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If You Want to Expedite Your Success, Learn How to Learn

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Learning how to learn has been one of the most important skills I’ve acquired in my life. I learned how to learn in the Dojo (Karate School) and it has led to continued success.

  • I knocked an opponent out in less than 15 seconds to become a bare knuckle Karate Champion
  • I became one of the top break dancers in the country
  • Turned an advertising agency into a multimillion dollar business in less than a year
  • Made AdAge’s coveted 40under40 list

The single thing that led to each of these accomplishments was knowing how to acquire the necessary skills so that I could learn the craft and increase my chances of succeeding.

I focused on developing a new skill every year

I’ll show you how this works in the context of my career and entrepreneurial ambitions.

I’m currently the Global SVP of Search and Content Marketing for the MullenLowe Group.

I slowly gained the skills to get me here. My plan was to develop a new skill every year that compounded to make me the best at digital marketing and eventually become a Chief Marketing Officer (CMO).

  • Skill one: Video Editing: First I picked up a book called Final Cut Pro For Dummies. I read and took action on the lessons. Soon I learned how to shoot and edit videos and started my own film production company.
  • Skill two: Website Design: Then I figured if my clients liked me for film, they would love me for website design. Because of this, I read many articles online which would teach me how to build a website.
  • Skill three: SEO and Social Media: The following year I learned SEO and Social Media marketing to help me increase traffic to the websites I was building.
  • Skill four: Learning to fail: The following years were hard because I had to buy my business partners out and close my video production company. I learned that I didn’t know enough about business to run my own. Learning this skill was not planned but that’s how life goes.
  • Skill five: Learning to recover: I then got a job and found a company that would pay me based on my skills.

“There’s no easy way around it. No matter how talented you are, your talent is going to fail you if you’re not skilled. If you don’t study, if you don’t work really hard and dedicate yourself to being better every single day, you’ll never be able to communicate with people – with your artistry – the way that you want….” – Will Smith

Once I got to the agency world, I learned that most of the people didn’t have the breadth of skills that I had. This made me confident in my client recommendations, confident that I could solve their problems and the results included making them millions doing digital marketing.

The point is that my skills built up overtime toward the goal of being good at digital marketing. The compounded value presented itself in financial reward (my salary), rapid career growth and the satisfaction knowing I helped CEOs and CMOs of major brands find success in digital.

If you are looking to succeed in business, a sport, or your career; then learn the following four tips which will help you be a superstar:

1. Pick a skill

First, chose a skill that aligns with one of your bigger goals. For example, I want to be a Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) one day, so I am slowly building those skills over time like I explained above. Video lead to website design which led to SEO and Social Media. Once I learned the hard lesson that I didn’t know how to run a business that became the new skill I started learning.

Action Step: Pick a skill that aligns with a bigger goal. Overtime, you build up skills that compliment each other and help you accomplish the bigger goal.

2. Deliberate Practice

In William Zinsser’s book On Writing Well he says, “ The only way to learn how to write is by writing.” He is absolutely right. Repetition is the mother of all skill. I learned to fight by fighting. I learned how to edit videos by editing videos. Set some time aside to practice your skill everyday. If your skill is learning to code then use it to build a project that forces you to code everyday. It’s important that you put time into deliberate practice.

Action Step: Put time on a calendar to develop a skill. Find a group of people to practice with and exchange notes. Practicing with other people can help keep you motivated.

“Practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect.” – Vince Lombardi

3. Keep Doing

Confucius said, “I see and I forget. I hear and remember. I do and I understand.” Once you have gained a decent level of aptitude in your selected skill, keep on doing. Chose another skill complementing the one you are developing. This way both skills develop over time and you get a deeper understanding of each. If you are learning how to code then learn SEO. They compliment each other well and people who know how to code don’t necessarily know how to optimize code for search engines.

Action Step: Pick another skill and repeat step two. This time keep in mind how you can apply what you learn in skill one to skill two.

4. Earn while you learn

Getting paid while you learn is the best. Once you are adept enough in the skill you are learning get someone to pay you to apply that skill. This will not only motivate you to keep learning but you are getting paid to practice. I’ve done this with every digital marketing skill I’ve acquired. I learned Local SEO by getting paid to building the Local SEO product for a company called LocalVox. This worked out because I knew general SEO well and I learned how to learn so I knew I could learn Local SEO quickly.

