For those who want to be truly awesome at what “they do,” I’m going to give you my formula for accelerating your career or your life or whatever you want to catapult. Here are the 9 fastest ways to be awesome at your craft based on what I’ve seen works!

Below are the highlights from the podcast. For a more complete explanation of each area, listen here. It’s also available on any major podcast platform.

First, I’m going to assume you actually want to practice your craft. It sounds silly, but most people who reach out to me are miserable, stuck, or a host of other undesirable feelings.

Let’s assume you chose your path correctly. If you haven’t, check out the First Thing To Do When You Want To Change Careers before proceeding.

Let’s roll…

Adjust your attitude. Optimism is something you manufacture from your attitude. Inspiration is something someone else manufactures from your optimism. Your ability to think without limits will help you create those incredible achievements. It’s also what will inspire the others around. See Unlock Your True Potential With These Three Keys.

Identify the most important capabilities. If you simply practice the “how to” do something, you won’t be able to reach the truly elevated heights. Everyone has purchased the “How To Manual.” You need to know what makes the greatest the greatest. Example: Don’t just learn how to sell. Learn psychology. Learn storytelling. Know the sequence people need to hear things so they can understand how your product or service with help them. Be sincere.

Build a Franken-Mentor. I don’t think any one person, as a mentor, will help you reach phenomenal heights. Build yourself a collection of people—live or online—who can help you build your capabilities. I study four people (Burchard, Walker, Hyatt, McLaren). They help me with high performance, product launching, personal platform building, and membership site management respectively. None of these people do anything related to career management or hiring (my areas of expertise). They support the capabilities I need to learn and master.

Train like heck. See the four gents I mentioned above? I’ve spent nearly 500 hours over the past two years studying their material. That’s purchasing their training material, watching and studying it, reviewing their blogs, and so forth. If you use the 2,000 work hours per year rule of thumb (for the average 9-to-5-er), that’s an additional 12.5% training I added to ensure I know what I’m doing.

Practice. Perfectly. You will make permanent what you practice. Make sure you know what makes something perfect before you make it permanent. There are two ways to go wrong here. First, you can practice poorly. Second, you can practice the wrong things.

Choose (or find) the best people to be around. You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with. Choose wisely. I’m speaking about actual live people who you see and exchange ideas and banter.

Spend lots of time with Google and YouTube. There is absolutely no excuse why you can’t learn something you want to know. I had no idea how to set up a podcast. I had no idea how to use a DSLR camera before I needed to use one. I knew nothing about lighting. I knew nothing about email marketing. The point isn’t, “I’m great.” The point is, I knew nothing!

Get the right tools. There are so many tools to help you become awesome! They can be organizational tools, research tools, and so on. I recorded this podcast away from office using a cool Sennheiser ClipMic Digital (powered by Apogee) microphone connected directly to my iPhone. It was a new toy I found by accident because I was Googling and YouTubing ways to hook up my Sennheiser Lavalier Microphone. Now I can record these little beauties on the road! It’s also awesome for getting fantastic quality when you’re live on Facebook.

Listen: Listen to the world. Listen to your customers. Don’t ever listen to your competition unless you want to create the same products or services they’re creating. Your greatest opportunities will be found in the sounds of other people’s complaints. Solve their problems and you’re their hero.

As always, I’d love to hear from you: What are your greatest tricks or steps to becoming awesome?

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