OoM 012: 8 Skill Sets Every Man Must Master

Since starting the Order of Man Project, I’ve had the chance to talk with some of the world’s most successful men.

With the hundreds of conversations that I’ve had, I’ve heard some pretty wild ideas of what it means to be a man and I’ve heard some that are spot-on.

It’s hard to define what makes a “real man.” Everyone seems to have their own opinion about it, as do I.

In an attempt to bring some clarity and simplicity to the conversation, I’ve narrowed it down to eight skill sets every man must master.

1. Relationships

Building powerful relationships with friends, family, and co-workers is necessary if you want to achieve any level of success. Not one man every had any level of success without some help along the way.

Learn to build relationships. Learn how to connect with people. Learn how to serve people.

2. Intellect

We, as men, cannot use ignorance as an excuse to live a mediocre life. We must continually gain knowledge to get ahead in this world.

Too often we believe that once we reach a certain level in our career or our income, that the quest for knowledge is over. I would argue that the exact opposite is true.

If you are not continually learning, you will stagnate and the world will pass you by.

3. Leadership

At some point, you will be called upon as a leader. Whether it’s in your business, your family, or your community, your level of preparation to lead will determine the collective success of those you are leading

Your ability to influence and lead others will spell the difference between success and failure.

4. Manly Skills

A manly-man is a man that knows his way around his tools. But developing manly skills is so much more important than that.

Becoming resourceful and learning to use the tools and resources around you is critical to your success and, in some cases, your survival.

Learn to work with tools, experiment, fail. The more you do, the better you’ll become. Here are a couple of key manly skills that I think you should know:

  • Sharpen a knife
  • Change the oil in your car
  • Throw a baseball
  • Swing a hammer
  • Basic electric and pluming
  • Basic wilderness survival

5. Money & Career

Regardless of your level of wealth, you should want more. It’s not about being greedy. It’s about building up a reserve of resources to serve you, your family, and those around you.

We are all stewards over the current wealth that we have. The reality is that you will not acquire more until you learn to handle what you currently have. Once you do, the world will bend over backwards to poor more wealth down on you.

Do you stick to a budget? Are you eliminating debt? Are you investing? What knowledge are you developing to further your business or career?

6. Physical Fitness

A year and a half ago, I weighed 50lbs more than I do today. I felt horrible! I was tired, angry, frustrated, and lazy.

Since cutting out 20% of my body weight, everything has turned around: my relationships with my family, my love life, my business, and so much more.

I get it-losing weight is hard. It’s time consuming. It takes energy. It requires you to change existing habits.

You have got to find a way to get in better shape. Personally, I do CrossFit and I have recently started competing in Spartan Races (Check out the article I wrote: 5 Reasons Every Man Should Compete in a Spartan Race).

Ryan Michler Spartan Bahamas
As you can see, my wife had way more energy than I did.

7. Self-Mastery

Your world and reality are a direct reflection of the information in your mind. Garbage in, garbage out. Success in, success out.

I’ve found that the natural man is lazy, prideful, stubborn, and many other less than appealing traits. I certainly know that it’s true for me.

Mastering your mind is perhaps the single most important thing that you can do to turn your life around or reach the newest height.

8. Style & Fashion

I’ve talked with a lot of men who believe that being stylish and fashionable is not “manly.” That is the furthest thing from the truth. If anything learning to use ALL the tools at your disposal in order to secure success is the most manly thing you could do.

Just as a contractor would use a hammer to build a house, you can use style and fashion as a tool to help you accomplish what you want. Always strive to look your best. (If  you want to learn to be more fashionable check out my roundup of 17 men’s fashion blogs and consider joining me at StyleCon next year).

My high school baseball coach would say “If you look good, you play good.” He was right! We won our region my junior year and placed 4th in state. We were 2nd in region my senior year. And, the team went to the state tournament for an additional two years after that. And, we were always the best looking team on the field.

Coincidence? I think not.

There you go guys. The 8 skill sets every man must master if he wants to call himself a real man. What do you think? Agree or disagree? What did I miss?

Gain exclusive emails with access to the best information available for men. Leadership, Self-Mastery, Relationships, Money, Manly Skills, and more. Become the man you were meant to be.
Previous post

How Developing Style Helps You Become a Better Man

Next post

How a Man Builds More Confidence (Video)


  1. March 22, 2016 at 3:52 am

    Hey Ryan,
    I stumbled upon your blog a few days ago, while I was doing some research. I read your story and I totally relate with you. It’s important for man to have a manly influence, there are certain lessons only a man can impart to another man.
    I like how you put things up. Keep up the good work man!