Become awesome at [name a thing]

August 19, 2016
 

The practical guide — some thoughts, some ‘how to’ and my list.

This post is forceful end to a long procrastination and in part an overdue apology to a list of people I gave a lecture to and promised them to help out with resources and books I use and recommend.

It started out as just a list of books, blogs and websites. Then I got an idea:
I will write this awesome blog post about how you can educate yourself, evolve your skill via internet and grow by sharing in the community. And I will write it — tomorrow. That was almost six months ago. So, here goes…

Since I was much younger, and even now as I have a grasp on what I am doing, I perceived personal and business growth as a flight of stairs that you can climb up to a certain point. Then you’d come up to a stair that was so big that it was like a wall — and you had to grow to step on it.

How do you grow?

This part is so simple actually!
It’s not easy — it’s simple.

Start with doing what you love. Do it daily. If you truly enjoy it this step will be no problem at all. Next, start to consume content related to the thing you love doing. Blog posts are short and great little nuggets of wisdom that can benefit you in so many ways (ekkhhmmm!).

Read books.
BUT — I hate books. (I hear this one a lot from students).
Well, boo-hoo it sucks to be you. Stop your whining, GTFO of your comfort zone and do it. I read in one blog that a dude reads just 10 pages a day. 10 pages is not a lot and you can do it while on the toilet. In one year you will have 3500+ pages behind you. That’s a lot of books for someone who doesn’t like to read.

When I decided I wanted to become a good UX designer, and was also preparing for my first talk at Web Camp Conference in Zagreb “Your designers is not your slut” I had a cup of coffee with my friend Marko Dugonjić and he told me one simple thing:

Read one meter of books on the subject. One physical meter in length of books — and you will be good at it.

And you know what — it turned out to be true. I did it, and it felt like the scene from The Matrix when Neo learns Kung Fu. Who knew, books work!

 

I Know UX!

 

Participate in the community.
Sites like Meetup.com and Eventbrite.com are used by communities around the world to organise and manage events and gatherings around a certain topic. For example, if you are in Croatia — meet me at Web Designers Hrvatska meetup. You can start by just attending at first, meeting people from the same community and listening about their experiences.

Talk and create content.
Once you are familiar with the community don’t be shy about sharing with your peers or giving a talk about something you know. It could surprise you how much you will grow and learn more in the process. If talking is not your stronger suit you can write a blog or do a podcast and invite people to chime in and give you feedback or send it forward.

Be a constant.
I said this before; do what you love daily. That also goes for when you don’t feel like it. Some people say shit like “I don’t have my inspiration / creative juices today”. That’s just an excuse for being lazy.

Thing is — Creativity is a skill not a feeling. It needs to be honed and exercised daily. Grab a good cup of Coffee and just go at it! It’s your gym.

Money doesn’t grow on trees, but coffee does. And that’s almost the same thing!

I saw this video while writing this post — and it actually sums up perfectly what I was trying to convey with all this meandering. All the talent, books, meet-ups and talks won’t help if you don’t put in time and effort into your skill and evolve it continuously. It’s all on you.

So, about that list…

(it’s mostly for designers and people in IT industry, but you get the point)

Books:

Websites:

Apps/Misc.:

Quote of the day:

The elevator to success is out of order. You’ll have to use the stairs… one step at a time. — Joe Girard

Hey, thank you for reading! :)
I hope you enjoyed this read and you share it with your friends.
Help others enjoy this too, would mean a lot to me.

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