I’m working on controlling this muscle.
That’s what I call MASTERY!
Whatever your definition is, I think we can agree becoming more masterful at key entrepreneurial skills is critical to our ability to improve our results.
In his best-selling book, Mastery, Robert Greene outlines some of the keys to becoming a Master. I wanted to share my take on four of the key elements he outlined.
In Mastery, Greene points out that the path to power is surprisingly simple.
If you look at anyone you consider a master, like Da Vinci, Napoleon or Thomas Edison, then you will find a recurring theme.
They all adopted a simple process that led to mastery and this process is available to all of us to follow and apply in our work and lives.
- Make sure your business allows you the opportunity to let your uniqueness to shine through; that your work sparks your deepest curiosity and interests.
- Stay focused and fluid.
- Learn your industry inside and out.
- Creative powers will come to you.
Greene’s book outlines the path to obtaining a total command of reality, of other people, and of ourselves through the pursuit of Mastery.
Here is my take on four of the keys he outlines.
- Discover Your Unique Ability and Life’s Purpose
Soren Kierkegaard, the Danish philosopher, once wrote, “We all come to earth with sealed orders, our job is to discover what they are and then have the courage to live them.”
If you are already doing the work that makes your heart sing, then you will feel a kind of inner force that seeks to guide you.
If your current work doesn’t feel like it’s on purpose, then you will more than likely feel the sense of quiet discontent that comes with knowing that you are not on your path.
In childhood this force was clear to you. It directed you toward activities and subjects that fit your natural inclinations, that sparked a curiosity that was deep and primal.
As we grow older, the force often fades as we are encouraged to listen more to parents and peers about limiting our choices and settling for their version of reality.
When you feel like you’ve been knocked off your true purpose and forced to settle for a business that doesn’t allow you to use your unique ability, this can be the source of great unhappiness.
The first move toward mastery is always inward and it starts with you reconnecting with the place where your passion and purpose collide.
You will find a great example of someone finding their passion and purpose within a story shared in Sir Ken Robinson’s brilliant TED Talk HERE
Life is short, so make sure your business is allowing you the chance to be on purpose and remember, it’s never too late to start this process.
- Every Master Was Once An Apprentice
Every time you change careers, start a new business, or acquire new skills, you re-enter a phase of life known as the apprenticeship.
We are often accepting of the fact that we will need to be an apprentice upon leaving school, but as we grow older many people become increasingly reluctant at the idea of having to do an apprenticeship.
The truth is however, no mater what age we are when we step into business, there will be some form of apprenticeship required.
Most people start in business with a clear skill set in their field of expertise. It’s this skill that often leads them into making the decision to start a business in the first place.
But the reality for most entrepreneurs is while they may have phenomenal skills in one area, they will almost certainly lack essential skills in other critical areas of business growth, such as marketing, sales, finance and management.
The biggest mistake I see entrepreneurs making is trying to make up for their lack of marketing skill by putting time into getting better at what they are already good at.
If you know you need to learn the skills of marketing what you do more effectively, then I invite you to join me at Marketing Mastery.
In 2018, I will be doing a national tour where I will be visiting various Australian cities and delivering a special 4-hour Marketing Intensive.
To join the waiting list for your city, simply register HERE.
For being an action taker and joining the waiting list before we announce the official tour dates, your seat will be FREE (waiving the usual $47 ticket price).
Be the first to know when Marketing Mastery is coming to town and secure your FREE Seat HERE.
- Find Your Guide
Life is short and your time for learning and creativity is limited. Without any guidance, you can waste valuable years trying to gain knowledge and practice from various sources.
Instead, you must follow as Greene points out, the example set by Masters throughout the ages and find the proper mentor.
I’ve had many mentors in my life; people who have helped elevate my thinking, given me focus and provided me with a pathway for accelerated success.
Today I’m honoured to be a mentor for hundreds of entrepreneurs, helping them rapidly build their businesses.
The mentor-protege relationship is the most efficient and productive form of learning. The right mentors know where to focus your attention and how to challenge you. Their knowledge and experience becomes yours. They provide immediate and realistic feedback on your work so you can improve more rapidly.
Through an intense person-to-person interaction, you absorb a way of thinking that contains great power and can be adapted to your own unique reality.
You’ll know you’ve found the right mentor when you can identify someone whose goal is not to have you mimic them, but rather model their principles and practice them in your own unique way.
A great mentor doesn’t want you to live in their shadow, but instead step into the light and unleash your full potential.
- Find People Who Get You
Often the greatest obstacle to your success as an entrepreneur is the emotional drain you experience when dealing with the resistance and manipulations of the people around you.
The fact is, having entrepreneurial conversations with non-entrepreneurs is dangerous and if you are not careful, your mind becomes absorbed in the endless questioning and doubting you encounter.
The principal problem entrepreneurs have is they seldom have people in their lives that understand the challenges associated with building a business.
As a consequence, we naively share our dreams, goals and aspirations with people who view the world through a very different lens.
Where you see opportunity, they see only risk; where you see investment, they see expense; where you see reward for effort, they see too much work.
Nothing diminishes the confidence and self-esteem of an entrepreneur faster than having lots of negative input from sources that are not qualified to give the advice.
Entrepreneurial Mastery therefore, requires one key ingredient: that you surround yourself with people that understand what it takes, that can empathise with the challenges you face and provide you with the words of encouragement you need to hear.
The best entrepreneurs make a habit of hanging out with other savvy entrepreneurs because this is where they get to recharge their batteries.
A great starting point for some entrepreneurial support is to join the Marketers Club Facebook Community.
Here you can receive advice, bounce ideas around, gain insights and get valuable feedback from other entrepreneurs.
You can join HERE.
The key ingredients of Mastery maybe simple, but that doesn’t always make it easy to achieve.
The four key steps are:
- Align your skills with the needs of the market. This will allow you to build a business that not only generates a profit, it lights you up because you will be living your passion and purpose.
- Recognise where your skill gaps are and be willing to do your apprenticeship to close them. If like many business owners your gap is Marketing and your ability to communicate your talents to the world, then I recommend you secure your FREE seat at Marketing Mastery by joining the waiting list today.
- Acceleration comes from finding a mentor or guide who has already achieved what you desire or mastered a skill that you need and is willing to teach you this skill. Nothing will help you build your business more rapidly than a good mentor.
- Be careful who you share your dreams with. Those closest to you, although well intentioned, may not be the best people to be asking for feedback from. Find an entrepreneurial community where you can get the support you need.
Dedicated to your success,