October 13

WYODC WEEKLY #34: Polymath Profits?


Hi ,  

Do you know what’s the #1 most valuable skill in business?

It’s not sales, marketing or team-building.

If you’d ask me… I’d say it’s “Accelerated Learning”. 

Becoming a Polymath like Elon Musk, Buckminster Fuller and Leonardo Da Vinci.


A modern polymath is someone who becomes competent in at least three diverse domains and integrates them into a top 1-per cent skill set.

Being a polymath is not about being a Jack of All Trades… 

It’s about getting good at a few things so you don’t get pigeonholed into a box.

… Though most people can’t be a Master of All Trades… it’s possible to become a Master of a Few Trades. 

Today, I’ll show you how you can start training your brain to become a Polymath. 

I want to share some learnings I got from the great Opher Brayer. 

Opher is the world’s no.1 authority in training people to become geniuses. And he’s doing it for entire nations now.

He’s also the Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Awards 2018 Winner for Education. 

He’s also THE business coach for Eben Pagan and David L. Deutsch — heavyweights in their own right.

Now, one of the biggest things I learned from Opher Brayer is his perspectives on Accelerated Learning. 

Like Kenneth, Opher is a huge Polymath as well. (He trains geniuses after all).

I think being a Polymath is one of the biggest unfair advantages you can enjoy in business.

Especially if you want to succeed in the long haul and differentiate yourself from your competition… 

Then it’s absolutely necessary that you should be good at a few things… 

And not be stuck as a specialist. 

For example, although Kenneth is brilliant at Copywriting… that’s not the only skill he knows… 

He’s also skilled in course creation, brand strategy, SEO, training and even team building.

This makes him a full-stack marketer… 

But that’s not all… Kenneth is also experienced in the corporate sector.

In fact, Kenneth received a job offer to be the Head of Brand from Oracle… but he turned it down.

That’s the power of becoming a Polymath.

Because Kenneth can simply transfer knowledge from one field to another. 

Such as applying his experience in the corporate world to entrepreneurship and vice versa.

I can safely say that there aren’t many marketers who are well-versed in so many domains. 

This makes Kenneth extremely rare and high-value.

Now, let’s assume if Kenneth quits the world of marketing… he still has the option to become a highly paid corporate executive.

In other words…

Becoming a Polymath makes you a much more desirable option in the marketplace.


Because you can simply transfer knowledge and perspectives from one field to another… 

This gives you the ability to better make sense of the increasing complexity in business so you can approach your problems from multiple angles. 

Here’s the biggest advantage of becoming a Polymath:

Creating an atypical combination of two or more skills that you’re merely competent in can lead to a world-class skill set.

Scott Dilbert was an average Joe like us when he was 20… however he made a name for himself by combining humor and cartoon-creation with business culture. 

By doing that, Scott created his very own niche and then dominated it.

In a super insightful blog post, he wrote:

If you want something extraordinary [in life], you have two paths:

1. Become the best at one specific thing.

2. Become very good (top 25%) at two or more things.

The first strategy is difficult to the point of near impossibility. Few people will ever play in the NBA or make a platinum album. I don’t recommend anyone even try.

The second strategy is fairly easy. Everyone has at least a few areas in which they could be in the top 25% with some effort.

In my case, I can draw better than most people, but I’m hardly an artist. And I’m not any funnier than the average standup comedian who never makes it big, but I’m funnier than most people.

The magic is that few people can draw well and write jokes. It’s the combination of the two that makes what I do so rare.

And when you add in my business background, suddenly I had a topic that few cartoonists could hope to understand without living it.

I think what Scott Dilbert said is genius.

It’s much easier to stand out and separate yourself from your competition if you are competent in two or more skill sets. 

When you do this, you can combine them to form your secret weapon.

This is also why some of the best entrepreneurs today are Polymaths.

I bet they intuitively know that being a Polymath gives them a hidden and indestructible advantage over their competitors.

