In the late 2000s, the world was transformed into a global village. We could access information on every conceivable subject, anytime and anywhere a mouse-click away. This dramatic innovation demanded skills related to information technology.
We live in the information age when the world is in demand for people who can
▪ Access information
▪ Deliver information
▪ Filter information
▪ Apply information
I wonder what the world will look like in 2030 if nanotechnology, 5G and artificial intelligence make their way comfortably into our society. Many jobs we cherish today will disappear. It might even happen before 2025 or next year.
Are you preparing for change?
It is my desire that after reading this blog-post, you will achieve one or all of the following:
▪ Raise your awareness on essential life skills
▪ Provide you with resources on how to develop essential life skills.
▪ Motivate you to engage in lifelong learning.
▪ Position you as a leader in the digital world.
▪ Help you take wise decisions on what skills you need to learn.
What is a skill?
A skill is the ability to do something well because of practise or training. We can put skills into two major categories: soft skills and hard skills.
Hard skills are technical skills gained through training or experience. They are job-specific, transferable and quantifiable. Some examples of hard skills include: accounting, engineering, and banking skills.
On the other hand, soft skills are attributes or habits that describe how you work effectively as an individual or as a team. They are not specific to a particular job, and they prepare you for survival over a lengthy period. Some examples of soft skills include: leadership skills, problem-solving skills and communication skills.
Today we are going to explore some soft skills I find relevant for anyone living in this era. There are many other relevant skills out there but for the sake of time, I will stick to a few essential skills.
Let’s dive straight into the skills:
- Critical reading skills
I know you’re probably wondering why you should develop reading skills when you are comfortably reading what I am typing right now on WhatsApp.
Learning how to read is different from reading as a business person.
We live in an era of information overload. As of 2018, about 2.5 quintillion bytes of data were created each day. Everyone is struggling to get someone’s attention online.
If you do not develop the skill of evaluating what you read, and how to read fast, you might spend a lifetime reading things that are not relevant to your success.
Before you approach any document or piece of information to read: Ask yourself, what do I want to learn or get from this piece.
Business entrepreneur Dan Lok says: He doesn’t read books. He uses books. In order words, when he comes across a book, he might move straight to the table of content, and subheadings, figure out what he really wants, get directly to the page and portion of the document and read it.
You must not read a book from cover to cover to feel satisfied that you have completed a book. At times, you might read the first three sentences and the last three sentences of a lengthy paragraph to get what is embedded inside that paragraph.
Whenever you come across a piece of information that is relevant to you,
▪ Select what you find very relevant and note it somewhere.
▪ Share that piece of information with others.
▪ Plan to apply it yourself. Practise what you read.
This is how you gain mastery.
Learning or reading is incomplete if you acquire knowledge and understanding without applying it. You will lack wisdom because wisdom is applied knowledge.
2. Copywriting skills
When people hear of copywriting skills they think of copyright. These are completely separate and unrelated things.
In one word: copywriting is sales in print.
The world is moving in a direction where e-commerce will soon take the lead. We may all be obliged to turn our business online.
If you do not know how to persuade people in print, you’ll be out of biz by 2030.
If you are into any form of business, you must learn how to write content in such a way that it grabs people’s attention.
You do not need a college degree or English proficiency skills to do this.
Just create what is called a swipe file. If you come across any advert on social media, email, article headline on WhatsApp or anything that grabs your attention, just screenshot it on your phone and store it in a swipe file folder you’ve created.
In future when you will need to promote your business, do a launching or advertise or sell something, visit your swipe file and model the examples you took from others to craft your own headline, advert, pitch, newsletter, or whatever.
3. Digital literacy skills
This is where a vast majority of skills are needed: It involves,
Creating media and information
The ability to create content is the core of digital marketing. It can take the form of adverts, emails, courses, sales pitch, videos, blogs, web content, eBooks and social media.
You need to have basic knowledge on how to use basic software applications like canvas to design postcards, fliers or adverts, Filmora or Adobe indesign to edit videos. If you are on a shoestring budget, you don’t need to outsource these things to someone else. Learn how to do it yourself.
There are thousands of software applications in our phones but many people are not using it. Playstore is your best friend. Explore it.
Verifying media information
This is a whole topic on its own. There’s a lot of fake information and scam these days especially online. You need to develop critical thinking skills to access the authenticity of an information before you use it.
Understanding how media works
The internet world is gradually moving into a direction where everyone would soon be obliged to own and use a website. So, the earlier you learn how the media works, the better for you.
If you wish to take your biz on a global stage, you better start thinking of owning a website. Like I said before, some clients like to double check the portfolio of the people they are doing biz with online. If you have one, it puts you on the advantage over your competitors.
