How to get better at anything

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Writing, oral argument, marketing, parenting–whatever it is that you want to get better at, you’ve got to DO it.

You can read about it until you’re blue in the face, you can attend seminars, and you can hang out with experts and watch what they do, but at the end of the day, you have to get out there and do the thing yourself.

You’ll make mistakes. That’s how you learn. At one point in your life, you didn’t know how to walk. Now you can. You learned by trying and falling, again and again and again.

There are no shortcuts. The only way to develop a skill is to do what you’re not good at until you get better.

This means getting out of your comfort zone, risking embarrassment, frustration and failure.

But, you can also get some help.

Whatever is it you want to improve, you can find someone who is better than you and ask them to mentor you. One of the best things about having a mentor is that they allow you to fail in a relatively safe environment. Yes, you risk criticism but it’s not public.

You can formerly hire a coach or consultant or you can find someone who is willing to give you a few minutes here and there to critique you and give you advice.

Find someone who is good at what you want to do. Ask them if they would be willing to mentor you. Make it easy for them to say yes by letting them know you’ll respect their time. You can learn a lot from an expert, even if you only talk to them for ten minutes once a month.

And if you’re good at something, be a mentor. Share your skills and experience with others. Pay it forward.

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