In an earlier post, I wrote about the dangers of a free lunch and how we tend to want more than we give out. I want to look at the flipside; appreciating mastery. If you are a follower of Robin Sharma, mastery is a big principle of his teachings. If you have read Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell, you will be familiar with the 10,000 hour concept. Now, my recent reading has been The Richest Man in Babylon and the importance of mastery comes up again.
Two things triggered this thought. First, I saw an uproar on social media when a leading European national news network announced a new contract for a renowned sports presenter. The comments were complaining about taxpayers paying so much for this person and yet “anyone can read off a teleprompter.” A comment that really tickled me was where one person spelt out his years of experience in this particular sport as both player and pundit and thus his understanding of the sport only to have a response of “but I don’t really see what he brings to the table.” First off, we really need to respect journalists. Standing in front of a camera is daunting. Keeping your nerves in check, getting the right tone and being entertaining is not as simple as just reading words off a teleprompter. Anyone can read words, sure, but can you make people want to listen to you?
An interview done with someone works with him, states that he is extremely disciplined, he wakes up at 5 am and does 100 sit-ups every day then starts his meetings.
The second thing is Japan’s new Prime Minister, Yoshihide Suga. In the news bites about him, the reactions are mixed (let me point out that I am talking from a western media-fed perspective, it might be different with other outlets) with the criticism being on his apparent lack of charisma and eloquence. This is a person who has been the Chief Cabinet Secretary for longer than others who served in the same seat. He knows his stuff and how the machine runs. An interview done with someone works with him, states that he is extremely disciplined, he wakes up at 5 am and does 100 sit-ups every day then starts his meetings. Mr Suga is in his 70’s, imagine when this disciplined journey began.
This seventh law on increasing your ability to earn is tied it to your ability to perfect your calling.
Taking these two tales of mastery back to our recent book with George Clason, you notice that in all his stories of this emancipation from poverty, it is not through the efforts of being a jack of all trades. His specific advice is your gold is your slave. Particularly, the 7th cure to an empty purse and the 5th law of gold speaks to the importance of consulting with a master in the craft that you seek to grow wealth on. You wouldn’t trust a blacksmith to trade in jewels even if they are your friend. There’s a reason you have a finance guy, friend or professional, whom you go to for investment advice. On a personal level, there is something that you are known to give a valid opinion. This seventh law on increasing your ability to earn is tied to your ability to perfect your calling. The fifth law of gold states that you will lose your money when you trust it to your own inexperience and “romantic desires in investment”. The book uses King James English and there are some things that I can’t interpret. What I did learn from it was, well, remember the quail fiasco in Kenya a while back? Or pyramid schemes. Make your investments from a point of knowledge and not on a passing fad.
In this age of social media, the master makes it look so easy that we think we can do it too. The whole point of mastery IS to make it look easy but only if you have done the work on it. That weight loss story looks so easy until you realise you can’t do without carbs for a week. That drawing looks so simple until you try to draw a continuous straight line. Being a host is a breeze until you hold the microphone and discover that even that has a technique to it. The 10,000 hours, the reiteration, the continuous learning of your craft is overlooked in this world of professional spectatorship. Perhaps it’s the folly of relationship marketing, we want you to connect with what you see and people have connected a little too much.
You have your own mountain to conquer and the best part is that if you do, you can and will create more wealth.
So, what is your craft? Are you the best at it? Do you make it look so easy that other people want to do what you do? If you answer no to the last two, keep at it. Build Yoshihide Suga’s level of discipline. If yes, teach someone else what you know and change your little corner of the world. On the spectator side, next time you think something is easy, take a moment and actually try it. Then put some respect on that skill. You have your own mountain to conquer and the best part is that if you do, you can and will create more wealth.