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sorry Dickie Bush… you’re wrong about this

A quick summary:

1) The 4 Stages of Competence

2) The Path to Mastery

3) The Power of Personal Perspective

4) Developing Your Unique Perspective

I am one ignorant writer.

I’ve been writing online for 2 years and only now are the fundamentals ‘clicking’ for me.

Back when I started, I rejected advice from one of the Twitter greats – Dickie Bush.

“Write to who you were 6 months, 1 year, or 2 years ago.”

I thought to myself:

“How the hell will writing to my past self help me grow on social media?”

No one will be interested in the same things as me.

And no one will care about what I have to say.

So I rejected the advice…

… That is, until recently.

Unfortunately, this ignorance tax cost me 2 years of time and progress.

All because my ego and ignorance got in the way…

The 4 Stages of Competence

To build authority on social media you need to be a master at your craft.

Only then will people like you, trust you and buy your offers.

In other words, mastery is the key to leaving your 9 to 5 and reaching your potential as a writer/ creator.

But how do you achieve mastery as fast as possible?

I used to believe it took hundreds of books and ten+ years of dedication to achieve mastery.

Then I found the 4 stages of competence – a metal model for achieving greatness:

  1. Unconscious incompetence – being unaware of how little you know
  2. Conscious incompetence – being aware of how little you know
  3. Conscious competence – being aware of how much you know
  4. Unconscious competence – being a master of what you now

How does this relate to writing online?

You don’t need mastery to build authority.

You just need to be closer to mastery than other people.

As you evolve, so will the content you create.

When you’re at stage one, consume books, podcasts, and YouTube videos to become aware of the skills you need to succeed.

Write what you learn to increase your understanding then share it online to become influential with those ‘behind you.’

This will make you a curator.

Someone who simplifies, combines, and shares other peoples perspectives.

Do this for long enough and you’ll achieve conscious competence.

With the skills you’ve acquired, you’ll be positioned to launch lucrative consulting services, from high-ticket offerings to accessible low-ticket courses, all tailored to empowering those a few steps behind you.

You don’t need mastery to make money online or build an audience of tens of thousands of followers.

You don’t even need mastery to leave your 9 to 5 job.

But you will need mastery to build a top 1% Digital Identity…

The Path to Mastery

To achieve mastery, stop curating and start creating.

To reach this state of being, you’ll need to start synthesizing ideas and filtering them through your unique perspective.

This is where Dickie Bush’s advice finally clicked for me.

You see, mastery can only be achieved through practice.

It’s less about acquiring new knowledge and more about effectively executing acquired knowledge.

To become a master of Ju-Jitsu, no amount of books will help you.

You have to get in the ring, fail forward, and practice daily.

Obsess over your craft for years until mastery is within your reach.

The key difference between those who achieve mastery and those who don’t is experience, not knowledge.

Only through experience do you move your acquired knowledge out of your head and into your body.

You no longer ‘know’ knowledge. You ‘are’ knowledge.

The Power of Personal Perspective

Practice leads to novel perspectives.

It’s the ultimate form of market research.

When new writers don’t have experiences to pull from they use ChatGPT, Reddit, and Answer the Public to try and understand their audiences pain, desires, and motivations.

But if you’ve experienced the problem yourself, why would you need to do this?

I can share novel perspectives on writing, anxiety, and online business because I’ve been experiencing them for 2 years.

For example, I know what problems people have when struggling to overcome anxiety:

❖ Overthinking
❖ Thought loops
❖ Feeling tightness in your chest
❖ Feeling insecure in social settings
❖ Feeling restless at night; unable to fall asleep

I don’t need market research to tell me this.

I’ve experienced it. I’ve lived through it. I have suffered from it.

AND… After years of trial and error, I have come so freaking close to overcoming it.

This gives me a unique perspective.

Ask ChatGPT how having anxiety feels and it can’t give you a meaningful answer like I can.

Nor will it give you specific examples for creating relatable content.

Such as the time my roommate rushed me to the hospital because I had such a bad panic attack I was positive I was going to die.

My eyes were so wide, the doctor asked me if I was on LSD.

“No man, just suffering from chronic anxiety over here.”

No amount of online research can rival personal experiences.

That’s exactly why my most viral thread ever is about my personal problems with anxiety.

It took no research to write it.

I just reflected on my personal struggles and experiences with the problem.

Research is a substitute for a lack of experience.

Don’t research. Reflect.

Developing Your Unique Perspective

Research is an input. Perspective is an output.

Not sure what I mean by this?

Reading a book is a form of acquiring old knowledge – input.

Writing from experience is a form of creating new knowledge – output.

Curators share other peoples perspectives.

Where creators who have obtained mastery filter knowledge through their own experiences to create new knowledge – novel perspectives.

This mastery radiates true authority.

It’s how you craft a unique Digital Identity – personal brand.

How can you start doing this today?

People aren’t hungry for information. They’re starving for perspective.

Instead of regurgitating the same information as everyone else.

Consume high quality content and ask yourself:

“What do I think about this?”

❖ Is the advice bad?
❖ Is the advice good?
❖ Is the advice incomplete?
❖ Does the advice remind you of a past experience?
❖ Does the advice pair well with other advice you’ve learned?

This is all it takes to synthesize existing knowledge into new and novel perspectives.

6 months into running my ghostwriting agency, I found myself with a different perspective than most people.

I found ghostwriting draining and soul sucking.

You have to manage client expectations and try to share their perspective without filtering it through your own.

(A daunting task for a creative like myself).

Not to mention writing SEO content made me want to blow my brains out.

I shared my perspective on Twitter and was surprised by the response.

People told me it was refreshing to hear a more realistic take that was different than “ghostwriting is the easiest way to make $10,000 per month.”

But I never could’ve arrived at this conclusion without months of ghostwriting experience to reflect on.

In summary, Dickie Bush’s advice is gold.

Only be experiencing the world first hand do you gain the unique perspective to create meaningful content.

Be brave enough to try.

And bold enough to share your unique perspective.

Don’t write to who you are today. Write to who you were a year ago.

Until next time,

-Taylin John Simmonds

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Taylin Simmonds
About the author

Retired educator turned creator and consultant, I took my ghostwriting agency to $500K/year. Now I guide other creators toward achieving similar results.

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