Another recurring theme is 'modeling success', which is also cool.
What many people don't do is model that success all the way.
Which leads me to my subject line...
What happens when you learn to cook?
> You learn a few basic techniques.
> You learn to follow a recipe.
> If you aim for more than simply avoiding starvation, you start finding role models and following them.
If you develop a passion for it, and you keep growing, you hit the magic moment.
You're following a recipe, adding some of this and some of that, and you wonder to yourself, "self, what would happen if we added some of this other thing instead?" You do it, and it tastes good. You keep trying things, adding your own twists and variations on the proven model you've chosen. Some work, some don't. At some point you realize you know WHY the ones that don't work, don't.
Now you've modeled success completely.
The same goes for IM.
> Learn the basics.
> Learn a model or system that works for someone else.
When that magic moment comes, and you think of something you want to try, do it. If it works or doesn't, try to understand WHY.
Soon, you'll be doing things that you've come up with on your own, and you'll be doing them because you understand why you're doing them. Not because the gooroo of the month does them.
At that point, you'll be a marketer rather than a mimic.