Ep 164 Leveling Up Why We Get Stuck

Summary Notes


In a discussion about personal and professional growth, the host explores the concept of "skill stacking" and its evolution into developing character traits for sustained success. The host emphasizes that initially, acquiring a diverse set of skills is crucial for breaking through to initial success, as demonstrated by significant improvements in business once new skills like lead generation and sales are learned. However, they point out that further advancement requires not just skills, but also attributes such as focus and patience. The host, sharing personal experiences and insights from their events, argues that businesses often fail due to a lack of focus rather than a lack of opportunities, and that leadership involves embodying inspirational character traits. They conclude by stressing the importance of deepening existing skills through consistent execution and repetition, and the role of character traits in enabling individuals to resist distractions and persist in their efforts, ultimately leading to greater success and fulfillment.

Summary Notes

Introduction to Skill Stacking and Leveling Up

  • Speaker B discusses the concept of skill stacking and its importance in breaking through personal and professional barriers.
  • The discussion is inspired by a recent event and questions received, focusing on the next steps after skill stacking.
  • Speaker B introduces John Wooden's pyramid of success as a framework that encompasses traits leading to success.

"And so one of the biggest, most successful podcasts I had recently was skill stacking, right? Why you're not breaking through, why people get stuck at the same levels."

This quote introduces the topic of the conversation, which is about skill stacking and overcoming plateaus in personal growth or business.

John Wooden's Pyramid of Success

  • Layla, a participant at the event, described John Wooden's pyramid of success.
  • The pyramid consists of a series of traits that engender a successful person.
  • Speaker B finds it interesting to overlay this pyramid with skill stacking.

"Layla, described a pyramid, right? It's John Wooden's pyramid of success. And his entire pyramid is a series of traits that will create success, right, that engender a successful person."

Speaker B references Layla's description of John Wooden's pyramid of success, which is a foundational concept in the discussion about personal development and success.

Reframing Lack of Growth

  • Growth should be framed in terms of skill deficiencies to maintain control over personal development.
  • Speaker B emphasizes taking ownership of one's lack of skills rather than blaming external factors.
  • This mindset shift from victimhood to empowerment is crucial for progress.

"You have to acquire more and more skills, and you always have to frame your lack of growth in terms of the deficiency or a deficit or a lack of skills so that you can then be in control of fixing it."

Speaker B stresses the importance of framing personal or business growth challenges as skill deficiencies, which allows for a proactive approach to overcoming these challenges.

The Role of Skills in Business Growth

  • Acquiring new skills can lead to significant breakthroughs in business, such as lead generation and sales.
  • Speaker B discusses the direct impact of skill acquisition on business success.
  • The initial phase of growth is heavily dependent on learning and applying new skills.

"You have to definitely stack skills. You have to find your deficiencies and learn them and learn these new skills so that you can get the first real money to come across the bridge, right?"

The quote highlights the necessity of skill stacking for initial business growth, implying that acquiring new skills is the first step to financial success.

Beyond Skills: Character Traits and Attributes

  • Speaker B points out that after acquiring skills, the focus should shift to developing character traits and attributes.
  • Focus and patience are identified as key attributes that need to be cultivated.
  • The ability to say no and stay focused is crucial as more opportunities arise with success.

"Businesses do not die from starvation. They don't die from not having enough. They die because the entrepreneur takes on too much."

This quote underscores the danger of losing focus and taking on too much, which can be detrimental to a business.

Leadership and Character Traits

  • Leadership is not just a skill but a collection of inspirational character traits.
  • Leaders must embody traits that others aspire to in order to effectively lead.
  • Speaker B differentiates between skills and character traits, both of which are necessary for leadership.

"Leadership, a lot of times, is acquiring a number of inspirational character traits that other people will look up to you for so that they're willing to follow you."

Speaker B explains that leadership extends beyond skills and is deeply rooted in the character traits that inspire others to follow.

Self-Reflection and Belief Sets

  • Speaker B challenges the belief set of blaming others, such as employees, for one's own shortcomings.
  • Self-awareness and reflection are essential for personal growth and leadership.
  • The discussion implies that one must also assess and improve their own character traits to succeed.

"Some of you are curious and are like, man, I can't get through. No one wants, like, my employees don't listen to me. My employees suck. They're stupid, blah, blah, blah. Terrible belief set, by the way."

Speaker B criticizes a negative belief set that blames others, highlighting the importance of self-reflection in overcoming personal and professional barriers.