To know how the media works, you may have to learn SEO (search engine optimization) skills. I do not know much about it myself but I have noticed that it is a hot topic online and many westerners are exploring it bigly!
If you want to learn more about SEO, visit Neil Patel’s blog/ YouTube videos. He is among the top gurus in this area.
Sharing, storing and securing media information
Do not have just one email address. Create many Gmail addresses. I personally have six and I use them all for different purposes: One for my books, one for my clients, one for my personal issues, one for my teaching stuff,. ..and so on. And if I continue to develop other things, I will have their addresses as well.
With one Gmail address, you have access to 15Gigabyte space on google drive to store your information online. So if you have six Gmail addresses, you will be entitled to 90 GB space for free. You may not need to buy more space online.
Please store all your information online where you can have access to it from your phone at any time and anywhere. It is safer and would not crash easily.
Work with Google because they are the biggest shark in the see. Their offers are amazing and they continue to develop and upgrade free applications like YouTube, google meet, google calendars, and google classroom that are free to use just by having a Gmail address. Please drop your yahoo email address.
4.. Public speaking skills
Being able to deliver content in person will save you in this era because everything is soon turning online.
You do not need to be an expert speaker to develop public speaking skills. Knowing the basics is enough.
We are gradually heading to a world where visuals are becoming so important. You may have to be on YouTube to showcase what you have to offer to the public.
If you fear the camera so much, start taking some baby steps towards that direction.
If you do video conferencing often, that’s already a good start.
You need to learn how to organise your content properly and speak to engage listeners offline or online.
Nowadays people want to buy from those they see and feel from the screen. The more people hear you speak intelligently about your product or services, the more persuasive you will become, and the more sales you will generate.
Real clients nowadays always double check online to see who they are doing business with. If they stumble on any of your videos where you are actually pitching them in real time, they will believe you more than someone who has no online portfolio.
Being able to teach people what you have learned and experience will entail you developing public speaking skills. Many people in the world today are making millions offering online courses on things they’ve learned.
You can create your own short videos on things you master well and assemble it as an online course. It’s pretty simple to do it. It’s all about practice.
You can use ispring to create your online courses. It is a great and easy-to-use tool.
5. Leadership skills
I decided to put this skill last because although it has been around for decades and centuries past, it still remains the number one skill that is very rare in our society today.
This skill is very important because if you develop leadership skills, you will automatically or somehow develop many other 21st century skills intuitively.
To begin with, you do not need to have a leadership position to be called a leader or to start developing leadership skills.
I recommend Myles Munroe’s book: The spirit of leadership. He explains that there is a difference between the spirit of leadership and a leadership spirit.
The spirit of leadership is inherent. You were born with it but if you don’t unveil it, or come to the realisation that you were born with a potential to do great things, you might continue to stoop low as a grasshopper.
On the other hand, the leadership spirit is the manifestation of your inherent spirit of leadership. That is what many people are interested in today.
You need to change your mindset and definition of leadership. If you think as culture nurtures us that once you attain a certain level or position, you will miss the mark.
You do not need followers to become a leader. Followers are attracted to leaders. Many disciples followed Jesus because of the gift he had and not because of his position or who he was.
The first step is to receive the spirit of Leadership. Become a spirit filled believer. It starts from there. Once you know you are a citizen of the heavenly kingdom, you will act like a kingdom citizen.
Kingdom citizens know that God mandated them to serve humanity and not to serve themselves. Once this mind-set clicks in you, your behaviour will change automatically and you will start to exhibit good leadership qualities. You will be committed to your duties, you will be responsible, you will not cheat, you will be humble, you will want to learn and you will do everything for Gods’ glory and make good decisions.
This does not mean leadership training is not important, but if you have not been transformed from the inside out, you will be manifesting personality traits which will not last.
You can train a pig to live in a five star hotel. But the day it is exposed to mud, it will dive back into it immediately.You need to change the pigs’ heart first.
Now that we are in the 21st century, many problems await us in the future. Who is willing to take a bold step to solve them?
If you can provide solutions to problems you will thrive in this era. Think and act like a leader. Your mind-set should be such that you are always looking for problems in the society to solve.
What problems are you planning to solve?
You would need some of the skills I listed above to solve some of these problems and in turn make a fortune from it.
Start by giving your life to Christ, be led by the Holy spirit and start developing your leadership skills. Read books on leadership, accept leadership responsibilities and be ready to solve problems. This is how you develop your leadership skills.
Do not be overwhelmed by these skills. Everything is possible. Red! Read! Read! And then Practice! Practice! Practice! A real business person does not read for fun or entertainment. They read to gain wisdom.
Tell me which of the skills interest you the most?
Plan to share it with others and also put it into practice.