5 Expert Lessons You Won't Learn From Reading

Updated: November 27, 2013

Joel Runyon

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This post is by Joel Runyon of IMPOSSIBLE.

Here at Expert Enough, there’s a ton of information. And reading is great - it’s like a shortcut for skill building. But there are some things in business and life you simply can’t learn by reading.

Here are five expert lessons you’ll never learn from reading.

1. How To Sell

If you launch your first product, and it’s a smashing success, congrats.

If you’re like most, there will be a couple of stumbles. You’ll realize your messaging is too “you-centric”, or it doesn’t fit with your audience. Maybe it doesn’t communicate how your product solves your audience’s problem.

If you’re selling something in person, you can go to all the sales seminars in the world (and watch all the best door-to-door salesmen in the world), but, until you get out there, and have to demonstrate value, and ask for a sale, you won’t learn how to figure out what resonates with people and what doesn’t.

You have to put yourself out there.

2. How To Quit Your Job

You can read a billion posts on quitting your job (James Altucher has a good one here) but, until you actually quit your job, you won’t know what it feels like.

You have to do this yourself to understand.

The best advice: Walk in. Stay calm. Have a good reason. Have a transition plan, but be prepared to leave.

As tempting as it can be to do the glorified storming-out-of-the-office-Avicii-style-quit, it’s much better to leave calmly, and on good terms with everyone, than it is to go out in a blaze of glory.

And, as scary as it seems now, once you’ve quit a job two to three times, it’ll be much, much easier. Trust me. :)

3. How To Write

Countless people write about writing. It’s the most meta thing ever.

Unfortunately, while reading is all well and good, the only way to become a better writer is to write.

Stop procrastinating, and get started. Writing is an absolutely essential method of communication if you’re running any sort of business (and even more so if the business you’re running is a publishing business).

Stop wasting time. Get the basics down. Set up a blog. Choose a topic (it doesn’t matter what the topic is: the paleo diet, WordPress themes, or even rooftop bars), and then just start writing. Don’t believe the lies your head tells you about writing.

Writers write, so put your head down, and get after it.

4. How To Say “No”



As you start doing more and more things, you’ll find people will come crawling out of the woodwork to ask favors of you.

If you’re a nice person, you’ll tend to say “yes” because you want to help them out. However, as more and more people do this, you’ll find it slowly becomes a suck on your most important work.

That’s when you need to learn to say “no”.

“No” is one of the most important words you can learn how to say (convincingly). If you don’t learn to do this, you’ll find yourself slowly spending all your time doing things other people have asked you to do, not the things you decide to do.

It’s two simple letters, but the ability to detach yourself from the obligations of others, and to focus on the things you know you have to do yourself, is what will allow you to make the decisions that will move the needle in your business.

5. How To Pick Yourself Back Up

At some point down the road, you’re going to get knocked down. You’ll be rejected by a publisher, your guest post will be turned down, you’ll launch a product that flops, or you’ll get knocked down in the rankings at Google.

At that point, you get to make a choice.

You can give up, and go home, or you can pick yourself up, and keep on trucking. Unfortunately, almost every entrepreneur has several of these experiences under their belt, and, while you can learn from them, nothing will quite prepare you for when it happens to you.

You’ll have to figure out how to pick yourself back up, and keep going.

Unfortunately, you can only learn so much about these things by reading.

The best learning for this is done in the real world, so jump in, get your hands dirty, and get ready to become an expert.


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