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"Build Your High Ground" & "Grow What You Know"

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Andy Black

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“Build your high ground”.

I’ve 15 years of IT, and 10 years of Google Ads. I stack one skill on top of the other and use my IT skills to build and analyse large and intricate Google Ads campaigns.


“Grow what you know.”

If you’re going to do something in addition to your current business, then make it another leg for the same stool, not a different stool entirely.


Like many of you I like variety and can suffer from shiny object syndrome. I try to leverage my natural tendencies rather than fight them.

I have clients, and this gives a lot of variety. Client services is my Done-For-You (DFY) offering.

I have a course and a paid email newsletter too. These are my DIY offerings.

I can produce the offerings for the DIY market because I’m *doing the work* for the DFY market. I’m a practitioner.

I’m told I’m good at simplifying things and good in front of camera. It therefore makes sense to figure out how to sell my video course via YouTube - especially since YouTube is another search engine and YouTube ads are a form of Google Ads.

Maybe I get good enough to offer YouTube ads as a premium service too? (I already have a few Google Ads clients asking for the occasional YouTube campaigns.)


See how I’m doing many different and new things, but stacking them all on top of each other, or adding new legs to the same stool?


How can you stack your skills and experience?

What other legs can you add to the same stool?

How can you build a high ground and not keep starting from the bottom?
 

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Timmy C

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Stack your skills and experience to build your high ground. I’ve 15 years of IT, and 10 years of hardcore Google Ads. I stack one skill on top of the other and use my IT skills to build large Google Ads campaigns.

“Grow what you know.” If you’re going to do something in addition to your current business, then make it another leg for the same stool, not a completely different stool altogether.

I have clients, and this gives a lot of variety. This is my DFY offering.

I have a course and a paid email newsletter too. These are my DIY offerings.

I can produce the course for DIY market because I’m doing the work for my DFY market.

I’m apparently good at simplifying things and good in front of camera. It makes sense to figure out how to use YouTube to sell my video course. Especially since YouTube is another search engine and I can run Google Ads to videos on YouTube.

Maybe I learn enough to offer YouTube ads as a service too?

See how I’m doing many different and new things, but stacking them all on top of each other, or building new legs to the same stool?

How can you stack your skills and experience?

What other legs can you build for the same stool?

How can you build a high ground and not keep starting from the bottom?
If the rep button was still here I'd send you some for sure. I get what you mean!

Sell cooking courses and classes online, then buy a food blog or something making money from AdSense etc and then direct traffic to my courses / monetising the same people more than once.

Great strategy!
 

Madame Peccato

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Yes!

I have been observing through LinkedIn and more in general people who have a business / freelance expand upon their skills this way.

I'm going to give a concrete example.

I know a woman who is a freelance translator, and freelance translators often rely on CAT(Computer Aided Translation) tools (no, it's not Google Translate) to do their work quickly and efficiently. The premium CAT tool for translators is SDL Trados Studio, so she made a course teaching how to use it and uploaded it toUdemy.

I've seen other people write e-books on "how to start a freelance translation business" or offer training / blog posts etc.

You can easily provide training for specific facets of what you do (either through a course or through YouTube, or both), this proves competency and positions you as an expert, and will also get you some extra clients, aside from the courses' sales.

Alternatively, if you are a good translator, technically you are a good proofreader as well, so you can add that as a service to your offerings. The same goes for a lot of other skills.

Basically don't use a skill and then only perform the "work" that relies on that skill.
 
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Yes!

I have been observing through LinkedIn and more in general people who have a business / freelance expand upon their skills this way.

I'm going to give a concrete example.

I know a woman who is a freelance translator, and freelance translators often rely on CAT(Computer Aided Translation) tools (no, it's not Google Translate) to do their work quickly and efficiently. The premium CAT tool for translators is SDL Trados Studio, so she made a course teaching how to use it and uploaded it toUdemy.

I've seen other people write e-books on "how to start a freelance translation business" or offer training / blog posts etc.

You can easily provide training for specific facets of what you do (either through a course or through YouTube, or both), this proves competency and positions you as an expert, and will also get you some extra clients, aside from the courses' sales.

Alternatively, if you are a good translator, technically you are a good proofreader as well, so you can add that as a service to your offerings. The same goes for a lot of other skills.

Basically don't use a skill and then only perform the "work" that relies on that skill.
Yeah.

Learn a skill. Sell that skill. Scale that skill.

Or put another couple of ways:
  • Become a practitioner. Become a salesman. Become a business owner.
  • Get good enough at something to help people. Get paid to do it. Build a business around it.


As per:


One of my learnings moving from practitioner to salesman to business owner is that you don't have to vacate the previous positions. I think it's ok to wear all hats, and that there's advantages to being able to do the work, sell, and build the business. Yes, we can be trapped at the coal-face and not grow the business - but that problem is just one of the stepping stones in the journey, and there's more than one way to solve it.
 

Almantas

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“Build your high ground”.

I’ve 15 years of IT, and 10 years of Google Ads. I stack one skill on top of the other and use my IT skills to build and analyse large and intricate Google Ads campaigns.


“Grow what you know.”

If you’re going to do something in addition to your current business, then make it another leg for the same stool, not a different stool entirely.


Like many of you I like variety and can suffer from shiny object syndrome. I try to leverage my natural tendencies rather than fight them.

I have clients, and this gives a lot of variety. Client services is my Done-For-You (DFY) offering.

I have a course and a paid email newsletter too. These are my DIY offerings.