Action Step: Find someone to pay you as you learn your skill.

The repetition of learning a new skill every year teaches you how to learn. You will slowly build up your own tricks and process to make acquiring and retaining new skills easier.

What is a new skill you desire to learn? Let us know in the comments below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

Lavall Chichester is a growth focused digital marketer who has helped brands make millions of dollars on and off line. He made AdAge’s 2015 40 Under 40 list for turning the search group at MullenLowe Profero into a muti-million dollar business in less than a year. He has 13+ years of developing digital marketing strategies for brands like Apple, Western Union, Kaiser Permanente, Vitamin Water and others. Lavall founded adculture.com and GrowthSkills where he gives digital advertising advice to help people grow their careers and businesses.

Success Advice

The 4 Pillars of Wealth and Abundance

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Have you ever wondered what the formula for a wealthy and abundant life is? Many people have. Lots has been written about the subject of wealth creation and living an abundant life. It was a breaking point in my journey and pursuit of success when I found out that there is a clear path to achieve success in life. Thanks to those who have shared their journey, we can clearly see and follow the principles of prosperity. (more…)

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Here Are 4 Reasons Why You Should Have a Podcast, Youtube Channel or Online Show

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Confidence comes from a place of strong understanding of self. After close to three years on radio, I’ve grown from a shy introvert to a shy introvert with an extrovert persona. When the mic is turned on, I can channel a version of myself that some say is attractive, strong, and of course, confident but it wasn’t always this way.

What I want to share with you is what I discovered on this journey into broadcast that you can apply to your life, your ventures, and your personal development. This doesn’t require any fancy gear. It does require a leap of faith on your part because once you go down the road of media; it can change your life.

1. Perceived Expertise

When you go to a doctor, you expect their knowledge will guide them to a solution to your problems. When you have a show, you become your listeners’ doctor. For all the multiple thousands, maybe millions, of YouTube channels, podcasts, and user-created content in the world, each person that gets behind a mic takes a position on their passion, their opinions, and their themes.

They challenge the status quo for the benefit of their listeners in hopes to entertain and educate. With consistency on your side, those fans place you on a platform and give you permission to influence them.

2. Global Acknowledgement

One of the benefits to increasing confidence is when you receive thank you notes from people you may never meet. The feeling of enriching someone’s life from halfway around the globe, provides validation you’re enhancing someone else’s life with your wisdom and your wit.

The very first time I was told I was making a difference in someone’s life in a country other than my own, I felt like I caused massive impact that transcends my circle of influence. When you experience just how much you can cause impact and it comes back to you, it’ll change your worldview.

“Be grateful for what you have and stop complaining – it bores everybody else, does you no good, and doesn’t solve any problems.” – Zig Ziglar

3. Backed By Numbers

One of the most exciting ways to measure success is to quantify your growth. It’s not enough to just broadcast. Having subscribers and downloads helps to know, numerically, how well you’re doing. Word of caution. This can be a way to set yourself up for distress because of number envy but if you understand what the numbers mean; you can control the narrative of the numbers.

The major number that makes most people smile is 10,000. I’d advise it to be 1. Here’s why. As you grow in your industry, so does your reach. If you learned that the one person that subscribed totally changed for the better because of you, wouldn’t that be worth the effort?

4. Effective Communication

While it’s not talked about much, having a show is documentation. You create a dynamic account of your life, your industry, and the pulse on what’s important simply by having a show. When you find a channel to improve your communication skills, you demand attention and people will listen to you. You become more trusted as a leader and people will follow you once they believe you can lead them to their wants and needs.

“To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others.” – Tony Robbins

These insights have helped many people become leaders and, ultimately, move others to their best selves. It’s worked for me and I hope it works for you. At the end of the day, it’s all about showing up and showing out.

Have you ever thought about having a radio show? If so, what would you talk about? Let us below!

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7 of the Biggest Enemies Stopping You From Success

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Everyone wants to be successful. It is a thing we all wish for. We want to achieve mind-blowing success. However, the road to success is not so easy. And the funniest part is, you are the one to determine whether you become successful or not. (more…)

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The Key to Success: Understanding and Constructively Using Our Influence

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All humans strive for success, although not all of us think about success in the same way. Yes, there are many stereotypical views of success and sometimes these views can get in the way of individuals realizing that they actually have already achieved it. (more…)

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