So, you want to become the best in your industry? Here’s where to start

Nina Gordon
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June 4, 2019
We’ve all met them. That person who seems to seamlessly glide through life, from one lucrative opportunity to the next. The ten-year ‘overnight success’.

When you’re starting out, becoming the best in your industry can feel totally out of reach, especially if you don’t have ready-made connections or a rich dad. But that’s where we come in. As the business school for the self-made, we’re in the business of breaking boundaries and carving our own paths. Today, we’re sharing the formula that can help you 10x your career. Thank us later.

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Get familiar with nsg

No, not the UK rap group (although they’re pretty good too). NSG is our tried-and-tested formula for rising to the top of your game:

Networking

Skills

Growth Mindset

Aka the three essential things you need to do to earn more, learn more and design a career you can be proud of. Let’s get started:

1. How to 10x your network even if you don’t have ironman-level-charisma

  1. How to 10x your network even if you don’t have ironman-level-charisma.Networking can feel awkward, right? Cheap wine, business cards, forced conversation… ugh. But the truth is, it doesn’t have to be that painful. In fact, it can be fun. The key is to to start reaching out to people, be it via an Instagram DM or a friendly LinkedIn message, introducing yourself and inviting them for a coffee. Your message can be as simple as: “Hi <Name>, really loved your latest blog post, particularly the part about Hubspot hacks. Thanks for sharing all that you do. Would love to swap business tips -- I’m always keen to meet talented people in my industry. Coffee on me next Wednesday?”
    Once you’ve connected, be sure to participate in future content of theirs you see, take the time to leave a comment here and there, and keep supporting them online. You’ll be amazed at how far a little online interaction can go. It also pays to add value of your own, through sharing your own posts, opinions and articles to show that you’re active within your industry.
    Pro tip: when writing and sharing posts of your own, be sure to tag and include the work of people you’d like to know better. They’ll be flattered and it’s a brilliant introduction to you and what you do.
    Oh, and don’t overthink it. Even the most successful people are, well, people. The difference is that they took the time to network as a priority. You can’t afford not to.
  2. How to acquire new skills that will make you irreplaceable
    In today’s business world, it’s not enough to be good at one thing. You need to know enough to be dangerous. A master of upskilling. A multi-hyphenate. The key? Make gaining new skills a part of your everyday life.
    The best way to build new skills is to make a habit of building something. Fact. Take design expertise, for example. If you work for a tech startup and feel you’d save time and energy if you could know your way around Adobe better, there’s no smarter way than to design something as a side hustle of your own. Or, if you want to know more about entrepreneurship, spend the summer launching a new product in your spare time with less focus on the end goal, and more attention on the process itself. Take on extra work with the pure intention of learning more. It’s always worth it.
    Sidenote: if you feel like you need other people’s involvement to get you motivated, you can also volunteer. Nonprofits and charities are always looking for people to help them with their digital strategies. Upskilling and supporting a worthwhile cause? Jackpot.
  3. How to practice a Growth Mindset with very little budget or time
    Good news. By reading this blog post, you’re already practicing a growth mindset. But to take it to the next level, you need to make your personal growth as habitual as eating or taking a shower.
    How? Through transforming typically mundane periods of time into micro upskilling sessions.
    Your daily commute? Listen to a podcast. (How I Built This or Ctrl Alt Delete are great places to start.)
    Your quiet Wednesday evening? Ditch Netflix and go to a meetup. (Eventbrite or Meetup.com are great for finding like-minded people.)That session at the gym? Swap Spotify for an Audible business book.

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Above all, remember that the people who rise to the top of their industries all have one thing in common: the bravery to do so. Believe in yourself, build your network and skillset, and keep a growth mindset and watch what happens.


Spoiler alert: this is where things get interesting.

This isn’t just a handy tip we think you might like. It’s the premise behind Jolt, and we truly believe it’s the formula for success. So much so that we got together with great minds who’ve completed MBA’s at Harvard, Stanford and Insead and created our Not an MBA® programme.

This is a programme specifically designed to connect you to a thriving community of like-minded self-makers so you can tick the networking box in style.

Our team of MBA grads from the top business schools in the world clued us in on what was missing from their MBA’s. And we’ve included every single nugget of info they gave us. Not an MBA® teaches you battle-tested skills you can put into action straight away. Our teachers are world-class experts who are still working at impressive names across the globe.

Unfortunately we can’t give you the growth mindset, but you’ll bring that just by showing up.

So why do so few of us have creative breaks?

Because almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes. Including you.

Charles Darwin took long walks around London. Kurt Vonnegut made listening to jazz a daily priority. Fiona Apple disappeared for 6 years after the release of her third album.

So why do so few of us have creative breaks?
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I ask because I can often be found agonising over the "more". If only I posted on Instagram more, I'll think in the bath. I'd have more followers if I pitched to more publications. I need to post 2 more times a week, minimum. I could go on...

Between you and me, I've got frustrated with myself for browsing Facebook or watching too much TV more times than I can remember.

And I'm not alone. So many of us are terrified of taking a break, creatively speaking. We won't let a moment pass without listening to a podcast, consuming an article or sharing something.

The cognitive load is real, y'all.

But like Vitamin D, sleep and good food, it's not only ok to take a break, it's essential.

Living a successful life is also about knowing when not to work. For your best output, you need to focus on your input, too.

The world won't end if you disappear from the internet for a week or so. Your creativity won't suddenly stop. Your time is now, but your time was also then and it will be again.

Your dreams don't have an expiration date.

Many of us confuse being "busy" with being constructive. But you can only do your best work by taking breaks.

And science backs it up, too. The brain requires substantial downtime to do its most innovative thinking. The ideas you have while driving or in the shower aren't coincidental. They're a result of you taking a step back, whether you're aware of it or not.

Here's a challenge for you

Let yourself take a wonderful and indulgent break. Several breaks. Hell, get downright bored.

Put airplane mode on for a while. Sit down. Lie down. Be still. Do nothing. Observe. Listen to your mind. Let it do what it does without judging it.

Wallow in it. Don't be afraid of it. Push it as far as you can.

When you leave your laptop behind, something always happens. A new idea or a fresh perspective appears.

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"A spark of inspiration needs an empty cave."

Take proper breaks, often. Completely clear your mind. Your next best idea depends on it.

Could you get to the top 1% of your industry?

"Sure! If you work 16 hrs/day or your dad is the CEO"

Wrong! Successful people use micro-skills, the right network, and a growth mindset to climb up the career ladder. Our sane alternative for an MBA — The NAMBA Business Programme - taught in cinematic London campuses — could give you the edge.