I can produce the offerings for the DIY market because I’m *doing the work* for the DFY market. I’m a practitioner.

I’m told I’m good at simplifying things and good in front of camera. It therefore makes sense to figure out how to sell my video course via YouTube - especially since YouTube is another search engine and YouTube ads are a form of Google Ads.

Maybe I get good enough to offer YouTube ads as a premium service too? (I already have a few Google Ads clients asking for the occasional YouTube campaigns.)


See how I’m doing many different and new things, but stacking them all on top of each other, or building new legs to the same stool?


How can you stack your skills and experience?

What other legs can you build for the same stool?

How can you build a high ground and not keep starting from the bottom?
Thanks for your wisdom bomb, Andy!

This came at the perfect time for me. I am presently engaged in various projects: writing academic projects (yes, unethical I know, but have to build investment bank somehow), CVs along with Cover Letters and LinkedIn projects, building websites using Wix (I excel when it comes to content writing) and building another business, lol.

Deep down I am aware that I have no strategy whatsoever and it's too tempting to turn down offers from people with cash in hand. Have no solution for this, but would love to concentrate on 1 key skill and master it - for example, marketing. My focus is still all over the place.

Thanks for your support and presence here. Hopefully we can arrange a coffee meet in near future if you are still up for it.
 

Nicoknowsbest

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Thanks for posting this @Andy Black, brilliant!

As it came for @Almantas at the right time, so it did for me. I am currently cleaning out my business basement, looking for a new focus. I am also looking at a variety of skills and jobs completed over the last three years, which makes it hard to find a new focus/direction to go with and stack the chips in my favor.

This definitely helps big time!
Thanks :)
 

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make it another leg for the same stool, not a different stool entirely.
not keep starting from the bottom
Good reminder, Andy. It's similar to development, you want to build your tech stack so that they somehow relate to one another. I don't remember where I read or listened to, but a couple of days ago, I heard someone say people who are developers now will have certain skills... then go and learn something like machine learning or artificial intelligence or even augmented reality. Sure those may be useful, but it's completely different from their foundation and thus they're just starting something else entirely.

Keep building pillars for the same building! Don't start one building, add a couple of pillars and then all of a sudden start adding the roof for another building.
 

Almantas

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Thanks for posting this @Andy Black, brilliant!

As it came for @Almantas at the right time, so it did for me. I am currently cleaning out my business basement, looking for a new focus. I am also looking at a variety of skills and jobs completed over the last three years, which makes it hard to find a new focus/direction to go with and stack the chips in my favor.

This definitely helps big time!
Thanks :)
Let me know when you find the right path. I promise to do the same, lol.
 

srodrigo

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Thanks for the insights, I love the practitioner -> salesman -> businessman transition.

It's difficult to stick to "your stool". I'm right know making a mobile app and can't resist the urge of learning more about design, even if my main skill is coding. I've seen this working before (NOTABLE! - Path to creating a digital product) but still feels like a leg of a different stool.
 
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Andy Black

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Thanks for the insights, I love the practitioner -> salesman -> businessman transition.

It's difficult to stick to "your stool". I'm right know making a mobile app and can't resist the urge of learning more about design, even if my main skill is coding. I've seen this working before (NOTABLE! - Path to creating a digital product) but still feels like a leg of a different stool.
What a coincidence. I’ve literally just sent this message to a techie friend who’s asking how to stay focused:


You’re a technical person. It’s one of your strengths, and one of your weaknesses.

You’ve plenty enough skills that people would hire or that you can use to build things people would pay for.

We all have technical skills, but without sales they’re just hobbies.

Focus on selling what you can already do. No more “building stuff” unless it’s a client you’re building it for.

Sales is uncomfortable for techies which is why so many avoid it and spend their time learning new skills and building more things.

Focus on getting to €1k MRR selling one thing?

Focus on sales?
 

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srodrigo

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What a coincidence. I’ve literally just sent this message to a techie friend who’s asking how to stay focused:


You’re a technical person. It’s one of your strengths, and one of your weaknesses.

You’ve plenty enough skills that people would hire or that you can use to build things people would pay for.

We all have technical skills, but without sales they’re just hobbies.

Focus on selling what you can already do. No more “building stuff” unless it’s a client you’re building it for.

Sales is uncomfortable for techies which is why so many avoid it and stick to learning new skills and building more things.

Focus on getting to €1k MRR selling on thing?

Focus on sales?
Good point. I was actually listening to this TMBA418: The Services Problem and started to think that, as I'm not that interested in services, but on products instead, marketing is the skill I should go after. I actually tried in the past (started reading "Digital Marketing for Dummies", but was one of those books I can't read as much as I try, dry to death), I should probably go back into it (I'm intrigued about the topic anyway).
 
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Andy Black

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Good point. I was actually listening to this TMBA418: The Services Problem and started to think that, as I'm not that interested in services, but on products instead, marketing is the skill I should go after. I actually tried in the past (started reading "Digital Marketing for Dummies", but was one of those books I can't read as much as I try, dry to death), I should probably go back into it (I'm intrigued about the topic anyway).
Work your way through my Google Ads posts and @eliquid ‘s thread.
 

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Andy Black

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srodrigo

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Yep. That’s the one.

Now then. Your goal isn’t to “learn”. It’s to help people.
Difficult to do when learning is my main hobby ;) but I'll do my best.
 
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Andy Black

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Difficult to do when learning is my main hobby ;) but I'll do my best.
It’s ok to have hobbies.

Just remember:
Hobby = Unpaid
 
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