Master Your Craft

“Whatever your craft, be a master of it.” are words from Kid Rock. Mastering your chosen craft is one of the most important things a person can do to have fulfillment and success in their life. I spent a few years working as a tradesman. Learning a trade taught me some valuable skills that have proven to have value beyond what I understood at that time. The most significant lessons I learned was about workmanship and craftsmanship. The words workmanship and craftsmanship have been used interchangeably, but they are not the same thing as it relates to a craft. Workmanship has to do with the quality of the work produced. On the other hand, craftsmanship has to do with the skill of the artisan. So workmanship and craftsmanship are the primary elements of for mastery.

It is said that mastery is a continuous journey and a lifelong pursuit. In essence, it never ends because you should never be considered a master in your own eyes, but in the eyes of your peers and contemporaries. There are a few things that I have learned from some people I consider masters in my field. Zig Ziglar was an inspirational master speaker who once said: “I read 3 hours every day because it is my business.” Anthony Robbins is another I consider to be a master in the field as he has helped thousands and authored many books to help people to cultivate their decision making muscle. Lastly, Rev. Dr. H. Beecher Hicks is someone I consider to be a modern-day Picasso with the spoken word. I have witnessed him taking one word and in matter seconds develop the structure for an excellent dissertation. makes Ziglar, Robbins and Hicks masters? If you could talk to each of them, they would probably tell you the same elements.

#1 Spend Time Working On It

Your craft is like a bank account; you cannot withdraw anything if you didn’t put anything into it. Take the necessary time to work on your craft will pay long-term dividends. Tony Robbins tells the story how he would speak anywhere just so that he could develop faster than his contemporaries. When other inspirational speakers were doing ten engagements a year, he was doing 100. Can you see the vast difference in the possibility for growth through time and the volume of work? Putting time into your craft will always yield increase.

#2 Challenge Yourself


How do muscles get stronger? Muscles get stronger from challenging them to do more than usual. Dr. Hicks, tells the story of how he sat with other preachers and the discussed sermon development on a regular basis. You see, just being around people who share the same field can cause you to growth because of the influence of the interaction. Growth can happen quickly if the individuals are better than you in any way. All you have to figure out is why they are better or different. How do they approach tasks as opposed to your approach? No matter how good you are, there is always someone better. Since there is always someone better, you still have room to grow through challenging yourself.

#3 Evaluation

To have your work or product critiqued is the hardest thing you may ever do. However, evaluation is where the magic happens. The evaluation process is what allows you to get strong where you are weak and to make your best better. There must be a process where what you do can be critiqued objectively. I would go so far to say that all criticism is good. That’s right! All criticism is good; whether it is constructive or destructive, you can use it if you learn how. The key is not letting critique hurt but help by asking a few questions. 1. Is there any truth to the evaluation 2. Will this critique help me to improve if I make changes? 3.How can I use this to improve? Some people see criticism as opposition rather than an opportunity, and this is where the workmanship and craftsmanship begin to suffer. Criticism is the unique opportunity to elevate quality and creativity through the painful process of hearing what you don’t want to hear. The funny thing is, you need the evaluation process. Do not let the pain of hearing hurt you, but help you become a master.

Here is the question; Are you going to settle for being mediocre or are you in pursuit of being a master of your craft? Only you can answer for you.


What is your process for mastering your craft? Feel free to comment and share your thoughts. 


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