Rapid Skill Acquisition (II)

Rapid Skill Acquisition (II)

How to learn any skill in an efficient way as explained in Tim Ferris’s book ‘’ The 4 Hour Chef ‘’

On the first article of this mini series we mentioned how to that one of the necessary steps was to find experts. In this article we will explore how to find those experts.

How to find experts:

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Use Wikipedia to find who was the best or the second best in the field of interest. The logic behind going for the second or third best comes from the fact that they won’t have as much media coverage and as such may be more likely to answer your queries since they may be less burned by the attention.

Search for the closest expert in the field of interest by using Google. If you can try to go for those who are good but aren’t as popular as they might be more receptive, although you can always try all of them if you have the time, you never know.

Once you have found the experts the next step is how to approach them.

How to approach an expert:

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This has been and still is my Achilles heel as I still have enormous difficulties with it. For those of you who also have trouble with this Tim has a few more tips.

Don’t start by stating what you want from them, they may be the nicest person in the world but getting an email saying ‘’Hey, I am Adam. I know you are good and would like you to help me improve, here are some questions. Thanks. Bye.’’. This would be a pretty bad idea of how to approach someone for help.

Instead of focussing on what you want from them, you should try to find something that could be of interest to them, or some kind of mutual connection. A way of making it useful for the expert is to try to make an article about them for a blog, newsletter, or local newspaper and write about this person and his or her methods or quote them on a topic related to their as an expert.

By doing this it could make it less awkward as you would have a reason apart from only getting their help, and you could go with more confidence since you are also doing something for them. The point is to see how you can make into a mutually beneficial meeting, since the experts you want to reach are usually busy and giving them a reason to want to meet is always a good idea.

Questions

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Once you manage to get the meeting the next point is to ask the questions you wanted. For this an interesting approach is to ask not only about them and which are their tips, but also about some outliers in the field, some that they wouldn’t expect to be as good as they are but that are quite good, or about the most impressive lesser known teachers.

You can also ask about what they consider as the things that have influenced their path, which are the resources they used. Which would be their advice if you wanted to achieve x. Which are the biggest and most common mistakes and how to avoid them, are some of the questions you could ask.

As for all the process, the questions aren’t the only possible ones, you should think about what you want to achieve and what you expect from them.

The topics I would highlight are, which resources did you use, which are other figures in your field you respect and what do they do that is special, which resources would you recommend and which mistakes are the most common. How can you make the most of your time and which are the mistakes that you can evade.

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Reference:

The 4-Hour Chef: The Simple Path to Cooking Like a Pro, Learning Anything, and Living the Good Life

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