The Art of Mastering Your Craft

We’ve been told since adolescence to try a lot of different activities, sports, and hobbies.  This is important because ultimately it will determine what we love and what we don’t. 

Obviously, kids are different and some will experiment more than others.

After finding out what you truly love, master that craft, whatever it may be. This typically happens in the teen years but at times can happen before or after.

 I’m a realist and understand that each individual has certain amounts of god given talent.  Not everyone can be a professional athlete, an Olympian or a world class musician.  I get that.

But it still begs the question; shouldn’t we try to master the skills to be the best we can be in the art of what we love?  That art can be cooking, basketball, selling, writing, engineering, or juggling. 

It’s important to have a belief in unlimited capability – the belief that you do or learn something as well or better than anyone else on the planet.

What does it take to be successful?

It can simply be defined as people that have mastered their craft.  This provides great control in your life as no one can take it away from you.  You own it because you’ve spent the time and dedication to mastering what you love.

I ask a sales person how many books they’ve read in their free time – if the number is in the double digits annually, odds are they’re good at what they do.  They’re passionate about becoming the best.

My 9 year old son, Matthew believes he will play for the Boston Celtics some day.  He really believes this and every day he goes out to the drive way and practices.  He shoots hundreds of free throws, works on defense and goes through drills on dribbling & passing.  He is absolutely dedicated.

I love that about him.  He believes.

Some people will say that as a parent, I should explain that very few players ever make it to the professional ranks.  I suppose there is some truth to that but I want him to think he can do anything.  He can achieve mastery over his craft.

Another example of mastery is Neil Peart, the drummer and lyricist for the Canadian rock band Rush.  Rush is the most successful rock band from Canada, having played together for over 30 years, and selling over 24 million records (USA).

Peart is known for his creative and extensive drum solos that audiences expect to see and are in complete awe of.  He has won so many drumming awards a number of industry magazines don’t even include him in the competitions anymore.  It is just assumed he is the best and would win – the real competition is for second place. 

Peart’s performance style was rooted in hard rock and that is how he played for many years as the #1 drummer in the world.  As time passed though, he began to emulate jazz and big band musicians. 

In 1994, Peart became a friend and student of jazz instructor, Freddie Gruber.  During his time with Freddie, Peart decided to completely revamp his playing style incorporating jazz and swing components. 

Neil Peart wanted to get better.  The number one drummer in the world wanted to get better.  That is complete mastery of your craft.

There are numerous examples out there of people that have mastered their craft….whatever it may be.  This really defines what success is all about.

What is your craft?  What did you do today to get closer to mastering it?

Greg McKinney is a respected sales leader and is nationally know as a speaker, sales coach and consultant.  He believes in helping others and serving the good of humanity.  His phenomenally popular website www.asksalescoach.com is a must see for all sales leaders, small business owners and sales professionals.

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