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In the old days, trades were kept alive by Masters, who took on and trained apprentices into journeymen, who became Masters in their own right. We’ve lost that in most ways, but there’s no reason you can’t resurrect the approach for our modern times. Learn to achieve and recognize your own success, so that you can become a Master to someone else. Be the Master covers my approach to Mastery, in a hope that it will inspire you to find your own path, and begin a generations-long tradition of helping others achieve their success. I cover the hurdles I overcame, including things like Imposter Syndrome, and outline a step-by-step approach for achieving your success. Because so many of us work in business, and because that work is usually a key part of our success, I also cover important business-related concepts and perspectives. Be the Master is a book I hope you can use to inspire yourself, and to help and inspire others.

Aside from the book, I’ll use this site to share additional ideas and inspiration, as well as stories and thoughts from readers (share yours!)

Curious about the book? Don spoke about it:

Thank you for your writing. I’m part of a 2 person IT dept for a small energy company, I do presentations and training at work. This is easy for me to prepare and present. I know the material, the audience and the software/hardware involved.

I learned Powershell in a month of lunches and from your presentations online. That has helped in my career, however your writing about teaching and being the master or going away has had more of a lasting impact on my family. I think this will be something that will help more people than anything I ever do at my job with Powershell.

“Teaching does not always feel rewarding. It doesn’t need to be. It is a repayment of something that was done for you. It is not a good thing that you do; it is an obligation that you have.” This is the quote that got me thinking about what I can do to help others in our situation.

I volunteered to present a talk (in between 100-150 people) on travelling with kids who have serious medical issues. This will be at the end of April and will have nothing to do with my core competency in technology. I do have a son with a serious medical issue and have a lot of experience with travel etc. I was fortunate enough to learn from a great nurse who has since passed away, and now I feel that it is my duty to pass that knowledge on from a parents perspective. If it only helps ease the burden a little bit for someone, I have fulfilled my obligation and it will keep me going.

Finding Your Apprentice(s)

I just finished Be The Master, 2nd Edition. As someone who is considered the team expert in several technologies, I am responsible for teaching less experienced tech professionals my tradecraft, so they can rise in their stations, but also so I can “move around the cabin” when necessary or even change planes, as opposed to being seatbelted in my seat on the one plane, for an entire flight (following Don’s aviation references here).

However, what this book made me realize is that I’ve been so focused on how to be a Master at work, that I’ve neglected how to be a Master at home.

I have 2 young children, a 9 year-old son and a 14 year-old daughter. Most of my time is spent working, and when not working, I spend my time thinking about work, reading about technology, playing in my lab, etc. As I read Dons’ book, I realized that I have never taught my son how to ride a bike, catch a baseball, practice Sanchin (for my Okinawan Karate Masters out there), etc. What was even more shocking, is when I realized what I WAS teaching my kids: language, how I treated coworkers, anger management, etc.

We are Masters to our children, whether we accept that role or not, and they will learn from us whatever we teach them, whether we realize we’re teaching them or not. We can be Masters in many facets of our lives, sometimes without even realizing it.

Thank you Don. This book has made a difference.

Be a “Master” to Your Family