Amateur Skills are Better than no Skills – Why you don’t need to be an expert to do new things

amateur skills


Can I share a little secret with y’all?

I’m amateur. Like, at a lot of things.

Oh, I can do a lot of different things. I have a ton of skills. But most of them are amateur at best.

Some of them hover around the “novice” skill mark. But I’d be hard pressed to find a skill where I’m an expert at.

Unless eating is a skill. Can eating be a skill? Because I’m REALLY good at that. 

I guess I’m pretty good at keeping kids alive too, so if ever there was a skill us moms want to be an expert at, I guess it’s that. 🙂

I know, I know. Bloggers aren’t supposed to admit that they are amateur. But I generally don’t really play by the blogging rules.   Just call me a blogging rebel.  I like to live dangerously outside the blogging box.

So, here’s the truth about my lack of skills. You see, my background doesn’t involve any recipes handed down from my grandma or great grandparent or great-great grandparent. ( I don’t have a single family recipe and honestly don’t even know if there are any that exist.)

I didn’t grow up on a farm. My family didn’t plant a yearly garden. We ate our soup from a can.  (I mean, those Campbell’s commercials had a way of convincing you it was like a warm hug on a cold day….)

I learned how to sew (and by learn I mean I can sew a straight line….sort of) from my home economics class and then Youtube videos.

The same goes for canning. And crocheting. Gardening. Cooking. Homesteading. Tapping trees for maple syrup.  Playing guitar.  Making beeswax candles.  Making soap.


The majority of me learning my “skills” came from a mixture of online tutorials and videos, books, and asking friends for tips.  And also from doing, then failing, then doing, then failing, then doing and finally succeeding!

And while I can do a bit of everything, I don’t consider myself an expert in any of it. And I’m really okay with that.

I mean, even with my basic, amateur sewing skills I managed to whip up this apron last weekend:

amateur skills

What’s my point in all of this? My point is that you don’t HAVE to be an expert to homestead. You don’t have to be an expert to do new things. You don’t have to be an expert to succeed whether it be homesteading, finances, blogging, starting a home business, etc.

You can actually succeed at a lot with amateur skills.

The problem I see though is that people think because they aren’t experts that they have no business of trying.

“I can’t homestead because I didn’t come from a farming family and I don’t know what I’m doing unlike those other homesteaders who have 10 acres, a full barn of animals, and a huge, successful garden.:

“I can’t call myself frugal because I am behind in my bills.”

“I can’t start a home business, I have no college diploma, no experience, and I’m not as smart and savvy as those others who are killing it.”

“I can’t do XY and Z because I’m too old compared to those younger ones who have it all figured out.  I missed the boat.”

“I can’t do XY and Z because I’m too young compared to those older ones who have a lifetime of experience. Who am I to even try?”

The fear takes over and tells them not to do it. Or they never get out of the research stage. Don’t get me wrong, research is good. But you can research something to death and then once you’ve reached that point you are so overwhelmed you don’t bother attempting whatever it was you were going to do because too much research tells you that you just aren’t capable of succeeding at it.

There’s something to be said for just doing it – just trying, knowing that the outcome may be that you fail.

Let’s be honest – if you try enough new things chances are there’s going to be some serious fails.

And that’s when you get back up, dust yourself off, and try again. I know that sounds cliche, but it’s true.

Over the past few years especially I’ve learned that sometimes I just need to jump in and do something, knowing full well that I can only learn by doing.

Earlier this year I learned how to butcher a chicken as well as a duck for the first time ever. All I had was a Youtube video, and some serious praying.

But I figured it out (thanks Youtube. 🙂 ) and as a homesteader that was a pretty big deal for me. It is part of the self-sufficient journey I am on.

So, today I want to encourage you to just do it. To recognize that amateur skills are better than no skills. I am going to end this post today with a list of tutorials to learn a variety of different skills.

And if you are lucky, if you do it enough, maybe your amateur skills will eventually become master skills. 🙂


If you want to raise chickens:

How to raise baby chicks

8 of the best Chicken Breeds for Eggs

Raising Chickens: What you need to know before buying laying hens


If you want to learn how to cook:

How to bake bread

How to make Chicken Broth

How to make Yogurt


If you want to start homesteading (and no, you don’t have to live on a bunch of acreage to do it – you can homestead no matter where you live)

Do one thing every month to grow your homestead every year for 

How you can be a homesteader no matter where you live


If you want to learn how to sew:

Sewing for Beginners


If you want to learn how to preserve food by canning:

Canning for Beginners

Hot Water Bath Canning


If you want to learn how to start a home business:

17 Side Hustles to Make you Money

Start a Blog the Cheap Way


I hope that the above tutorials can help you learn some new skills.  You may start as an amateur, but over time you might graduate to expert.  Even if you don’t, all those skills will benefit you in the long run.  There is no downside to learning new skills.




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