Acquisition of Tactical Skills

  • Tactical skills are necessary for specific tasks such as writing copy, creating funnels, and nurturing leads.
  • Initially, learning a variety of skills is crucial for foundational development.
  • Skills need to be stacked together to create overarching abilities like generating leads or making sales.

I need to learn how to write copy. I need to have it creative. I need to have headlines. I need to know how to create a funnel, need how to get people to opt in. This quote illustrates the need to acquire specific tactical skills for successful marketing and sales strategies.

Development of Character Traits

  • Focus and consistency are character traits, not skills.
  • These traits are essential for the consistent execution of acquired skills.
  • Patience typically develops alongside focus and consistency, leading to desired outcomes.
  • Higher levels of performance in sales or lead generation require consistent execution, a character trait.

Consistency is not a skill, it's a character trait, right. A lot of people don't have that character trait associated with actions and the skills than you do in business, right? The speaker emphasizes that consistency is a character trait vital to business success, not merely a skill one can learn.

Skill Set Expansion and Stacking

  • Generating leads is an overarching skill set comprised of multiple smaller skills.
  • Skills such as building rapport, managing energy, and creating scarcity are necessary for sales.
  • Breaking beliefs around pricing and money are also part of the skill set for a successful closer.

Because it's like, okay, I learned how to write copy, but I still don't have leads, right? Because there's more skills that need to get stacked together to create the overarching skill, which is generating leads, right? This quote underlines the necessity of combining various skills to achieve broader, more complex abilities like lead generation.

Bridging the Skill Gap

  • Learning numerous skills is compared to building a bridge across a barrier to achieve financial flow.
  • Initially, one might need to learn many skills to earn their first dollar.
  • Once the flow of money begins, the focus shifts from patching holes to deepening skills.

You might need to learn 30, 50 skills to actually make the first dollar go all the way across the bridge, and then the next one follows after that. The speaker analogizes the process of learning multiple skills to constructing a bridge that allows financial success to begin flowing.

Deepening Skills

  • After acquiring a variety of skills, the next step is to deepen those skills.
  • Deepening skills involves moving from minimum proficiency to mastery.
  • Mastery is achieved through consistent execution and repetition, requiring focus and determination.

And then after that, you're deepening the skills, right? You're getting better at those skills. The speaker stresses the importance of enhancing skills beyond initial proficiency to achieve greater competence and results.

Continuous Improvement and Mastery

  • Mastery is not about checking off a skill but continually improving it.
  • There is a minimum proficiency required to start, but true mastery involves digging deeper.
  • Amplification of skills comes from diving deep and consistent practice, supported by character traits like determination.

It's not like you check the box and say, I know how to write headlines. Well, gee whiz, you can get better at writing headlines. You can get better at writing copy. This quote conveys that the learning process is ongoing and that one can always improve upon their skills, moving from basic understanding to expertise.

Avoiding Distractions

  • As one advances, the temptation to pursue new opportunities increases.
  • Staying focused and not being distracted by "shiny objects" is crucial for deepening mastery.
  • The character traits of focus and consistency help resist the lure of new, potentially distracting ventures.

And typically, that comes through consistent execution and repetition, which means that it takes the character traits of focus and determination and drive and being able to be consistent and not go away and start looking at shiny objects. The speaker highlights that focus and determination are essential to resist distractions and commit to deepening one's skills through repetition.

Discipline and Opportunity

  • Opportunity can seem more attractive as you progress in your career or business.
  • Discipline is needed to say no to certain opportunities, especially when starting out.
  • As success grows, the need for discipline increases due to more attractive opportunities.

And the thing is that the higher up you go, the more of a ten she becomes.

This quote illustrates the concept that as one advances in their career, opportunities become more tempting and harder to turn down, emphasizing the need for greater discipline.

And I had to develop that discipline.

The speaker acknowledges the importance of developing discipline to resist certain opportunities in the early stages of their business.

Strategic Focus and Timing

  • The speaker delayed starting a supplement company until after establishing their gym business.
  • Strategic focus and timing were crucial for the business's explosive growth.
  • Hindsight leaves the speaker questioning whether they should have remained even more focused on their primary business.

One of the biggest successful things I did was not start the supplement company until year and a half, after almost two years after Jim launch started.

This quote highlights the strategic decision to delay the launch of a new venture, which contributed to the success of the existing business.

Now, big picture, I don't know if I would have done it again.

The speaker reflects on their decision and expresses uncertainty about whether they would make the same choice again, suggesting that continuous focus on the initial business might have been better.

