I didn't go to school for fashion, writing or online business. Most of what I know came from self-directed learning.
Here's a question I get all the time:
“Did you go to school for fashion?”
The answer is no, I didn't. And I didn't go to school for business, marketing, writing or video production either.
Yet, here I am, teaching other men how to dress well and making a living running my own blogging and YouTube business.
I'm not a web developer, but I know how to make a website.
I don't have a business degree, but I've given presentations about business to hundreds of people.
I have no formal training in fashion, but I know my way around a sewing machine, and I've helped many thousands of men figure out what to buy and how to dress.
How did I get here? How did I learn all of this stuff.
Well, I can tell you that it wasn't raw intelligence that got me here, and it definitely wasn't formal education either.
I learned much of what I know about fashion and business through self-directed learning.
Self-directed learning is when you choose to learn new skills, on your own accord, to advance your station in life or for sheer enjoyment.
This can take many forms, from one off classes at your local community college to free YouTube video tutorials or paid online courses.
These days, almost anything you want to learn about is available, often for free. But it's usually worth paying for a premium learning experience, especially since even paid courses are way cheaper than formal education.
As a shorter man, I have to get almost all of my pants hemmed. If I don't get them hemmed, I look like a little kid wearing hand-me-downs.
And this sucks because it means that I have to spend extra time and money at the tailor.
Don't get me wrong: it's worth it. But I always knew that this was a something I could probably learn how to do myself.
So I commandeered my girlfriend's old sewing machine and found two Skillshare classes that are teaching me everything I needed to know to hem a pair the jeans the right way – by keeping the original hem.
I won't lie to you and say that learning how to hem jeans is a walk in the park. It takes practice, and I recommend using some jeans you don’t care about or getting some cheap ones from the thrift store to practice on.
But I know this is a skill I can master with the right instruction, and I have no doubts that you could master it too.
Now, I'm not saying you have to learn this specific skill, although it is very practical, especially for shorter men.
But I want to challenge you to learn ANY new skill, and sooner than later. Like this week, or even today. Why not start right now?
To give you a few ideas, here are three Skillshare classes that look very appealing:
#1: Learn how to make a bowtie (check it out)
Like me, you probably lots of old shirts laying around. Maybe some questionable prints or patterns that you wouldn’t really want to wear anymore.
Wouldn’t it be cool to turn them into handmade bowties? Imagine what you could say when someone asked where you got it!
#2: Learn iPhone photography (check it out)
These days, we all have extremely powerful cameras in our pockets, all day every day. Wouldn’t it be nice know how to really use them and get the most out of them?
Plus, you never know when you’ll be asked to take a photo for someone. It’s a good idea to know the basics of photography.
Not to mention, who doesn’t want more Instagram followers, am I right?
(Okay, maybe that’s just me…)
#3: Learn how to cook with fire (check it out)
This just seems like one of those masculine skills that would be awesome to learn. It would sure take camping to the next level!
Or just pick something random that you've always been fascinated by. It doesn't matter if it's related to your career or if it has any practical application in your life.
Sometimes it's better if it's totally unrelated to your work. If you work on a computer all day, for example, try to learn a skill that has nothing to do with screens or computers the Internet.
I Challenge YOU
Learning a new skill can be one of the most rewarding ways to spend your time. The learning process is valuable, in it of itself. And it's never too late to learn something new.
So I challenge you to learn a new skill now, not later.