🌼Break the Mold: 4 Unexpected Skills That Can Help You Achieve More


🌼Break the Mold: 4 Unexpected Skills That Can Help You Achieve More

Skills make you valuable. And value brings money. This is where being highly skilled in certain fields gives you an advantage.

Seth Godin illustrates this well in his book, _The Dip_:


> “A woodpecker can tap twenty times on a thousand trees and get nowhere, but stay busy. Or he can tap twenty-thousand times on one tree and get dinner.”

We often think about persuasion, writing, and so forth when it comes to [income-generating skills](https://dariusforoux.com/income-generating-skills/). And those skills are still relevant.

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But there are more subtle skills that successful people have that others take for granted. These are abilities that most people never view as skills.


These unconventional skills make the difference between those who succeed and those who stay average.

Read also: 5 things rich people from humble backgrounds do to become wealthy

Here are the 4 of skills you need to practice if you want to break the mold and achieve more.

# 1. Feedback Analysis

How well do you know yourself?

If you’ve read enough self-improvement books and articles, you’d already know the importance of self-awareness.

But how do you effectively become self-aware?

Do you know the best way for you to work? Have you mastered your strengths and weaknesses to overcome any challenge?

Often, people _know_ it’s important to be self-aware. But they’re not sure how to do it right. This is where the [Feedback Analysis](https://dariusforoux.com/journaling-prompts/) comes in.

It’s a concept popularized by management author Peter Drucker. You can do it like this:

1. **Whenever you make a key decision,** like a career change or a new project, etc., write what you want and expect to happen.
2. **Say you’re deciding if you should start a clothing line business.** You can write things like, “I’ll have X designs in X months,” or “I’ll have my first sale after X weeks,” and so forth.
3. **Write your predicted result somewhere visible**, a virtual notepad saved in the cloud, or even an email you can send yourself and mark with a star.
4. **In 9 to 12 months (or earlier, when the project/result is ready)**, go back to your predicted result. Compare them to what actually happened.

When you notice you don’t get some things done — that’s usually a sign you’re not working with your strengths.

This level of self-awareness isn’t common. Many of us _think_ we have self-awareness, but in real life we don’t see the benefits.

That’s because we often don’t make an effort to improve self-awareness. This is why feedback analysis is so important.

It helps you to focus more on your strengths, which will lead to better results in your career.

# 2. Effective Collaboration

Even the most solitary work requires occasional collaboration with other people.

The skill of knowing how to work in a team is essential, regardless of your job. Here are a few examples:

– **Writer?** Now and then, you’ll need to work with an editor, researcher, or co-writer.
– **Visual Artist?** Even solitary mural artists need to communicate with the people who provide them their raw materials.
– **Entreprepeneur? **You’ll need to know how to delegate effectively. Doing everything on your own will only lead to [burnout or failure](https://dariusforoux.medium.com/6-minutes-to-fix-the-6-sources-of-burnout-14a4cb7af047).
– **And almost all licensed professionals**(doctors, lawyers, financial advisors, etc.) work in a social setting, one way or another.

Every career requires some form of collaboration. Knowing how to work in a team, even in a small team of 2 people, is a crucial skill.

Making money isn’t just about numbers. It also involves working with people who will help you achieve your goals.

# 3. Long-term Optimism

When the investor Cathie Wood started a fund that focused on innovative companies, people quickly doubted her.

Investing in unproven tech comes with a lot of risk. Unlike investing in more established companies.

So when her main fund (ARK Innovation ETF) experienced negative annual returns in its 2nd year, people predicted she’d quit. But she didn’t.

She believed that, in the long run, the future would always go uptrend. She was optimistic that things would always get better, eventually.

From a few million dollars of Assets Under Management (AUM) in 2014, when Cathie Wood started, her fund has since ballooned to $50 billion in 2021. Since then the ARK Innovation ETF has come down, but investors keep adding capital.

As an investor, you must have [optimistic view for the long term](https://dariusforoux.com/long-term-thinking/). While this might not seem like a skill, it’s something you can learn. In my eyes, that means it’s a skill.

[Markets are volatile](https://dariusforoux.com/stock-market-cycles/), going up and down over the years. We experience recessions, inflations, pandemics, and wars. But the stock market has been going up over the long-term for the past 100 years.

And it will keep going up as we keep growing the economy.

That’s what real optimism is: A belief in a prosperous future. You simply can’t succeed if you’ve lost hope from the beginning.

# 4. Using Failure

There are two things most people do when they learn. Which one are you?

1. **Stop trying**: If you try something and it doesn’t work out, you’d rather not try again because you might fail again. And that’s painful.
2. **Learn**: Or… You can keep trying in a different, better, way. That way you learn something every time.

Failing is a skill. We need to learn HOW to fail. Sure, you must learn from failure, but you also need to make sure you fail without destroying yourself.

For example, if you’re investing, you don’t want to bet your entire lifesavings on one company. If that investment fails, you’re toast.

Read also: 5 money rules to transform your financial life within 10 years

If you make sure you can keep going, you can learn from every failure.

It’s easy to get swayed by feelings of inadequacy or disappointment when we fail. But those feelings won’t get you any nearer to your goals.

So whenever you fail, ask yourself: How can I use this experience to be better?

People who know how to make use of their failure will never waste their time.

Also, being able to take on failure makes you more resilient. Successful people always go through a point where other people give up. As puts it:

> “It’s okay to be discouraged. It’s not okay to quit.”

When it comes to personal goals, it’s always better to be a finisher than a pure starter.

# Your individuality keeps you relevant

With AI dominating many industries, tedious, repetitive tasks are being left to robots.

How do you remain relevant and valuable in this era?

By bringing your individuality to your work.

– For writer, that could mean having a distinct writing voice and a marketable niche
– For designers, you may be pushing boundaries of art and design to better heights
– And professionals can become even more discerning by [leaving the usual mindless paperwork to AI](https://dariusforoux.com/ai-writing/)

Besides, isn’t it more fun when you can place a piece of your personality in your work?

When you’re doing something you like, you can integrate your strengths and personality with it. And this brings far better results. As you keep doing your work, your wealth compounds. Eventually, you’ll become richer than you are today.

Contributed by Darius Foroux

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