I take great pride in my commitment to professional development and continuous learning. I also happen to believe those practices are a great ‘anti-aging’ technique too, LOL! Self Mastery is the foundation of Business Mastery
“Are you any good at what you do?” This is a question I ask my clients regularly – particularly when they are discouraged or frustrated with the lack of results they are getting.
“What are you doing to master your skills?” This is the next question I ask – not only of my clients, but I ask myself this question on a regular basis, too.
On a Mission of People Development
Let me give you my definition of Self Mastery and some steps to go from ‘good to great’ (in the words of Jim Collins) by breaking down the word ‘MASTER’ in self. How to become a MASTER of SELF.
1) “M” – is for MAKE a commitment to achieving Self Mastery.
Many of you talk the good talk when it comes to having great intentions to become better at your craft. Talking won’t get you there – making a commitment and taking action is what will do it for you.
Action Step: Take a look at your competencies in the work you are doing. Where do you need to grow and learn more? Identify those areas, do some research to discover where you can learn from the best of the best – commitment to that – get it in your calendar – budget for it – and get growing!
“The only thing “special” about people who achieve mastery is their decision to stay committed.” – Lewis Howes
2) “A” – Have a winning ATTITUDE.
I have been around the block. I know stuff. I know a lot of stuff. I could easily take the attitude that what I know is good enough. But it’s not. In this day and age of ‘info-besity’ (the words of Dr. Sam Horn), we have access to a ton of information. And while many of you might read voraciously, it’s not the same as learning and doing. To become a master at anything, you’ve got to shift your attitude. Attitude is everything.
Action Step:Take a good look at your attitude especially when it comes to learning and growing. Are you stuck in the way you are doing things? Are you stuck in the belief that you know all there is to know? Change your attitude and you will change your altitude – the level at which you operate – and see the difference it will make.
3) “S” – STUDY your craft and master your SELF.
It never ends – and it never should end. It’s critical to stay in the mindset of a student and know that you can know… more… and get better. Study, Study, Study. Read. Listen. Learn. My commitment this year is in a Mastery Program to improve my professional speaking and media skills. I have a huge appetite to learn and grow in this area. It’s a big part of the work I do.
Action Step: Identify the ‘master’s in your industry. Study them. I am watching professional speakers, of all kinds, all the time. I study their techniques – their style – their stages. Who is it in your industry that you believe to be a master? Get connected and get studying. I also recommend studying outside of your industry – there are so many success stories! Check out ‘Jiro Dreams of Sushi” – a phenomenal documentary on Netflix about an 85-year old Sushi master. You will learn a lot!
4) “T” – TRUST in your abilities and TRUST in the abilities of your TEAM.
Oh, it’s not always easy to put yourselves into the hands of other professionals in order to up-level your skills. In the program I am in, after having been a motivational speaker for many years, I needed to ‘trust’ – trust in the process, trust in the knowledge and experience of the masters, trust in my ability to be de-programmed and learn some new skills. Trust is key! Ego can easily get in the way of our becoming the best there is in our field. Learn to trust.
Action step: Register and participate in programs where you believe you are very good. This is a great experience for getting past ego, for trusting in other professionals (masters!), for trusting in a learning process that may feel uncomfortable to you, for trusting in your ability to keep learning!
5) “E” – ELEVATE yourself and skill every day.
That’s really what Self Mastery is all about – you want to elevate yourself and your skills in every way possible. I love to be around people who have mastered different skills because they think differently, they act differently, they relate differently. I love that. You want to elevate your skills and your thinking – you will then attract a different, and higher, quality of client. You will become the best version of you.
Action step: My favorite action step for this is to get in the habit of journaling your learning experience. As you learn and grow and master some new skills your thinking and writing will change accordingly. It’s critical to document this journey and this process.
6) “R” – become a RARE commodity!
That’s how I describe people who actually reach the level of self mastery in their craft. They are rare – and they are rare for many reasons. It takes commitment. It takes action. It takes perseverance. It takes belief in self. It takes hard work. It takes a lot to reach that level – are you ready and willing to be one of the ‘rare’ ones?
Action step: When you reach a certain level of success in life and in business, it gets lonely. You can feel isolated. Yes, you will be among the ‘rare’ – but they are few and far between. Are you prepared for this? Make time to surround yourself with that level and quality of person. You know who they are. Read about them – learn about them – reach out to them. Nothing beats a lovely hand-written card expressing your gratitude for the work of the Masters. Do it today. Be one of the rare ones.
Energy is Potential Waiting to Happen
Now that you have an idea on how to MASTER yourself, you need to know that it takes a lot of energy to reach one’s goals. To reach Self Mastery, requires even more of oneself. It is critical to take care of YOU – not to expend energy on things and people that do not matter. As an entrepreneur, we sometimes act with some level of ADD – ‘squirrel’ – ‘shiny object syndrome’ – you name it, we’ve all experienced it. Time to get serious here. To achieve Mastery level requires high levels of energy.
This is fundamental – eat well balanced and healthy meals, sleep 8-10 hours a night, get away from technology for the last 3-4 hours of your day, meditate, exercise, and be around people who nurture, support and love you. Laugh. Have fun. Get a life.
“The myth of self mastery being reserved for ‘special’ people: It’s easy to look at a successful entrepreneur on the cover of a magazine, or a TED speaker on YouTube and think that the person has been blessed with luck, financing or superior genes. But everyone walks the same path to “mastery.” And that path contains failure, setback and sometimes years of wandering.” – Lewis Howes (Entrepreneur Magazine)