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The 2X Secret: What Nobody Tells You About Earning More From Your Skills


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When building our skills and advancing our careers, we tend to reach for the same skills again and again. But there's a simple way to make your skills more valuable and career more secure. It's a path that people like Elon Musk, Matthew Inman (creator of the Oatmeal), and Scott Adams (creator of Dilbert) have all used to amplify their core talent and earn more money. I'll teach it to you and show you how to use this method to advance your career.

Published in: Career

The 2X Secret: What Nobody Tells You About Earning More From Your Skills

  2. 2. What do the Oatmeal, Dilbert, and Elon Musk have in common?
  3. 3. Two core skills. This makes them a double threat.
  4. 4. “I can draw better than most people, but I’m hardly an artist. And I’m not any funnier than the average standup comedian who never makes it big, but I’m funnier than most people.”
  5. 5. “The magic is that few people can draw well and write jokes. It’s the combination of the two that makes what I do so rare.”
  6. 6. “Capitalism rewards things that are both rare and valuable. You make yourself rare by combining two or more ‘pretty goods’ until no one else has your mix.” —Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert
  7. 7. Here’s where most people go wrong when deciding what skills or career directions to develop . . .
  8. 8. When searching for new skills to nurture, they reach for more soft skills.
  9. 9. Writers learn more about writing. Historians learn more about qualitative research. Art majors learn more about art.
  10. 10. “If you intend to have an impact on the world, the faster you start developing concrete skills that will be useful in the real world, the better.” —Marc Andreessen, Venture Capitalist
  11. 11. For example, humanities majors are already excellent communicators. They can write. They can express their thoughts in persuasive ways.
  12. 12. So instead of reaching for more of the same soft skills, why not complement your core strength with a different type of skill?
  13. 13. Take the famous creator of the  Core skill: drawing funny things  But also can code websites and create online illustrations  Developed business skills: sells products and employs himself
  14. 14. If you have a humanities degree, then stack technical skills on top. This will make you way more valuable than just another writer.
  15. 15. You could learn the basics of website architecture. Or learn about financial accounting.
  16. 16. If you started with a technical STEM degree, then stack soft skills on top.
  17. 17. You could learn how to write clearly, public speaking, or the art of sales.
  18. 18. Knowing how to write might find you a job. But a writer with business skills or who also understands ecommerce is unstoppable and valuable.
  19. 19. Take Elon Musk.  Core skill: engineer  But also a master at sales and PR  If he only focused on engineering, he couldn’t raise the money and support to fund his innovations
  20. 20. This gives him twin powers: the technical knowledge to be innovative and the marketing skills to raise money and gain public support.
  21. 21. You don’t want to orphan your core strengths. Keep becoming a better writer or engineer.
  22. 22. But also develop skills that extend your impact and make you more rare and valuable.
  23. 23. My challenge to you Don’t reach for more of the same type of skills. Develop a technical skill—that could be basic coding, quantitative data analysis, or video editing. Challenge your identity: just because you are bad at math or failed science doesn’t mean you can’t learn technical skills like web development. What skills could you learn that help you amplify your core skills?
  24. 24. How to do this Pick one small area that could help you in your job. For example, if you work with business leaders knowing the basics of financial accounting helps you speak their language. Spend 20 hours mastering one small part of this skill. For example, how to read a Profit and Loss sheet. Ask an expert with this skill: what are the basic things I could learn to be more proficient? What are a few basic skills I could develop?
  25. 25. For more advice like this, you can grab my free 14- day email course on building profitable skills at
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