Certain skills transcend all others.
Once you learn them they act as an insurance policy against dumb bosses, recessions, party poopers, and debt collectors.
The right skills give you confidence to take risks and know you’ll always be fine. It’s the best feeling in the world, and I’ve had it for the last 5 years.
Give these things a shot to upgrade your life.
Unconventional sales skills
Life is a game of sales.
Sales is a dirty word for persuasion. It pisses many people off. Whenever I write about sales it causes an angry mob to get upset.
The reason is we’re taught to hate being sold to. The image that pops to mind is the sleazy guy down at your local used car sales dealership. He approaches you, stinking of cigarettes. You can smell the tequila on his breath that he had for lunch and tried to conceal with breath mints.
He has the same evil smile as Putin.
The dollar signs pop out of his eyes. It’s all about him. You must buy today or he’ll lose you to another car yard. Once you meet a salesperson like this it haunts you for life. You vow never to become one.
Learning basic sales skills allows you to persuade people to take your side of a debate. It’s how you educate, inspire, and even run projects at work.
If no one knows the benefits of your idea or the work you’ve done, how the heck can they join in on your mission? Impossible.
The type of sales skills I learned are different. Here are the keys:
- Be stupidly honest. Never lie. Be more honest than you should. Point out the flaws in what you’re selling upfront.
- Look people in the eye when you present
- Put their interests ahead of your own. Be stupidly unselfish to the point it upsets others who witness it.
- Stick around after the sale. Don’t disappear and never speak to the person again, causing them to feel violated.
- Be quiet and humble in your approach.
- Listen more than you talk. Read that again.
Learn to persuade and your entire life changes.
Get good at adding new skills, fast
I can acquire skills fast.
The trick is to learn how to use free tools such as Youtube and Twitter to learn from people smarter than you. Learning fast requires great curation.
You have to be able to find teachers quickly and take notes on what they teach in an organized and swift manner.
Another way to speed up the process is to pay to learn skills.
Yes, it costs money and everything you ever need to learn is on the internet for free. But when you pay to learn, you outsource the curation of information to a third party.
This saves you a heck of a lot of time that’s worth more than the $99 you pay to get access.
In a fast-paced digital world you have to learn 3X as quickly as 10 years ago. If not, you get left behind and your career opportunities dry up in a heartbeat.
Portfolios over degrees and resumes
Randoms send me their resumes on LinkedIn all the time.
It’s weird. Who feels excited by a resume? Not me. Not anyone. Ever. Degrees are the same. Anyone can take out a big ass student loan and get one. In a sea of people with vanilla degrees you don’t stand out.
Employers care a lot less too. A degree used to get you a ticket to a job interview. Now, it rarely gets you that either because job ads are run by automation that gives preference to experience over education.
The real winner is a portfolio of work.
When someone says “I built this” and it’s relevant to what you do, your eyes light up instantly. It shows active learning that’s applied — rather than passive learning that’s used to brag to a pack of nobodies.
Do the work. Turn it into a portfolio. Pitch people to get opportunities using your portfolio.
Your life will never be the same again. You’ll get an unfair advantage.
Traditional writing is dead.
I don’t believe in it anymore. In this fast-paced dopamine-fuelled environment, huge paragraphs of text that take ages to read get ignored. No one has time for traditional writing. Life is too damn short.
Online writing is different. One of the best ways to learn it is using Twitter. The crux of it is to get to the point, cut out all the filler words, and make your sentences shine through ruthless editing.
When your words are all killer and no filler, people listen. Good online writing will open secret doors you never knew existed.
And writing is everywhere — at work, on Tinder, in your email inbox, on TikTok, and on every website known to humankind.
Learn to write online, change your life.
Makes friends rather than network yourself into a dark hole
Networking is a bunch of loud beasts suffocating in the noise of their own mouth farts. I hate it. You do too.
Just open your inbox for a reminder. No one wants random pitches or a LinkedIn inbox full of “Hi’s.”
We were taught to network. We were taught our network is our net worth. Nope. Wrong answer, pal.
Networking is selfishness in disguise.
When I feel like I’m being “networked” it’s nasty. You’re just waiting for the naughty ‘ask’ to come out of left field and slap you across the face worse than Will Smith on Oscar night.
Networking is like insect repellent. It repels everything you want in life without you knowing. It leads you to a dark hole because it produces zero results. Eventually, you start to think there’s something wrong with you.
There’s nothing wrong with you.
Make friends instead of network. Start genuine conversations. Do your research on people first so you know what to talk about. Be real. Show some personality. Let them talk more than you do.
Genuine relationships will always create opportunities for you, so there’s no chance of ever becoming broke or jobless.
Volunteer for a cause you know nothing about
There’s a theme in this article: unselfishness.
We’re born selfish. Selfishness is how we survive. It’s what the cavemen needed to do to avoid getting eaten by a bear looking for a snack.
In modern life we have to force ourselves to learn unselfishness. The fastest way I learned was by volunteering at a homeless shelter. I became surrounded by people that had nothing. I instantly got teleported out of my mind and into another world.
It felt like an out-of-body experience. All my troubles vanished.
Volunteer where help is needed to experience its transformative power.
Help others get what they want
…in the process you’ll get what YOU want.
And you’ll learn a lot about people’s problems. The deeper your knowledge is with problems the better you become at problem-solving. And we all know, problem solvers get paid the most and have the best lives.