Whether it’s medical transcription or graphic design, copywriting or web design, the most important first step is to identify the skill you want to learn.
This seems obvious, but is actually an absolutely crucial point. Most people who try to make a living from home tend to jump from skill to skill, learning a little about everything but mastering nothing.
They’re looking for something that seems easy. The truth is that there is a learning curve to just about any skill you’d want to learn. The most important first step is to pick one skill and commit to learning it.
=> Find Forums and Books
Identify the top forums and books in your industry. In general, every group or community will have their most commonly recommended books. Buy all these books and start studying your skill in depth.
Furthermore, start reading the forums. At first, don’t participate. Just read. Look over what kinds of problems others are facing and what solutions they’re finding.
Sort the forum by the threads with the most replies. These are usually the most helpful threads. Read through those post by post.
=> Learn by Doing
Instead of learning something theoretically, you’ll absorb the material much better if you’re actually implementing what you learn.
For example, if you’re learning graphic design, instead of reading a whole design book from front to back, recreate some of the examples.
In fact, many of the best books will have exercises, homework and challenges that go along with them. Do all of these assignments and keep your learning active rather than passive.
=> Create a Learning Schedule for Yourself
Create a learning schedule for yourself that consists of at least 2 hours per day, 5 days a week of work or study. Ideally, you should put in 4 hours a day, but that may not be realistic for most people.
Set a few goals for yourself. For example, if you’re learning graphic design, you might set the goals of:
Week 1: Understand all the tools in Photoshop’s toolbar.
Week 2: Photo correct three family photos, including color adjustments and wrinkle removal.
Week 3: Create three different kinds of special effects.
Week 4: Do an impressive movie poster for an imaginary movie.
Having a learning schedule will help motivate and guide you. It’ll help you learn with purpose, rather than aimlessness.
If you follow these tips, you’ll very quickly go from novice to advanced-intermediate. You’ll know enough about the skill to start getting paid moderate amounts of money. From there, you can develop expert level skills while you’re getting paid. It’s not hard to learn a marketable skill – with some resourcefulness and discipline, you can get it done in just 30 days!