Last Updated on 1 March 2021 by Gertrude
How many master craftsmen are there in the country? Those with honed skills and prowess in their industries that you count on them? So, how do you become the best in the world at something?
How does one become so good at something? And how long does it take to get good at something? Some people say 10,000 hours of consistency makes you a master creator.
I say that you get good at something as you keep doing it. You cannot deny that those you admire as industry leaders are masters in entrepreneurship like Chris Kirubi or Manu Chandaria.
Or masters in newscasting like Jeff Koinange. Who are the best writers you know in the country? Fiction or non-fiction writers?
I Want to Be Good at Something as a Youth in Kenya
If you want to be good at something as a Youth in Kenya you must:
1. Find your motivation
It takes time and effort to become a master craftsman. You experience lots of setbacks. This is where your why comes in. Why did you become started in your trade? What motivated you? What do you aim to gain?
Some people say you can begin anything in the field that you don’t care about and develop passion along the way. That does happen sometimes, other times it doesn’t.
Your strong why makes you keep going despite the challenges you encounter along the road. So, what makes you get up in the morning? Is it to change the world or to make money?
Whatever your motivation, just know it won’t be roses but thorny mountains but wake up and keep going.
You only realise what’s going to happen or see the results when you keep moving.
2. Measure your progress because there cannot be goals that cannot be measured. When you measure your goals, you learn to correct where and what went and goes amiss.
3. Learn from the winners
When beginning my freelancing writing journey, I learnt from the best Smart Blogger, FreelancerKenya and Penny Hoarder.
I learnt from Penny Hoarder that there’s more to online work than online/freelance writing. There’s something called a virtual assistant. The day you stop learning from the best, is the day your progress stalls. I’m sorry.
I want to grow my blog’s readership to something not seen in the country, how can I when I don’t learn from the best bloggers like Mashable, HuffPost, LindaIkeji blog? You want to find patterns and rhythms, to use in your business.
Learning from the best means of acquiring or getting a mentor from far. Know what works for you and what doesn’t.
Remember, it’s never easy but you can do it.
Looking at successful people can become discouraging, right? Because you see how far they are and you begin to wonder what it will take for you to get there. Take it a step at a time.
Look back and pat yourself on the back. Keep it consistent. There’s power in steady.
Again when you learn from winners, remember to practice. Learning and no knowledge application is useless. I learnt how to monetise a blog in 2015 and 2017.
I learnt every single night and got frustrated because I didn’t understand some things. Instead of implementing what I learnt, I gave up and knew it wasn’t easy to make money with a blog.
I happened upon Linda Ikeji’s blog in 2017 and she changed my perception of making money with a blog.
Sometimes, you may take hours or years to learn something to not use it. What’s the stress of learning then?
You take time to learn everything about changing your mindset, or investing but don’t invest, you will do it tomorrow.
Tomorrow isn’t there for you to do anything. You have to implement everything you learn a step at a time. Take one lesson and every day apply the learned knowledge.
5. Take risks
There’s no point in learning from the masters without taking risks. Why? Those that fear risks don’t make progress. You cannot move without taking a risk.
When you decided to quit that job without a plan b to begin your online business, you took a risk. Some will say it’s stupid, you felt it was right.
You suffer and go into debt for a while but if you keep moving forward, you see the rewards.
You took the leap of faith without realising where the road heads, you kept the faith and fought each and every day, you begin to see the fruits.
Risks are a way of saying move from the familiar into the unfamiliar.
Move into new territories because opportunities await you in the land of the unknown.
6. Don’t aim for perfection because you end up discouraged
When learning how to sew, I called everything I made stupid. I couldn’t sell the cloth diapers I made because I thought it was stupid. Then I discovered pillows and it was all nice.
Do you know when I told mums and dads that I sell cloth diapers how amazed some were and some ordered them in bulk without even seeing the ‘perfect’ cloth diaper? Whatever God made was perfect/good.
Why do you call yours stupid or not yet perfect? Whatever you take your time to make is good and perfect. Even the best craftsmen don’t believe they did their best.
They stay up all night to craft dresses that sell for a million shillings but somehow a thread hangs loose. Why? It’s perfect! They thought. You took your time, give yourself that.
It’s perfect as you keep moving and doing, you will realise that you wasted time waiting for perfection and there’s nothing like that.
Have you seen some poorly written books on Amazon becoming bestsellers and you are sitting on a perfect idea and time? The more you wait, the more someone else does it.
The perfect time to do it now and you have it.
7. There’s nothing to beat yourself up because you did your best
Some people including myself beat ourselves up for no good reason. You want to launch your business at the perfect time, there’s nothing like perfect timing.
