Just published on Outlier Developer, I describe Four Aspiring Outlier Mistakes To Avoid, which I am personally guilty of and hope that I can prevent others from making.
None of the mistakes made above were due to laziness. There were all due to misprioritization. With hindsight all of these things look dumb, but while we are busy doing lots of things it is much harder to spot them. This is an area where it would be very helpful to receive advice from others who are in a more objective position.
The difficulty is that many developers are not likely to give you very good advice. They prefer TV Weekly over TED Talks, sitcoms over C# and cocktails over CodePen. I have worked in a few different industries outside of software development and found that this mentality is the norm everywhere. I believe that this is holding many people back.
The concept of the mastermind group was first presented in the classic book Think and Grow Rich. The basic idea is you should surround yourself with the brightest minds that you can find, so that good ideas can be nurtured into great ideas and everyone can motivate everyone else to keep performing at the top level. How can you find your mastermind group?
If you would like to network with some other readers, drop a comment with your contact details. You never know, it could be the start of a life-changing process for you. What do you have to lose?
Alternatively, or additionally, spend more time at user groups. The people you meet here tend to be highly passionate, intelligent and helpful.
So many talks are available on You Tube these days that it’s easy to think you might as well save travel time and expense by watching them online instead. While this is undoubtedly more convenient, it can’t replace the full value that you get from interacting with other developers in the flesh.