Sunday, Jun 7, 2020
HomeInsightUpskill yourself in four simple steps

Upskill yourself in four simple steps

Opportunities for growth and success are abundantly available for those who decide to plan and prepare for it. Unfortunately, what I have witnessed throughout my work is not enough people seriously taking advantage of opportunities that lead to greater levels of growth and development in their life, business or career. In one of my previous articles, “Does your skill set match your ambition”, I share how there is generally a huge gap between the two and give the foundational skills one should have in order to continually gain greater levels of success.

Regardless of the level of success you currently enjoy, what skills do you need to gain or improve in order to achieve greater results in your business or career? How are you going about obtaining those skills?

Stephen Covey in his powerful book, “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” tells the story of a man who was walking through a forest when he came across a frustrated lumberjack. The lumberjack was trying to cut down a tree with a saw and was swearing and cursing as he labored in vain.

“What’s the problem?” the man asked.

“My saw is blunt and won’t cut the tree properly.,” the lumberjack responded.

“Why don’t you just sharpen it?”

“Because then I would have to stop sawing.,” said the lumberjack.

“But if you sharpened your saw, you could cut more efficiently and effectively than before.”

“But I don’t have time to stop!” the lumberjack retorted, getting more frustrated. The man shook his head and kept on walking, leaving the lumberjack to his pointless frustration.

This story is relevant to so many of us, isn’t it?

We get frustrated by life and our inability to succeed with our goals, but instead of developing ourselves and taking the time to become more effective, we keep struggling with a blunt saw.

With only a few days left in the month of January, take a few hours to stop, sharpen your saw and plan your next quarter with these 4 steps:

Step 1: Get clear on exactly what you want to accomplish. Document your end of year vision. If you haven’t done this already, set aside one hour to really sit, think and answer the following question, “By the end of this year, what is my big, inspiring goal, where am I now, and what is the path I will take to get there?” Many people allow their vision to die mainly because they are not clear on how to achieve it. Do this activity, if possible with someone who can assist you in getting the clarity and motivation you need.

Step 2: List the skills you want or need to develop or sharpen. With your written vision in hand, write a list of every single skill or topic you’ve always wanted or needed to learn, improve or master. Is it time management skills, leadership, public speaking, successful selling, marketing, better communication, business writing, conflict resolution or computer knowledge? Try to come up with 6-9 skills if possible. If that is too much, choose at least three.

Step 3: Dedicate 90 days to focus on skill development and personal growth. With your newly acquired skill development list, decide that next 90 days of 2019 will be used to “sharpen your saw”. Dedicate a minimum of 15 minutes a day focused on learning that one skill. Give yourself the gift of becoming an even sharper, skillful and successful version of yourself.

Step 4: Establish a regular accountability system to ensure follow through. Weekly, bi-weekly or monthly check-ins with a results-focused mentor, coach or facilitator will keep you motivated and on target throughout this process. Having a set time and place to write out action steps from what you are learning daily is also very important. These notes will form the action plan you will need during the “tree cutting”/execution phase the remainder of the year.

Step 4: Celebrate your progress in a meaningful way. At the end of the 90 days, expect to have a significant shift and growth in your mindset and skillset. This is a huge accomplishment that deserves to be celebrated. Decide in advance how you will reward yourself or your team for taking the time out to work on you.

If you would like to make this year a wildly successful and results-driven one, you would benefit greatly from my upcoming skill-development seminars, workshops and educational events in a variety of topics.

For one on one help with upskilling yourself, you might be interested in 90 Day Results. It was created to support individuals who are committed to a highly focused 90 days of personal growth and professional development. Designed specifically to create high performance and productivity within an intensive 90 days that would carry throughout the year, the 90 Day Results experience will produce massive results in the short term – while also preparing for results all year.

To get full details or request my training calendar on the program contact me via email at or schedule free skill development strategy session by visiting

• Keshelle is a multi-award-winning entrepreneur, corporate and business trainer and the CEO of the Training Authority. She is the former executive director of the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce, Chamber Institute and an internationally recognized speaker and author. A leading expert in corporate training, technology performance and entrepreneurship, she has helped thousands of people fulfill their vision, obtain mastery and become more productive in their lives. To comment on the article or join her list for free monthly training tips, email

Deficit shrinks
Entrepreneurs outlin