Work Less, Learn More, Earn More

                                 Reading “Good to Great” on a slow boat in Laos

                                Reading “Good to Great” on a slow boat in Laos

Something I Wish I Could Tell My Younger Self

If there’s one thing I wish I could tell my younger self, it’s this:

Work Less, Learn More, Earn More

When I say learn more, I’m not talking about traditional school education. I went through that, like most people in North America. And I’m not denying its usefulness for general knowledge.

I’m also not talking about university, because I actually dropped out a few years in, mostly for the fact that I wasn’t learning the way I needed to learn.

But what I’m talking about is two things: 1. learning to learn, and 2. learning new skills.

Whenever I talk to people 5–10 years younger than I who’ve learned valuable skills I recently learned, I can’t help but think that I wish someone would have told me to invest in my self-development earlier.

People who have been useful to my self-education for the past year or so are, in the order I’ve been exposed to: Tai LopezNicolas ColeZdravko Cvijeticand Michael Simmons.

Since I had dropped out of university about 9 years ago now, I focused on building my own startups, and growing in small startups. I learned so many incredible lessons working in all these high-stress, thriving environments.

But there’s one thing I failed to do: spend some time on my personal development.

Instead of working 12 hours per day every day, I wish I would have spent 2 of those hours on personal development. Learning to learn, storytelling, public speaking, writing, reading, drawing, playing an instrument, learning a new language, etc. Something. Anything.

Having specialized knowledge and working hard is overrated.

Somehow, even though when I was in the position of hiring people, I knew that I was hiring for “personality”, not “talent” or “mad skills”, I never thought to spend time working on mine.

Michael Simmons says that the future belongs to polymaths and I believe him. And you don’t become a polymath if you stop educating yourself after school, or when in the workforce. You become a polymath by continuously learning new skills, working different parts of your brain.

Back in September 2017, I had started to use 1 hour and 30 minutes of my morning time, right after waking up, to learn 3 new skills. 30 minutes for each skill, every morning, for a month. That’s 15 hours each.

Turns out that was probably the single best decision I could have taken for myself and my career.

Imagine.

I’ve learned about 21 new skills since then. I’ve released a book (other coming soon), a video game, an online store, started two businesses and now there’s no stopping me.

“The future belongs to those who learn more skills and combine them in creative ways.” ― Robert Greene, Mastery

Robert Greene and Michael Simmons are not wrong. At least not in my personal experience.

I certainly am not old now, but I could have “saved” 5–10 years of my life if I had known to work less and learn more. I would have earned more, faster if I had learned more, faster.

So whatever you do, never stop learning, ideally a diverse set of skills. You will be happier, earn more, and more importantly, be a better person, for yourself and your loved ones.

You can do this!

Thanks for reading and sharing! :)

First published here: https://medium.com/@danny_forest/work-less-learn-more-earn-more-fbdded93b5d