The World Doesn't Owe You (Intro to the Craftsman's Mindset)

In this episode I speak about what the 'Craftsman's Mindset' is and how it can help provide more career satisfaction than 'following your passion'. Following your passion is dangerous advice and needs to be taken as a grain of salt. To achieve true happiness in our careers we must truly be skilled in them and be so good that people cannot ignore us.

Listen along and learn more. (Including some actionable strategies you can use to become more 'Craftsman Like')


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Full Transcription Below

Ladies and Gentlemen, Hayden Wilson here for Learn Share Grow live. This is Episode 22 and today I’m going to talk all about what’s called the craftsman’s mindset.


Yesterday we talked about how following your passion may not be the best advice and I presented a few arguments there. Today I want to give you some advice around what’s called the craftsman’s mindset which is a different approach based around skill and value into the world. So yesterday when we talked about passion mindset it’s all about what can the world offer me. This is a selfish approach where you’re only really looking after yourself, you know, what can someone else do for me.


What I want you to develop is what’s called the craftsman’s mindset where you develop your career capital, which I’ll talk a more about in a later episode this week, but it’s basically skills based and value driven – what can you bring into the world to offer more value to other people, other parties and in turn, develop your own skills, your own income and your own career path that’s based around what you ultimately want to do and lead to career satisfaction.


So we’ve got these two: the passion mindset; and the craftsman’s mindset – what can the world offer me; what can I offer the world.


We’re going to concentrate on the craftsman’s mindset which has been proven to be a lot more career satisfaction driven. To develop this we need to have what’s called focussed practice. You know the term ‘practice, practice, practice’. We need to adhere to that, but not only just practising around the elements, we need focussed, uninterrupted practice where we are always challenging ourselves, and I’ve got the number on how much harder it should be than your current skills levels.


We also need to gain experience. Once we gain experience we can then gain confidence and that’s going to lead to a better outcome. The more we can delve into these experiences and really expose ourselves to all the different elements of our career and different pathways, that’s going to help us gain confidence which in turn helps us perform our tasks better.


The third thing we need to do when developing the craftsman’s mindset is to keep your goal of being so good they can’t ignore you. That’s a Steve Martin quote and is where a lot of this material comes from. There’s a book called ‘Be so good they can’t ignore you’ by Cal Newport – I definitely urge you to check it out. It’s a fantastic book and it speaks about a lot of this stuff that I’m sharing with you. So once we can develop that craftsman’s mindset, I’ve got a couple of action steps that you can use to start tracking and taking note on how all of this works and how it intertwines with becoming a craftsman.


The first thing you might like to do is start tracking your hours. If you have a goal of becoming proficient in a certain activity you need to be hitting targets and making sure that you are actually achieving what you set out to achieve and the best way to do this is to measure your results because you can’t manage what you don’t measure. What you could do is create a little spreadsheet, or perhaps even just tick it off in a diary and have what you goal is and what your task is, and then count how many hours did you perform in that given task this week or this month. That’s a really great way to go about tracking things and seeing where you’re at.


The second action step you can take is to ask how. How did someone else do it? It’s always good to emulate other people’s successes and then put your own spin on it because as I said yesterday, success leaves clues and the more that you can find people that have done what you want to do and reach out to them, and buy them a coffee, or buy their consulting time, the easier it’s going to be for you to take on their shortcuts and get to your career path quicker.


The third thing that you can do is push beyond your comfort zone and I talked about this earlier where I talked about a magic number. The number that statistics have proven is 4%. So you need to be 4% better or 4% challenged over what your current competency level is to become proficient at that. So just say you’re trying to learn guitar, you need to be trying to perform the guitar lessons at 4% quicker than what you would normally achieve at. This is the magic number to push you beyond what you’re actually capable of but not so far that you get stressed during the actual activity. So adhere to the 4% rule when you’re trying something else and obviously it’s a little bit hard to manage but the way you would judge it is ‘is this too easy, or is this too hard?’ If it’s too easy you need to ask yourself ‘why am I currently doing this?’ because doing easy things is the easy way out. We need to do harder things and activities that challenge us to actually grow and get out of that comfort zone.


So adhere to this, develop the craftsman’s mindset and you’re going to be astounded by the career success that you can start to feel, as opposed to simply following your dreams which, as I outlined, is bad advice, and I’m going to stick by that, so jump over to to see any previous episodes or if you’d like to know more information, email me . This has been Learn Share Grow live and I’ll catch you all tomorrow. Ciao.