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I strongly believe that - you, are the product that you are building over your lifetime.
That, all the ventures that we create, the products we build, the phases we go through are all part of the process to build features in us (or refine existing ones) so that we end up as a better product over time.
Part of that Product is also about the utility value that we provide. And utility value is derived out of the craft that we possess.
The word "craft" isn't something we talk about much these days - in the era of skills and fast learning (and unlearning). It is a word that I find fascinating - Craft, and the dedication to it.
Ask yourself : What is your craft?
You go from being a professional to a practitioner. But you cannot become a craftsman (or woman), unless you start having a level 3 understanding of what you practice. Getting to level 4, takes dedication.
The question I get asked often is, how do I get started?
One of the ways to get started in a craft is to learn through re-creation. Create a replica.
Take something that is a masterpiece and try to recreate it. Chances are that in the first go, if you have the skills needed, you will create something that has a 60-70% resemblance to the masterpiece.
In the second go, you will get something that will seem 75-80% similar. The closer, you get to the masterpiece, you will realise that the learning curve gets steeper. The closer you look, is when the fine details start revealing itself and the elegance of the craft unveils. That's when the masterclass has begun.
When you are re-creating masterpieces, you start with the what and the how. The learning is when you can understand the why.
Masterpieces are not created in the time it took the craftsman, but the years of training it went into honing the skill set in the first place. That is what commands the premium.
So before you start becoming "commercial", learn your craft.
Know who the greats in your space are, take something that they created and try to replicate it - you don't have to share it with the world. But work on it as a project.
Learning by Imitating outcome, is a fundamental way that we hone our craft. If you are diligent in your effort, you will - over time - get to the point of being able to create something very close to (but not quite) to the work of the masters. And this process will take time - months, if not years. But that is the most valuable investment you can make in yourself, if you want to, at some point, create a masterpiece.
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If you are an aspiring entrepreneur looking for opportunity spaces - or you are an entrepreneur who has tried a few things, but want to perhaps step back and want to see the big picture and the opportunity spaces, check out BlackBook Ideas. There are a little over 20 odd opportunities elaborated - that covers the span of sectors like Non-Profits, Education, healthcare, retail, media and startups so far. I write a new post every friday.
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