Develop your Skill Stack

In life, there are two ways to get better. One, you can get ahead and specialise in your niche. Or you can try to broaden your horizon and learn new skills. In this article I argue for the latter, and show you why you should develop your skill stack by building up more and more skills.

This article was inspired both by Brad and Jonathan from the ChooseFI podcast, and some tweets I exchanged with CheesyFinance the other day.

Develop your skill stack discussion with CheesyFinance
Twitter discussion on developing your skill stack with CheesyFinance

This go me thinking about why I do the things I do. Okay, let’s start with the most obvious two skills I’m currently developing that have nothing to do with my professional work.

Developing my skill stack is part of my financial independence lifestyle.

Blogging Skills

Being a personal finance blogger is a time consuming part time job. At least for me it is. I don’t have any budget whatsoever to pay people to do things for my site, so I do it all myself.

I had to learn how to do things online. Well, I’m cheating a bit here. I already knew how to work with WordPress (sort of) and how to get domain names and web hosting. So in that regards I was ahead of most people who never touched the back end of a website before.

But I had to learn how to setup a website in a way that it is usable.

I had to learn how to write and put my thoughts on paper. First in Dutch, then in English!

These days, I’m learning about online marketing.

I have learnt about the basics of SEO and how to optimise your website and articles to be found online.

In my day job, I learn about how business operate, and how management can pull certain levers to change the course of their business. I think about digitisation and analytics strategies and advise clients on how to use data to improve their operations.

As you can see, blogging and consulting are two very different worlds (at least the type of consulting I do). That means that blogging makes me a more well rounded individual. Is there a sudden implosion of the consulting field? Fine, I’ll survive and adapt to a new industry. Possibly one I already have some experience in. Maybe online content generation? Or some kind of services around WordPress sites?

Podcasting Skills

Podcasting is the same thing. I target the podcast towards millennials looking to get better with money. Together with my co-host I had to figure out everything! We knew nothing about podcasting, nothing besides my crazy 15 hours per week of listening to podcasts anyways.

So we learnt how to record, edit, publish a podcast which was not part of my skill stack every before.

We had to learn how to speak into a microphone (yes that’s more difficult than you would think!)

We had to look into publishing, getting your podcast up and running in places like Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

We’re still not sure if we want to continue the podcast. We recorded the first ten episodes, and are releasing them once per week. If we’re happy with the results we’ll continue, otherwise we might cancel the show.

If we continue we would like to start interviewing people. So also reaching out to a lot of people to ask them for an interview is new to us, as is the interview process itself.

As you can guess by now, all these skills are not directly from my day job, but they could be very valid in life. Building the skill stack is definitely something I’m interested in.

Could There be More?

So the question is, is this everything? Is my full time job plus the blog plus the podcast enough?

The answer is probably hell no! Not that I have time to pick up something else besides these activities, but I definitively don’t want this to be it.

So besides the blog and the podcast, in the future I might try to do something else to develop my skill stack. After all, humans are meant to evolve and constantly learn new things.

What is Your Skill Stack?

What is your skill stack? How are you developing yourself? Let me know in the comments below.