The Real Magic of Intimidating Skills

When you need to build an app but don’t know computer science, programming can seem like a magical skill.

The same is true of most skills we don’t understand or know. We elevate the practitioners to the level of magicians practicing strange and powerful crafts.

For me, doing interviews, using audio-visual equipment, attending tradeshows, writing, doing podcasts – all of the things I do in the course of my creative work – used to seem like this “magic” too.

When we see magic, we tend to immediately assume that only “the magicians” (see: other people) can do it.

But as I learn more and more, I’ve come to see that it’s easy to learn the basics of most things. Experience is easy to find – for instance, we all can learn how to speak well by recording YouTube videos or podcasts. Information is easy to find, too – Google has it all.

And while the gap between “great podcaster/carpenter/programmer/salesperson/etc” and “basic podcaster/carpenter/programmer/salesperson/etc” may be large, the gap between “basic podcaster/carpenter/programmer/salesperson/etc” and “not a podcaster/carpenter/programmer/salesperson/etc at all” is easy to close with a little information and a little experience.

There is nothing magical about any skill, and little preventing us from doing the things that really impress us when done by others. The only real magic involved is the magic of a little courage to try.


James Walpole

James Walpole is a writer, startup marketer, and perpetual apprentice. You're reading his blog right now, and he really appreciates it. Don't let it go to his head, though.

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