Elon Musk (Elon combines physics, engineering, programming, design, manufacturing, and business to build Tesla). 

Mark Zuckerberg (Mark combines programming, design and psychology to build Social Media App Facebook). 

And of course, Opher himself is a massive Polymath. 

He’s a teacher, business mentor and even a scientist. Opher himself has an educational company and his latest venture involves becoming the Chief Scientific Officer for a SAAS company. 

Opher combines programming, coaching and AI to build his new venture Impro.AI.

If you’d like to learn how to become a Polymath, here are some of the notes I’ve gathered from the Inner Sanctum with Opher:

Opher’s Perspective on Learning: 

  • Do not study knowledge until you have the right brain/mental models/systems in your brain. 
  • You have to train your brain to be better equipped with the right strategies. 
  • A brain with the wrong mental model or strategies will not store any amount of knowledge effectively. 
  • When you have the right brain, then you can study knowledge and skills.
  • But first, you need to fix the brain. Only by having the right brain, you can succeed.
  • The wrong brain will study everything but will not succeed.
  • Opher is a big believer in the Polymath Ideology where you apply knowledge from one field to another field. (E.g. like how Elon Musk and Leonardo Da Vinci learn). 
  • Hence, the brain-training program he creates is extremely different because it’s extremely customized. It sees what skills the child has and uses his existing talent to develop other skills. 
  • For example, if a child is good at basketball, he’d use that talent in basketball to develop his math skills.
  • How Opher learned when he was young was that his dad would take him to the library and he’d be essentially “homeschooled” by the library. 
  • He’d take a book, read a sentence. And whenever there’s a question that arises in his mind, he would search for the answer immediately. 
  • This way, Opher found that he could build bridges across different knowledge since the more information he searched, the better he knew about a subject. And from there, he could see the connections. 
  • That’s his Unique Strategy: Next time you identify a question when reading something. STOP and go and search for the answer immediately. 
  • Most people in society always think that we have to be professional in one field. This is why universities have a very focused and specialized curriculum. This is totally wrong.
  • Elon Musk doesn’t have a profession. He is a Polymath thinker. He’s a generalist. He understands many different things and knows how to transfer knowledge to another field. And to be a great thinker, you can model him.
  • There will be millions of new professions in the new world. Next time, we’ll have to change the profession every few years.
  • To beat Machines which are programmed to be smarter than us (GPT-3), you need to have both compassion and passion. These are elements which cannot be coded in an Algorithm.

To sum it up, here are the top 3 pointers:1. If you want to thrive and write your own d@mn check, you can’t just be a specialist and “professional” in one field. You have to hone a few skills which complement one another. Also, it’s also important to learn how to apply and transfer relevant knowledge from one field to another. 

For example, learning how to write good copy is one skill. It’s a good idea to pair this skill with traffic generation or brand strategy so you become a much more well-rounded marketer. 

If you’re a coach or consultant, it’s important that you learn about how you can deliver in an online setting so you can scale your business and deliver value to more people. 2. Leverage upon your existing knowledge and foundations to build other skills. For example, if you’re great with coding and you want to learn how to cook… you can apply the same frameworks you picked from learning about tech to learn how to cook.  3. It’s important you rewire your brain regularly through improving your mental models and systems. Because if you don’t, no amount of learning will help. Most people learn endlessly and they end up getting info-overloaded. 

Personally, I think being a Polymath is one of the best things you can do to always stay relevant and three steps ahead of your competition.

It ties in with what Kenneth shares about the Franken-Mind… because when you’re able to embrace the complexity and changing conditions in your business… 

I think it’s one of the best things you can learn for a copywriter and marketer. 

I’m just curious… how are you applying the “Franken-Mind” principle in your daily life?

Hit the REPLY button to lemme know!

If you want more awesome content like that… Please subscribe to the WYODC Youtube Channel here.

See you next week!


Zachary Tan


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