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Always a beginner…

Shoshin is a word from Zen Buddhism meaning “beginner’s mind.” It refers to having an attitude of openness, eagerness, and lack of preconceptions when studying a subject, even when studying at an advanced level, just as a beginner would.

I’ve always had an impulse to completely delve into a new passion.

A passion I didn’t have yesterday, you can be sure I have today, and in a month, I would have devoted so many hours to it, I’m happy to start going at it without help.

In 2010 I left JHB with a few bead tools, and some standard knowledge my mother had showed me on how to make jewelry. Within the end of 2011, I was selling them on Facebook. I was producing jewelry as if I was mass selling them – I wasn’t, and I still have them and have no idea what to do with them – but that’s not the point.

Then that stopped. – I’m not going to give the reasons as to why as I go along, that’s not the point of this post.

In 2012, we had also gotten a passion to run long distance and was training for Kilimanjaro – a skill that ultimately led us to doing the Otter trail in 2013. – Man we were living and breathing hiking. – That also stopped

During that year we were so fortunate to get a French Bulldog, (later we got another one) and started training her. (Also showing her, but that is evil and of the devil and I will NEVER endorse it) – but regardless. This passion ended up in me ultimately training dogs myself. Beginner classes and teaching tricks. Dog instructor. – On that, stop asking me what you “should do with your dog” or tell me “I’m bringing my dog to you” – just… stop that, because I don’t know.

In 2014, I rediscovered my photography passion by buying an entry-level camera on a whim and in 2015 opened up my very profitable business. Combining my dog training experience with my photography, I ran this business until the end of 2016, making a very profitable career, and also doing well. – That didn’t stop, but it got converted into only doing photography for myself.

In 2017 – I started watching Nail Career Education, a channel on Youtube that shows you how to do clients nails. So naturally, I bought myself a gel set (on a whim) – and I’ve been doing my own gelish tips and overlays religiously every second week since then.

In early 2018 – Because I was way too frugal to pay someone to just knit me a bloody dress for an old Bratz doll, I took up knitting. I got a crash course in this in order to just get the basics, and Youtube has been helping me ever-since.

In no way do I say that I am an expert in ANY of those, the point is. That I’ve always been a beginner in skills. The only skill I’ve had for 11 years running is a digital presence on website design and building – the actual thing I studied for and got qualifications for. And I can’t support my ever-growing passion rate if I don’t do that. – So that might be while I’m still at it. – I like it, and it pays bills. So that helps.

On that bit – Just because I work in IT, doesn’t mean I know why your pc is slow. That’s the same as asking a tiler to lay the electrical wires when building a house. Both are involved in building a house, but they don’t know each others expertise – and I don’t know anything, I’m just faking it until the band makes it. You don’t like constantly talking shop when you’re not working, neither do I. When that home bell rings I flee the office just like everyone else. – I gots shit to knit/photograph/train.

Why do people do this? Because they (and I mean I) like learning new skills. Not skills necessarily that might get me paid or survive the zombie apocalypse, but skills. I can do the above, and I can also build a pc from scratch and solder, drill, sand. etc. (I can’t stitch or iron clothes, and to be honest I’m not that good cook either – we’ll survive but we’ll ride this bland train until we die) – Because I ain’t got time to learn that, I’m too busy learning something else. duh. I can’t cook us a healthy meal I’m busy knitting this shawl OMG!

So how can you do this?

1. You are always going to feel like you have no idea what you’re doing, and that people or going to see through your facade.

Especially if you start working with clients. – Ignore this feeling, I don’t think it ever goes away, but know that you’ve done your homework, and you know more than your clients on this subject. Be okay to know that you might make a mistake, but give yourself credit – you know more than you think you know.

 

2. Find a way that is the easiest for you to up-skill yourself. 

What works for one person, might not work for another. If Jane can completely up skill herself on Youtube, doesn’t mean that Jennifer can. We all learn things differently. If you’re battling to teach yourself something, it might be in your interest to try another method.
Youtube, online courses, classes, roping in someone that can teach you – they all have their pro’s and conns.

My very first step is always Youtube. If the person in the video is a bit unclear or I’m not following, I can always find another video. – The pro for me is that a Youtube video can be watched over and over.

 

3. Do what you enjoy.

My word Annelie can you be MORE cliché??
If you enjoy doing it, then it’s worthwhile doing it. Everyone starts somewhere.

At one point in time, Annie Leibovitz didn’t know what the hell she was doing. I wanted to use Lance Armstrong here as well, saying do whatever it takes, but rather don’t do that!

Do you have something amazing you’re wanting to up skill yourself in? pop me a mail, I’d love to hear from you!

info [at] anneliecoetzee.co.za

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