The Five Levels of Mastery

A jack of all trades is a master of none, so the saying goes. One thing that nobody likes to hear – success takes TIME. Success demands mastery of your skills. Success is a continuous process of growth. The following five levels of mastery will help you understand where you are, and where you need to go to achieve excellence.

Level 1 – Unconscious Incompetence

  • You don’t know how bad you are.
  • Example: You see someone snowboarding at an expert level and think you can do what they’re doing because they made it look easy. To your surprise, you will probably find yourself on your bottom most of the day. Sometimes you see the Level 5, and don’t realize that it takes more than enthusiasm, you need skill.
  • Most people quit at this level once their enthusiasm is gone.
  • This is where you need to follow, DO NOT try to re-invent. Maintaining enthusiasm and a positive attitude is necessary to move to the next step.

Level 2 – Conscious Incompetence

  • The pain of not getting results is bigger than the pain of you adjusting and growing.
  • Look in the mirror and realize that there is a lot of room for growth. This is the stage where you need to proactively seek out guidance, ask a lot of questions!

Level 3 – Conscious Competent

  • At this level you’re becoming better, but you still must think about the steps you are performing.
  • You will be here the longest as you learn a craft.
  • Patience and repetition is key at this level.

Level 4 – Unconscious Competent

  • You start putting in more productivity because muscle memory starts taking over. Your business becomes fun and you know what to do.
  • At this level you’ll start gaining traction and seeing results.
  • Confidence increases because you see your success building.

Level 5 – Unconscious Mastery

  • Confidence in every piece of knowledge of your industry.
  • This is where you start to see 7+ figures of income because it pays to be a master of any industry. At this level, everything you do is for fun because you want to be better, not because you need to be better.
  • This is where you can start to give back.

Questions to Ask Yourself:

What level am I at?
You have to be honest with yourself. Check your ego at the door. If you’re at level 1, remember that this is where EVERYONE starts. Don’t kid yourself! It’s possible to be at different levels with different skills within your industry.

What level do people that I coach reach?
This is important for you to note as you go to level 4 and 5, as to identify the quality of leader you are. Don’t try to coach too early. It will hinder your credibility and you should wait until Level 4.

Just because you are getting results, doesn’t mean you have advanced a level. Sometimes the market can trick you or you are putting more hours in, which can lead you to believe that you are at a higher level of mastery. In reality, there may be several factors that are working out in your favor to help you achieve results, even though you haven’t moved up a level in skill. Also, just because you are not getting results, doesn’t mean you are not progressing your skillset. Don’t let results dictate where you believe you are on that scale.

Keys to Making it to the Next Level:

  • REPETITION of the right skills – don’t repeat bad habits!
  • MENTORSHIP – You can get this from association, business events, reading, etc. Seek out a mentor who can help you grow.
  • BE PATIENT – Remember, success does not come over night. Don’t compare yourself to others, focus on YOUR progress. Everyone’s journey is different.  If you stay focused on your track, you WILL achieve mastery.

Everyone has setbacks no matter where they are in their journey but the difference between those who are successful and those who are not is PERSEVERANCE! Be HUNGRY. Put in the work. DON’T be a jack of all trades and master of none.

Work Hard, Rest Hard

How much time have you already wasted today? Contrary to the majority of self-help philosophies out there, I am here to tell you one of the main reasons we are unproductive during our working hours is because we are not resting during our resting hours. We are always “on.” We don’t truly “unplug” and therefore we can never truly “plug-in.” Sound familiar? Rest is the missing element of work, and the least talked about in this space today.

In the content below, rather than detailing why rest is a critical part of your working rhythm, we are going to explain how to get better rest by identifying areas that promote rest and those that inhibit it. Most of your best rest will be directly linked to the elimination of the inhibitors below. And yes…you can thank us later.

First, here are some simple practices to promote rest:

  1. Disconnect from media, especially social media…give yourself a break from your screen!
  2. Schedule in some much-needed SILENCE. Who knew?! Meditation apps such as “HeadSpace” work wonders.
  3. Set appropriate boundaries – we’ll go into more detail about this one below.
  4. Rest according to your personality. Do you like to be alone or with others to recharge?
  5. Be one with nature! Did you know being outdoors actually has science-backed health benefits?
  6. Take your sleep seriously! Make those hours count! Your room should be like a “sleep chamber” when you are ready to get some serious zzz’s.

Rest Inhibitors and How to Avoid Them:

Time wasters – we all know’em…YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, you name it.

Every alert on your phone, every viral video your friends send you, every minute you spend swooning over your friends new baby-in-a-pretty-headband pictures…even though you don’t even want babies yet (or is that just me?)…there are a million distractions in your life. It’s time to get serious, because they are stealing your future.

How to fix it

  • Eliminate Non-Essential Notifications
  • Utilize the “Do Not Disturb” Setting
  • Schedule Time Blocks for People and Activities
  • Put a Limit on Your Social Media or Other Non-Essential App Usage …and stick to it!
  • Delete Non-Essential Apps – Either Temporarily or Permanently
  • Make Time Wasters Difficult to Use…unplug the tv, delete YouTube off your phone, download website blocker plug-ins for your browser, etc.

Artificial Boundaries
Has anyone ever pushed your buttons? What does that even mean anyway? It means, that someone has overstepped your perceived boundaries.

Boundaries are barriers we put up in front of ourselves to guard our time, our energy, our emotions, our physical space – basically, our life. Most people don’t put up boundaries correctly when dealing with other people and too often find themselves overcommitting. Does that sound like you?  A proper boundary is a barrier with the door nob on the inside – so YOU are the one that determines when you open the door and when you close it. An improper boundary looks like a barrier with the door nob on the outside, where certain people can just open that door and walk right through without your permission. Many people react by putting up walls, but the problem with that is no one gets in and no one gets out! Putting up walls is not effective or efficient for growth, even if it provides temporary comfort.

How to fix it:

This could be an entirely separate blog post, but the main premise to become aware of is to know what your boundaries are in every situation. Then you must be aware of which side of the barrier the door handle is on, and ALWAYS make sure you are in control.

For more information on boundaries, check out The Art of Saying No by Damon Zahariades or Boundaries by Henry Cloud.

How much time have you already wasted today? Procrastination comes in many forms – distractions, interruptions, focusing on non-priorities, and so much more. We have all dealt with procrastination in one form or another. What if I told you this was more of a coping mechanism rather than laziness? When we are faced with difficulty, we tend to let procrastination get the best of us.

Procrastination is a snowball.

It pushes our work down the road until we reach a snowball where we are overwhelmed and under-motivated. This is what inhibits rest the most. And that is why it’s a cycle.

When you procrastinate and don’t get your work done during your “work time” you end up having to do work during “rest time.” Your “me” time. It’s time to interrupt this pattern and stop the cycle!

How to fix it:

GET CLARITY. First, become aware that you are procrastinating. Next, ask yourself what you are avoiding and why. Then, ask yourself why you should face it and what would happen if you don’t. Then, TAKE ACTION! Pick one, very small action you can take to tackle your task ahead. This can break the procrastination cycle.

For more tips on how to improve your rest, check out The Perfect Day Formula by Craig Ballantyne.