Improve any skill 10x faster with this formula

How I went from beginner to pro in less than 2 years.

This is what less than 2 years of practice looks like:

I did not know how to prepare for night hikes.

I did not know how to take photos of stars.

I did not know how to use Photoshop.

Sounds very much like a situation no one would ever put their bet on. And probably rightfully so.

I did it anyway.

Not that I believed in my incredible talent for photography (can you sense a bit of sarcasm here?), which I did not, but I believed in my ability to get better.

I knew the only way for me to get somewhere was to start with a mediocre level. And I accepted that.

That was the first step to producing my initial night composite image.

It may sound easy now that I write about it. And it looks pretty cool to reflect on it.

But I was scared at every step of the process.

I was scared of driving to the location and spending half the night in my car for the first time.

I was scared (like really scared) of hiking by night on my own, passing fields of cows with dozens of eyes that would all stand up and get closer to me. (I started running for my life the moment it happened and got lost).

I was scared of not having the physical condition to get to the location. And the hike was LESS than an hour long.

I was scared of having photographs so poor I wouldn’t be able to do anything with them in post-processing, even to practice (I ended up having very poor images anyway).

I was scared of opening Photoshop for the first time and being so overwhelmed with the program that I would give up right away.

But for one of the first times in my life, I decided fear wouldn’t be a good enough reason to not do what I was deeply craving for.

Strength does not come from the things you can do. It comes from the things you think you can’t.

I get the feedback more and more that I have a gift for what I do, that I was born with it, and that it’s probably easier for me than for most.

I don’t. I wasn’t born with it. The only thing that separates me from a beginner is the time spent practicing.

The more I practiced, the more I discovered what I enjoyed and what I was good at.

I doubled down on those.

Today I’d like to share with you the formula I applied to improve so drastically in such a short amount of time, and how you can apply it too.

The formula to improve any skill 10x faster

Learn. Plan. Execute. Repeat.

As simple as that.

Now I still need to expand a bit on that to keep you reading.

So I’ll give you some simple and actionable steps to make it valuable to you, and share a few examples from my photography journey.

1. Learn

There is enough content for you to read, listen to, or watch online for a lifetime in a niche field like astro or landscape photography. So how do you choose your information?

I chose to learn from the best. Namely Cath Simard and Visuals of Julius. Fortunately, they both had courses and videos where they were teaching how to do what they do.

I would learn a skill or a technique and apply it right away to better memorize it (and out of excitement too).

Learning will also rapidly highlight the knowledge you lack and that you require to even practice some of the things you are looking to learn.

For example, when I wanted to take my first Milky Way shot in the photo above, I realized once on the field (too late) that I had to learn WHEN and WHERE the Milky Way core is actually visible. And clearly, I hadn’t nailed that so I ended up capturing a cloud of stars a bit denser but that’s it.

Once you start covering the blank areas of your knowledge that are required for you to apply the learnings, then the fun begins.

2. Plan

I heard in the Modern Wisdom podcast a while ago something around those lines:

20 minutes of preparation adds 20 IQ points.

Alex Hormozi

It’s true I looked quite stupid heading to my first Milky Way shooting without knowing anything about when and how to shoot the Milky Way.

Preparation is what will make you more successful, even in your first attempts, at anything you undertake.

And that can help you tremendously in not giving up right away when you face the first difficulties.

I would also argue that preparation and planning are the basis of anticipation.

Anticipation is one of the greatest things you can leverage to keep you excited about what’s to come.

Planning in my case simply meant setting a date when the conditions would be in my favor, and organizing myself accordingly (making sure I could adapt my day job to that endeavor).

It also meant listing in advance everything I had to nail down to make the shot successful (camera and lens to use, settings, shooting hours…).

3. Execute

You don’t necessarily need to plan to execute.

But you increase dramatically the probability of you executing anything if you plan it ahead.


Because it seems so much more feasible. And that’s because you have brought clarity and order to a situation that most probably was foggy in your mind.

The reason I was able to make 10-15 hikes to create images from in the summer of 2022 was because I had planned every one of them into a PowerPoint of 15 slides each.

It took time. But I knew that was the absolute best way for me to make sure I was going to do them because the “only” thing I had to do was execute the plan.

The same applies to me at the gym. I will never go to the gym not knowing what are the exact exercises, number of sets, reps, and weights I will do. In fact, I know what I will be doing in my workouts for the next 8 weeks already.

And that is the main reason you can stick to it. It’s because there is a plan you can execute on.

The speed at which you repeat this loop is what will separate you from anyone currently at the same stage as you.

It’s an endless process and as you notice improvement every time you repeat it, you become more and more obsessed about it.

As you progress, you will also notice your standards getting higher.

At least they should. Otherwise, you might be doing something wrong.

The first composite I shared at the beginning of this letter was an image I was SO proud of creating.

Not because it’s the best work I’ve produced and would ever produce, but because I felt I was already improving just by doing. Of course today I would never accept that standard.

But the second image would never have happened without the first.

Another thing I’d like to add is that I mentioned earlier I had a lot of fear at the beginning.

I thought with time the fear would go away.

It never does. Don’t expect it to.

But as you repeat the process, you learn to build better tolerance to it. That’s what you should focus on.

Small steps will always outperform bigger ones in the long run.

If you made it that far, I thank you for your time.

See you in the next one,