Skill Development and Proficiency

  • Becoming proficient in necessary skills is the first step to success.
  • Proficiency in skills does not require expert-level knowledge but does require some effort and discomfort.
  • Real-world experience often teaches more than theoretical learning.

You don't have to be an expert at running traffic. You just need to be able to actually know how to run an ad.

This quote emphasizes that proficiency, not expertise, is required for certain skills, which can be quickly learned through readily available resources.

You learn more in your first 20 sales than you do in the first 20 hours of learning about sales stuff.

The speaker suggests that practical experience provides more valuable learning than theoretical study, emphasizing the importance of hands-on practice.

Grit and Perseverance

  • Repetition and resilience are necessary to deepen skills and reach higher levels of success.
  • Character traits, such as the ability to stay the course, become increasingly important as one progresses.
  • The concept of "grit" is crucial for long-term success and involves sticking with a path despite challenges.

The biggest thing in the book by Angela Duckworth called Grit, which is really interesting, is that the people who are most successful in life just stick with it.

This quote references Angela Duckworth's book on "grit" and underscores the importance of perseverance in achieving success.

So it's how likely are you to abandon a certain path to pursue another thing, right?

The speaker questions the tendency to switch paths, indicating that success often comes from dedication to a single path rather than frequently changing directions.

Focus and Specialization in Business

  • Success requires choosing a specific area to concentrate on rather than spreading oneself too thin across multiple ventures.
  • The concept of being a billion-dollar business in a single domain rather than multiple domains is emphasized as a strategic approach.
  • The fallacy of multitasking in entrepreneurship is debunked, highlighting that fewer focused efforts lead to greater success.
  • The importance of deepening skills and the character traits required for such focus, like patience and the ability to say no, are discussed.
  • Speaker B uses the analogy of fitness to explain the concept of minimum effective dose and the effort required to break through to new levels of proficiency.

"You can be successful at anything you want, just not everything you want."

This quote encapsulates the central idea that success comes from concentrated efforts in one area rather than trying to achieve it in multiple areas simultaneously.

"Each one of those businesses can be a billion dollar business. You can be a billion dollar roofing company, you can be a billion dollar flipping homes company, you can be a billion dollar general contractor."

Speaker B illustrates the potential of focusing on a single business to reach the billion-dollar mark, suggesting that each business has the capacity to reach that level of success independently.

"I need to do fewer things to get to where I want to go."

This quote highlights the counterintuitive strategy that doing less, rather than more, is often the more effective path to achieving one's goals.

Skill Development and Character Traits

  • The process of developing and amplifying skills is likened to muscle growth in fitness, with a focus on the effort required to not just maintain but to improve.
  • Speaker B discusses the concept of the minimum effective dose in skill development and the gap between maintenance and growth.
  • The relationship between income level and skill set is used as an indicator of whether one is progressing or stagnating.
  • The transition from focusing on skills to focusing on character traits as one advances is explained.
  • The skill of restraint and the importance of removing constraints to progress is emphasized.

"And so once you acquire the skill set, once you become proficient, then you amplify the skills that you have by deepening them."

Speaker B stresses the importance of not just acquiring skills but also amplifying and deepening them to reach higher levels of proficiency.

"The amount of effort that it takes to maintain muscle versus the amount of effort it takes to make muscle as you become more advanced, dramatically increases."

The quote draws a parallel between the increased effort needed to advance in fitness and the effort required to advance skill levels beyond maintenance.

"If your level of income has stayed the same for a period of years, that means your skill set has stayed the same."

Speaker B uses income level as a tangible measure of skill development, implying that a lack of income growth indicates a need for skill enhancement and character development.

"And sometimes the skill itself is to not do other things."

This quote highlights that sometimes the most important skill is the ability to focus and avoid distractions, which is a key factor in advancing to the next level of success.

Encouragement and Engagement

  • Speaker B encourages the audience to reflect on the ideas presented and to engage with the content by commenting or sharing.
  • The speaker signs off with well-wishes and a reminder to continue striving for greatness.

"So I hope that makes sense for you. I hope you enjoyed that."

Speaker B expresses a desire for the audience to find value and clarity in the discussion, indicating the aim of the content is to be both insightful and enjoyable.

"If you did like this and you're listening on the podcast, drop a comment. Drop a like. If you think someone else should listen to it, tag them."

This quote is a call to action for listeners to interact with the podcast by liking, commenting, and sharing the content with others who might benefit from it.

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