It’s the ones who get the ball rolling that get the perfect timing. I see some ‘gurus’ saying that it was the perfect time to begin an Airbnb in 2017 because there wasn’t competition in Kenya or in Mombasa yet.
It was the perfect time to begin a telco that’s why Safaricom makes this amount of profits year in and out for 20 years. Who are you to beat them?
Don’t you think this is the mentality that kills entrepreneurship in Kenya? The perfect time is now and you were made for this, a perfect time. Stop saying the time is gone.
People are alive and waiting for your genius to show. You did your best, that’s the perfect time and hour don’t beat yourself up. There’s nothing like failure only lessons.
8. Ask questions.
Master craftsmen in Kenya look stingy with their knowledge. We don’t like to share.
Someone sent an email to me saying that I share too much on YouTube and must stop. Wait, sharing is caring! And the more you share the more you learn. There are no masters to ask questions.
Masters don’t like to share their secrets for success in business. Some will tell you that the more you share the lesser you gain. Wrong answer.
When young entrepreneurs approach you with questions about how to successfully open up a business, teach them. Allow the youth to learn through you.
Youths bring new energy, embrace the energy. You learn something from others every day, don’t you? Don’t limit your learning and knowledge to books only.
Isn’t that a mindset to adopt when you want to get good at something, asking questions?
Ask questions on forums like Quora, Facebook. Your questions open doors for yourself and others.
9. Your mindset plays a huge role in learning
Before beginning any business career or education, you must get into the right frame of mind. That means, adopting a winners mindset.
Winners don’t quit, look at Thomas Edison or his assistant Edwin Barnes. Edwin Barnes wanted to work with Thomas and he did.
He started with a thought and his desire grew stronger. In the end, he worked with his mentor.
Have you asked yourself why people from very poor backgrounds end up getting rich? It’s in the mind. You have to watch how your mind thinks and how you talk.
The mindset helps you achieve your dreams. For example, if you start a business you want to make a profit, right?
What if you keep telling yourself you cannot make it or your business cannot make it? Will it? What if you keep blaming or calling January, Njaanuary?
Don’t joke that it’s too ‘dry’ or ‘hot’ for you to make it because whatever you say, you believe and it will happen.
Before becoming an entrepreneur, change how you think. It’s all in the mind, success even.
Some FAQs on How to Get Better at Something as a Youth in Kenya
What am I trying to improve a habit or skill? When making New Year’s resolutions, your resolutions don’t work because you don’t ask yourself whether you want to develop a habit or you are wishing without a plan.
When reading Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon talked a lot about having a plan before beginning anything even studies. When planning to develop a new habit, you have to ask yourself why are you doing it?
Is it something you truly want or is it something you wish you had because you saw in another person?
With skill, you can take your time to learn it unless you truly want to develop a new talent or uncover new talent. Habit is learnt over a long period of time.
Can you commit to doing it regularly?
If you want something so bad, you go get it, right? People don’t have the patience to stick with what they truly want.
For most, it’s a lot of hard work and for others, as long as they survive, that’s fine. Do you have the commitment it takes to get better at something?
Are you willing to spend extra hours working to make your goals come true? That’s the spirit of an entrepreneur as well. It takes a lot of minds to make it work.
Can you stick with the behaviour?
When setting goals to write for my blog at least 10 posts a day, I kept asking myself, can I really do this without falling for the money traps that come when working for others?
I keep falling back to searching and pitching clients. See, it’s hard to lose behaviour. This is when you ask yourself, what triggers me to go back?
What makes you want the old life which you escaped from a year or a few months ago?
It comes back to the comfort zone, you love the familiar. It thrills you to the extent you don’t like progress.
When you find yourself going back to what you escaped from, stop to reflect. Search within yourself what you truly want and why.
How long does it take to get good at something?
The length of time it takes to be the best at something depends on the field/career/industry. I would say repeated practice makes you a master and it may go for more than 10k hours of practice.
We want to live our lives to the fullest on earth. Living your fullest life is what you were set up for as a human being.
God wants and wanted us to please him and enjoy our lives. If you want to get better at something, know it won’t be easy but you can do it.
If you find yourself stumbling, dust off and take a break but don’t beat yourself up too much.
Allow yourself to slip into the comforts but don’t stay down for too long because you may never rise again.
Ask yourself, when I started this writing career, what did I want to achieve?
What is it I wanted from becoming an engineer or carpenter? Go back to your why and your why will always direct you to your greatness.
Article Inspired by
Scott H Young: A Simple Strategy for Getting Better at Things
Do you want to get better at something so bad your heart bleeds from desire?