SKAR Development Formula by Richard Wilson

SKAR Development Formula

There is a formula that I have used over the past 7 years to help me build my resume, career, and now my own small business, that is the SKAR Formula.  This is not a way to shortcut the hard work it takes to be successful, but rather a map as to where invest your energy to increase the results you get in return for your investment.

SKAR Development Formula

Specialized Knowledge + Authority positioning + tangible Results = huge growth opportunities and faster development within your career or business.


Specialized Knowledge = Specific knowledge that is practical, functional and very niche specific to the area within you work or the skill or ability you rely on to perform well.  Specialized knowledge exists whether you are an airplane pilot, hedge fund analyst, or third party marketer.  The difference between having specialized knowledge or not could mean the difference between spending 18 months to complete a task or project or being able to development strong client relationships and complete the same task in just 3 months. It lets you identify more opportunities, move more quickly on them, and execute with efficiency when once multiplied over several years puts you within a different league of competition.  Some ideas on how you can further develop your specialized knowledge include:

  1. Read two books/month for the next two years on the area of specialized knowledge which is going to benefit your business or career most.  
  2. Subscribe to 3 of the best newsletters from blogs or experts in your industry which are NOT re-hashed press releases and garbage news. You learn close to nothing from reading the news - read insights, analyses and white papers within these newsletters instead.  There are at least 2-3 valuable free newsletters in each industry.
  3. Complete a niche training and certification program specific to your area of specialized knowledge.  Having a third party verify that you have obtained a certain level of specialized knowledge is ALWAYS  going to be more credible than, I like to read books and email newsletters, here is what I have read lately.  Seek out an online certification program and start one within 6 months, this will force you to read and learn more within your niche.
  4. Write one article a week on your thoughts, best practices, and lessons learned within your niche area of practice.  Write anonymously by creating a free blog at and start synthesizing what you are learning and combining other ideas to create your own original concepts (such as this blog post).

Authority Positioning = Creating structures around your firm or self so that your knowledge and abilities are communicated in a way that positions you as an authority in your niche area.  Ideally this area lines up 1-to-1 with your area of specialized knowledge and it can be the result of gathering this knowledge.  Two professionals can hold the same knowledge though, while one write 5 books and completes over 50 press interviews a year the other may be an arm chair critic with a small group of 5-7 consulting clients.  The more well positioned professional will reap rewards from new opportunities coming towards him instead of the other way around.  I was a competitive swimmer earlier in my life and the best book I read on swimming was called "Swimming Downhill" it was a way to swim so that your body is tilted forward and you literally cut continually downwards into the water.  If you get Authority Positioning right it will be like you are swimming downhill.  Jeffrey Gitomer is a great study of authority positioning, he started writing 8 pages a day when he was 46 years old, now in his fifties he has over 10 best selling books, and charges more than Colin Powell for speeches - the real important detail though is he NEVER cold calls anyone and never scrambles for new business.  His phone literally rings off the hook with new opportunities, clients, and join venture partnerships due to his positioning, he is swimming down a steep hill.

  1. Publish your own newsletter or blog - even if you only publish something once every 2 weeks, having it and building it over time is what is important.  
  2. Interview one professional each month for your own blog or newsletter, tell them that you can't compensate them but as your website becomes more popular they may get some exposure and they can have a copy of the recorded phone call transcript, Mp3 file or document which you type up.  Interviewing experts is a shortcut to gaining specialized knowledge and authority positioning quick.  Simply telling others that you have interviewed 20 of the top experts in the industry and overall you found A & B and most surprisingly C is very powerful.  Note, the strong you have fulfilled your work in building specialized knowledge the more willing these experts will be to connect with you and the more pointed and refined your questions will be.  Ever done an interview with a journalist who has never worked in your field? Not always fun or fulfilling to answer the basics which can be looked up on Google in 3 seconds.
  3. Take what you have written within your own newsletter or blog and self-publish a book, with 60-80 pages of single spaced text anyone can do this for $15 at  Very simple, no more excuses that you do not have a book deal. I got my second big investment marketing contract partially because I had a self-published book in hand and someone gave me a chance based on my dedication to the niche.  The book positions you as an authority.
  4. Create a 1 page PDF list of all of your past clients. This can show depth, experience, and respect that others have given you by paying for your services and time in the past.
  5. Speak at conferences.  It is relatively easy to land speaking spots at conference, networking events and seminars.  Lots of professionals are looking for others with unique ideas and lessons to share, and again teaching what specialized knowledge you have gained helps you connect and synthesize these ideas.  If you are speaking to a crowd you are within an authority position and when you mention your speaking it adds credibility because others have stopped their business days and invested their valuable time to listen to what you had to say. 

Tangible Results: The importance of showing real tangible results cannot be over-stated.  Finding ways to do this within service businesses, the fund management industry, or within certain areas of extreme confidentiality is challenging.  Some types of tangible results that can be shared include:

  • An actual printed out version of part of the service or end result of the product or service
  • Video or text (not as good)  testimonials from past and current clients, the more specific to the immediate need or concern of your potential client or employer the better...the more numerous the testimonials the better.
  • The first 15-20% of the product or your service given away for free on a trial basis. $1 first month trial, 4 weeks of free work or time so we can prove our worth to you, etc.
  • Diverse and numerous case studies of past clients or employers, this proves that you work with firms with various needs and have found solutions for them, it allows the reader of these case studies to imagine you solving their problem
  • A little tip, quick take away or lesson within your sales letter or website which provides the potential client with immediate benefit. This proves that you have the goods, are an authority and do have their best interests in mind.
Another related topic that I don't have space to go into here is that underlying all three of these items are having the right habits.  Habits have been shown to form 96% of what we do every single day.  We tend to eat the same things, walk the same way, watch the same shows, and read the same types of books. As the quote goes, "first you form your habits, and then your habits form you." What business habits are you forming? What elements of the SKAR formula are you using each week?  When you read this type of advice are you thinking "I already know this stuff" or "how good am I at that, and where could I improve?" 

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