In This Episode:
* How writer Kris Windley learned illustration skills to level up the way she communicates* The process she uses to figure out what she’s going to draw and how it’s going to enhance her writing* The 3 ways she coaches herself through the hard parts in learning a new skill* Where she draws motivation from to continue to learn new things and level up her skills
The very first online course I ever created taught students how to build a WordPress website.
I created the course about 10 years ago before drag & drop page builders were the norm and before premium themes were easily customized.
Back then, building a website was a special kind of skill. If you wanted something custom, you had to know some HTML and some CSS and you had to know where to put it to make it do the things you wanted to do.
The first time I taught the class, the sheer newness of what was involved hit the students like a tsunami. They felt in over their heads and they were quickly drowning among the flotsam & jetsam of page templates and child themes and stylesheets.
I felt horrible.
I wanted to teach them this new skill so badly. I wanted them to feel powerful and in control of their online presences.
But instead, I felt like I had resigned them to the horrible fate of feeling confused and overwhelmed by something that seemed so central to building their businesses.
We worked through it… but I knew I didn’t want a repeat of that.
So the next time I taught the class, instead of diving into the first lesson, I shared a video with them where I explained what was going to happen—not in the class itself, but in their minds.
I asked them to remember back to the last time they were learning something brand new—something that they had no point of reference for. I asked them to remember that it was hard at first but, little by little, it started to make sense and they were able to apply what they were learning.
After I set this expectation, it was a little easier for everyone.
There were still plenty of questions and problems learning the material—but there were far fewer freakouts and panic attacks!
Not only were my students learning to build their websites, I was learning a valuable lesson about what it takes to learn a new, foreign skill as an adult.
This month, we’re exploring how we level up by learning new skills.
We all bring a unique skill set to our businesses. Some of us bring the skills we learned in school or corporate careers that transfer directly into the work we’re doing today. Others bring certifications and licenses from careers that no longer serve us.
Some of us bring skills from our hobbies, personal adventures, or relationships. Others bring skills they had no idea would be useful but have been invaluable to their growth.
The way we leverage our existing skills and learn new ones helps us to creatively solve business problems, invest ourselves in future outcomes, and differentiate our brands.
Over the course of this month, we’ll hear from a number of small business owners who have spent time and energy on learning a new skill so they could level up some aspect of their businesses—or, in one case, start a new one.
You’ll hear from Christianne Squires who committed to leveling up her community-building skills so she could serve her people in a new way.