My 4 Takeaways from Watching Taken 2: Part 2


Here is part 2 of 3 of “My 4 Takeaways from Watching Taken 2 (Pun intended)”

If you have not, please read part 1 here.

3) Be an expert in something useful.

Hey if you already are an expert in something, good for you!

There’s nothing like a special skill you’ve developed over all these years that’ll boost your self esteem.

Self improvement books are chokeful of subjects that range from “How to build your own ____” to “How to play the guitar in 7 days”.

Here’s one expertise you can really bank on to give your family a good life.

Be an expert in earning money.

I am not saying be relentless in your pursuit of wealth.

What I mean, is to learn skills that immunize you to the economic weather.

Have skills that help you build economic walls so high that no storm can get through.

For me I’m actively learning how to write and speak that will pay me money.

I know how to automatically increase my income even if it’s temporarily using words either from my mouth or my keyboard.

All I need to do is to put in the work and voila. Money in the bank.

Not a lot I must admit.

I’ve not figured how to massively increase the value of a huge group of people’s lives.

But I can earn a couple of hundred or maybe a thousand with some services or products I can think up.

Like I said, that’s not going to make me rich anytime soon. But it gives me a sense of security. And that is something I cannot buy even if I have the money.

In the movie, Liam Neeson was an expert in tracking anyone down. Even tracking himself down after he’s been blind folded and brought on a jolly ride.

That was invaluable to anyone who lost a daughter to a kidnapper, or got kidnapped himself.

I hope we NEVER have to go through that and wish we had that skill.

But I can guarantee that at some point in your life, you have thought to yourself, “If only I knew what to do to earn some quick money NOW”.

If you already have what Michael Masterson coins as a “financially valued skill“, good for you.

If you are not sure if you do, here is a quick check.

Does your skill help put money in your pocket or directly put money in your company’s pocket?

If it does, you have that skill. If it doesn’t, don’t get mad at me. I did not make that definition.

If you are a kickass operations manager who can get a team to work a process like clockwork, but don’t know how to cut costs or increase revenue, you don’t possess a financially valued skill.

Here’s an example that made me really unpopular.

You may or may not know that I went from almost getting fired to becoming a sales manager of a multimillion dollar company with “public school teacher who broke government bond” as my only work experience.

I was the only bloke in the company who had only worked there for less than 8 months, and then given the budget to hire 2 sales executives and 1 administrative assistant work under me.

I did not even need to sell to get my commissions. I take a percentage of what my team made.

I did not even need to do any paperwork, my admin assistant I hired do all that for me.

So what in the world did I do to get myself into that position?

I knew how to write and speak.

That’s it.

How is that a financially valued skill?

Well, I wrote an email to my boss, who only spoke to me twice in 8 months.

This email made him believe I was the man for a job that wasn’t even available in the company.

They had to create the job to let me work in it.

It was a seminar company that did not use sales staff. An evening seminar speaker would speak on stage for 2 hours on a topic that leads to a 3-5 day seminar program that cost $3000 – $5000.

At the end of the 2 hour presentation, the audience who wants to register would then walk to the cashiers at the back to pay up.

See? No sales staff needed there :)

So what I did in the email was to sell the hell out of the idea that with a sales staff we could massively increase the revenue.

And more importantly, I had to sell the hell out of ME.

I was the man for the job.

By now you know that I successfully sold both ideas. With just an email.

That was my writing at work.

Then it came to my speaking.

I had to convince the highly skilled sales people coming for interview that I was the right manager for them.

That the income I promised was going to be a reality, if they were in my team.

I successfully convinced the high performers and I watched money roll into my bank account as my sales team did all the heavy lifting.

Hmmm… As I type this I realized that I sounded like a pompous prick who did nothing to get paid.

I forgot to write that I’ve studied successful sales managers in many books and attended a bootcamp to make sure I knew I had the goods.

Over years I might add. I didn’t learn all these skills overnight.

Luck is when preparation meets opportunity right?

I learnt that top performing sales people only follow top performing sales managers.

Since sales managers do very little in-field selling, the performance in managers is based on trust that the leader is worthy.

Too much to get into here. But think of this, if you were picking a leader to follow, what traits do you want the leader to have? That’s what I worked on. Not skills in selling the product.

And it paid off. Guess what these financially valued skills can be learnt and can be polished.

If you don’t think you have a financially valued skill, then now is a good time to think of it.

Here is a process that can help you:

  • Where does most of your income come from?
  • What activities bring you your income?
  • What one skill if you were an expert in, would drastically increase your income over the next 3 to 7 years?

In the next post, I’ll continue with the 4th and final takeaway I got from watching Taken 2.

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Of course, you already knew that ;P