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Hi, I'm Arjun
The Founder/Voice of DisplayZen
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The skill stack for modern entrepreneurs

The DZ Letter
8 min
Today's Snapshot

> Meta Skills

> Skills

> Creative Inlet

> Second Brain

> Socratic Method

Read time : 8 min

Hey there, Arjun here

Today's topic: The Skill Stack For Modern Entrepreneurs

The secret to success is to pursue skills that are not taught in school.

Here are the skills you need to master in the new digital economy ↓

There are two types of skills:

  1. Meta-skills
  2. Skills

Meta-skills are skills that help you learn other skills faster.

Here’s 3 meta-skills you need to learn:

  1. Writing
  2. Communication
  3. Creative Thinking

Now, let’s break down the actual skills you need to learn.

But first, I need you to understand that in a business, there are two main aspects: Offer and Traffic.

Offer is the product/service you are trying to sell.

Traffic is the distribution. It’s how you are going to get people to see your offer. In most cases, this will be social media content.

To master offers, you need these skills:

  1. Sales
  2. Offer creation
  3. Product creation
  4. Copywriting

To master traffic, you need these skills:

  1. Storytelling
  2. Content Creation
  3. Visual Design
  4. Human Psychology

Let’s move on to maintenance skills.

These are skills that can be delegated. But at the start, you need to learn them.

Some of these skills include:

  1. Video editing
  2. Use of tools like webflow, figma

Essentially, these are the skills needed to run the admin and makes sure your website, products, or the softwares you use work properly.

They require the technical aspect of your brain.

Now, all you have to do is combine this skill stack to the skills you are actually teaching.

So for example, if you teach people how to learn programming:

Modern skill stack (offers and traffic) + maintenance skills + Programming + your creative interests = Irreplaceable

Your creative interests include your curiosities. This could be nature, philosophy, neuroscience or others.

Adding these creative interests into your brand will make you unique and form your niche of one.

Now, let's move on to how you can learn skills better.

Learning comes down to the input or the information you see and hear from other people.

This includes:

  1. Youtube videos
  2. Online resources
  3. Instagram
  4. Medium
  5. Traditional schooling
  6. Courses
  7. Mentors

But you might get high-quality information, but your brain might not be able to actually make use of it properly.

What does this mean?

It means that you may be unable the convey the words you hear into words you can think and use in your writing.

So how do you fix this?

By improving your creative inlet.

First, let's understand what the ‘Creative Inlet’ means:

Creative Inlet plays hand in hand with creative Input, but there are differences.

Input is the act of putting something into something.

So inputting information into your mind is considered an input.

Let’s take an analogy:

Take a box. The act of putting things into the box is considered input. The hole that allows the things to be put inside the box is the inlet.

Now coming back to your mind.

Your creative inlet has a filter at which the information is being transmitted.

So you might get high-quality information, but your brain might not be able to actually make use of it properly.‍

This is the filter. So yes, the quality of the input definitely matters.. a lot. But I’d argue that the quality of your creative inlet is more important.

You may hear a lot of good things. But try putting what you hear into actual words you can use in your brand.

They will change and the way they change (either good or bad) depends on the quality of your creative inlet.

The quality of the inlet at which you perceive information will dictate the quality of the outlet. Thus, directly affecting the work output.

Improving the quality of input is very easy. Just learn from higher-quality people.

But improving the quality of your creative inlet is something that can be taught.

Why? Because it’s a skill.

If you want to learn how to improve your creative inlet, you can access my free guide here.

But now, how do you make sure that you don't forget the information you are learning?

The best way is to build a second brain.

How many brilliant ideas have you had and forgotten? How many insights have you failed to take action on? How much useful advice have you slowly forgotten as the years have passed? - Tiago Forte

The idea of building a second brain is simple. We only have 1 brain. And we forget things.

This 'second brain' acts as a place for us to dump our thoughts and move on to a new thing. We humans want to learn as much as possible.

This allows for that. It allows you to continuously learn a lot of things without forgetting the main info in the other information you are learning.

Why? You can always refer to the second brain for that info.

In fact, I'd say I have more than 1 'second brain'. I have multiple. Each for its own purpose and point of interest.

The brain kind of works in this way. It groups similar information into one section and sumarises it into a word or a sentence.

Don't believe me?

How many times were you able to recall an incident or information on something when you see/hear a certain word/sentence/incident?

Many times right? Probably.

So how do you build that second brain?

But before that, let’s see why you should in the first place.

Having a second brain helps you keep track of all the information you come across in your daily life. It's a valuable tool for people who want to continuously learn and improve themselves.

With a second brain, you can easily recall information and ideas, even years later.

1 - The ability to search

This itself should convince you by now. The ability to search is something I wish I can “add” into a physical notebook. But for now, it can’t.

You can easily search for whatever you need without flipping through the pages and reading word by word to find what you want.
You can even #tag your notes to make it even easier to search.

2 - It’s forever there

You can’t lose it unless you delete it. Which you can recover from the ‘trash bin’ option.

3 - It’s faster

Most people I know type faster than writing down. You are most probably the same. It saves time. And your handwriting doesn’t matter.

But ofcourse, some people enjoy the aspect of physically jotting down ideas and that's fine.

Let’s see how you can build your second brain and optimise it for maximum productivity ↓

Tiago forte talks about the CODE framework which is a step-by-step guide we can use to build your own second brain.

But, it can be hard to understand. So, this is our take on it.

C - Capture

O - Organise

D - Distill

E - Express

C: Capture

This is the first step of the CODE framework. Whatever you learn, you need to take notes. The platform we recommend is Notion.

You can write down information you learnt, things you found interesting, your thoughts, ideas and anything else.

O: Organise

Once you've captured all the information, you need to organize it in a way that makes sense to you. This could involve creating separate pages or sections for different projects or areas of interest.

Our tip is to organize things by actionability. Where would you use those notes?

For example, the title can be - Project A (e.g. Book) and the notes inside can be anything related to project A (e.g. anything related to the book like branding)

D: Distill

This step is essential. You take a lot of notes. Not all of them are useful. So, from time to time, come back, read the notes, and delete what isn’t useful. Highlight information that is important.

This step is crucial for ensuring that your second brain remains a useful tool and doesn't become cluttered with irrelevant information.

E: Express

This is quite simple.

Express = Your Output from the information (if you want to learn how you can better output information better, you can read the previous letter here)

No matter how many notes you take. If you don’t share it to the world or take action. It’s useless.

This could involve sharing your insights with others, writing articles or blog posts, or using the information to take action in your personal or professional life.

Put that information to use.

In conclusion, building a second brain can be a powerful tool for personal and professional growth.

One last aspect is The Socratic Method ↓

All successful entrepreneurs are lifelong students.

Commit yourself to lifelong Learning. The most valuable asset you will ever have is your mind and what you put into it. –  Albert Einstein

Learning is a skill and one of the best ways to improve your learning process is by using the Socratic Method.

But first, who is Socrates?

Socrates was a Greek philosopher who sought to get to the foundations of his students' and colleagues' views by asking continual questions until a contradiction was exposed, thus proving the fallacy of the initial assumption. (credits

This became known as the Socratic Method.

So next time you come across a thought, suggestion, or any piece of content, ask yourself why, understand other viewpoints and ask questions.

That's it for this week's newsletter.

And if you've got a moment, I'd love to hear your thoughts on this edition of The DZ Letter.

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Have a wonderful rest of your day and see you in the next letter, my friends.


Arjun, DisplayZen

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