Skill tree of Means
Means is another primary ability for the developer archetype. For Expertise, we introduced the idea of Major and Minor skills.
The Major skills for Means I originally proposed was Personal Finance and Creativity. I'm going to tweak these slightly to Funding and Scrappiness. The other one someone pointed out that I was searching for the right word for was Connections.
Funding – governs the effectiveness at acquiring and managing funding for your work
Scrappiness – governs the effectiveness of how you use means to achieve your goals
Connections – governs the effectiveness of your network to provide means of support
Now we can build in some Minor skills:
The breakdown might look like this:
- Funding: Money management and capital acquisition skills
- Scrappiness: Self-awareness and experimentation skills
- Connections: Networking and relationship-building skills
Remember that skills govern the effectiveness of the actions you take in the world.
Meaning: a high-level Funding skill does not mean you're wealthy, but more like... you are more likely to succeed at getting money when you need it. Your "net worth" is a separate value you track on your character sheet. When you cancel a subscription to save money, you did a money management check and succeeded.
Alright, so how does this check out? Me again with low-mid-high:
- Funding: Mid. I have pretty good money management skills, thanks to understanding the financial independence framework. But I have low to zero "capital acquisition" skills. I've never dealt with venture money or business loans, and have only ever self-funded projects.
- Scrappiness: High. I experiment a ton. Building a SaaS, making blogs, video production, courses, freelancing, the list goes on. And I've done it since I was a teenager. Self-awareness is "learning from past mistakes," self-reflection, and course-correcting. All of this lets me do more with less.
- Connections: Mid. I do have a lot of "access" to people in big companies and through my network. That would allow me to find work pretty quickly if I needed it. I'd say my relationship-building needs work. The difference is quality vs. quantity.
It feels like these major/minor skills are measured or added up differently than Expertise was (based on past projects). Low-mid-high is easier to think about.
Why does this matter?
Well, depending on the archetype you're going for, you might be lacking in some areas.
If I was going for The Founder archetype, I might need to get familiar with venture capital funding or finding investors.
Simiarly, pretty much every archetype besides ones that keep you employed require mid-level money management skills. It will be hard to work for yourself without understanding more about taxes, budgeting, and simple accounting rules. The Early Retiree would require a high skill to deal with investment drawdown and cash flow.
And try being The Indie Hacker without being scrappy.
All I've seen are names on emails but can't put a face to them. They are just Faceless heads on the Black Slate.
List the skills and write down where you're at with each one (Low-Mid-High). This one is more about gut feeling and reflecting on your past than Expertise was.
Some possible prompts:
1. What would I do if I had to save up 3 months' worth of expenses?
2. Are there things I know don't work that I keep doing?
3. If I lost my job tomorrow, who could I reach out to for a new opportunity?