Learning from a master

getting started guest post Jun 16, 2023


A guest post from Amy Whipple, a member of the Platform Launchers Members' Club

When you meet someone with 10,000 hours in their craft, it shows and questions about how they became so good arise. How did they start? Did they ever fail? What prompted them to pursue their craft? When meeting an expert in their craft, I love to soak in the life lessons they have to share. The story of Ratcliff the Bricklayer will always be a memorable one for me!

Recently, while in Charleston, there was an expert bricklayer of 31 years driving my Uber. His name was Ratcliff. I was fascinated by his story and the stats he shared with me. Ratcliff said a master bricklayer can lay between 800-1,000 bricks per day. In contrast, the average bricklayer can lay 500 bricks a day, while a beginner can lay only 200 bricks.


Ratcliff’s Lesson #1 - Experts don’t become experts overnight.


How did you become a master in your craft? “I started as a laborer and always watched the main brick mason. Every day when the mason went to lunch, I would lay a row and practice. I would tear them down before he would come back so he wouldn’t see my initial attempts.”

  • Watch those around you doing what you love.

  • Don’t be afraid to learn from experts.

  • Put in the reps to your craft when no one is watching.


How did you transition from a laborer to a mason? “One day after months and months of practice, I was satisfied! I left the row of bricks up for him to see. I was brave enough. He couldn’t believe it and asked who did this work and how did they do it. I told him I had laid the bricks and that I had been practicing his techniques for months. But, I always removed my attempts until I was sure he would be satisfied with the finished product.

  • Practice before you put your work out there – Ratcliff didn’t lay one row and claim to be an expert.

  • Be confident in your work after you have practiced and let your work stand for others to see.


Here’s my question for you. Where do you find yourself in this story? Are you the brick mason, the expert where others are watching you? You never know who’s watching you or trying to duplicate you. Are you the laborer who is just getting started and closely watching other masters? Are you looking to the right sources to line up your values and dreams with those who have had success with what you want to be doing? Maybe you are not even watching an expert and you just jumped into your process and your technique or process is a mess! If we can learn one from this article, be sure to surround yourself with mentors and experts doing what you love.

For years, I was the laborer that would hide behind master bricklayers watching and learning. Recently, I helped to organize a conference for hundreds and saw the need for my platform – The Rise and Shine Mastermind. The conference offered a StrongHER track. It was packed and not all of the women could fit in the classroom. At that point, I was already answering 8-15 hours of questions a week resourcing new business owners. I wanted to do something about these requests, and I finally felt the confidence to stand and help others with my knowledge and experiences. I realized that new start-ups needed so many resources and this motivated me to create the Rise and Shine Mastermind. I run an early morning mastermind that challenges women entrepreneurs to “Get up and Get Growing” We meet from 5:20-6:20AM over Zoom. www.riseandshinemastermind.com


Lastly, Platform Launchers is an amazing community that teaches you how to build an online platform. You are surrounded by a group of people who have practiced each of their crafts for a while. John Stange is that master brick layer who is teaching a ton of Ratcliff’s how to start, grow, and monetize their online platform! Take that leap to let your work and craft be seen by others. Come join us every Tuesday at 8PM. More information can be found here: www.platformlaunchers.com

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