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Figuring out what one doesnt know.

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Nmm540

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I was thinking today about thinking and I was wondering what strategies everyone employs when it comes to figuring out what you dont know. For example, I dont know... how to figure out...what I dont know. My main method of attack is to just keep acquiring information through books, webinars, online, blogs, etc and also to find mentors or at least people who have been successful in business.
 

LiveEntrepreneur

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I was thinking today about thinking and I was wondering what strategies everyone employs when it comes to figuring out what you dont know. For example, I dont know... how to figure out...what I dont know. My main method of attack is to just keep acquiring information through books, webinars, online, blogs, etc and also to find mentors or at least people who have been successful in business.
Im currently facing this challenge, it's a bitch. I keep trying similar things to get over this hurdle but haven't been successful. one thing I noticed that helps massively is getting a mentor. They know how to do it so they can show you exactly how.

But if you are doing it alone like me your going to go to struggle street to figure it out. Let me know if you do lol, i could use the advice.

The most effective way that i know so far is by trial and error but i think this way you will spend alot of time doing things that you dont need to do.
 

Roli

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I dont know... how to figure out...what I dont know. My main method of attack is to just keep acquiring information through books, webinars, online, blogs, etc and also to find mentors or at least people who have been successful in business.

Your question is too broad, because obviously there is a ton you don't know, like why light behaves like a wave when you're not observing individual photons, but doesn't when you are...

Acquiring information makes you informed, however knowledge is something different.

For instance, next time you watch a webinar or read a chapter of a book, try and explain it to someone the next day. Or simply write down from memory what you can recall. Then try and break it down to its simplest parts, explain it as if you were explaining it to a five year old.

If you are able to do this, then you can be happy that you 'know' the subject, if not, you don't.

I found this the other day which should help..
 

NuclearPuma

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I saw a good talk that covered this once and gave an example of PhDs.
It said, with a bachelors degree you know everything, then when you finish your masters degree you know most things, but discovered a few that you don't, and when you finish your PhD you realize you actually don't know anything at all.
 

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I was thinking today about thinking and I was wondering what strategies everyone employs when it comes to figuring out what you dont know. For example, I dont know... how to figure out...what I dont know. My main method of attack is to just keep acquiring information through books, webinars, online, blogs, etc and also to find mentors or at least people who have been successful in business.

The problem is so many people get caught up in this trap of constant books, webinars, forums, blogs, etc that it leaves them little or no time to build their business and just ends up as action faking.

The solution is to acquire knowledge in a linear way. Say you want to sell a product on your own website and you are not going to outsource any of the stages then it might look like this:

  1. Take a course on Wordpress - Build your website
  2. Research shopping carts - Intergrate the WooCommerce Plugin
  3. Read Lex DeVille's threads on copywriting - populate your site with high converting text that sells
  4. Research payment providers - Sign up for Stripe and implement it into your site
  5. Research couriers - Sign up with UPS
  6. Read Andy Black's adwords posts - start an adword campaign
By doing it this way you are only acquiring the knowledge you need to move you forward rather than gaining knowledge for knowledge's sake.

Once you have a viable business that is pulling in coin you can spend time on refining it and improving it. A case of Ready Fire Aim I guess.
 
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Tony Tong

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The problem is so many people get caught up in this trap of constant books, webinars, forums, blogs, etc that it leaves them little or no time to build their business and just ends up as action faking.

The solution is to acquire knowledge in a linear way. Say you want to sell a product on your own website and you are not going to outsource any of the stages then it might look like this:

  1. Take a course on Wordpress - Build your website
  2. Research shopping carts - Intergrate the WooCommerce Plugin
  3. Read Lex DeVille's threads on copywriting - populate your site with high converting text that sells
  4. Research payment providers - Sign up for Stripe and implement it into your site
  5. Research couriers - Sign up with UPS
  6. Read Andy Black's adwords posts - start an adword campaign
By doing it this way you are only acquiring the knowledge you need to move you forward rather than gaining knowledge for knowledge's sake.

Once you have a viable business that is pulling in coin you can spend time on refining it and improving it. A case of Ready Fire Aim I guess.

This is very true, sometimes the line is deviously hard to discern.

When I'm coding and taking the chance to learn something new about code, the pleasure of learning tends to make me go overboard and over-build, when all I need is the simplest version before moving onto the next step.

For me I think there are 2 ways of learning, one is more proactive, and the other is from the pain of real mistakes. While both try to reduce what you don't know, in reality only a very small portion of what you don't know is what are the absolute fatal errors.

Charlie Munger famously said
"All I Want To Know Is Where I'm Going To Die So I'll Never Go There."

I don't know how to build a car. Does it matter? No. It doesn't because nothing in my profession requires me to know and do it.

My approach is to learn the top 3 mental models of as many separate fields as I can, and to have 5-10 top mental models (more refined and insightful) for the select fields I am aiming to hinge my profession upon. My top 3 selected fields are Data Science, Marketing and Software Development.

This way I "know just enough to be dangerous" for fields I am less knowledgeable in, but can enjoy decent leverage by multiplying my top 3 skillsets together. It is easier to be excellent in 2 things than to be a genius in 1, but it is your choice.

Another angle is to take a real honest look at yourself and compare in what areas do other people tend to do better than you, and even if you cannot learn their personality/ skillset, you at least have a cursory understanding of what areas you could improve on.
 

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You won't know what you need to know until you do the thing that you need to do. You can't possibly prepare yourself before you start. You will always run into an obstacle. That's when the real learning starts.

I used to do some government contracting work with my Uncle. I logged into the system, prepared the quotes, sent them off, and did some data entry into Excel. It was monotonous work, but I enjoyed the idea of what I was doing and it was simple.

Then, last year I decided to do it for myself. Oh boy, what a ride it was. I had to set up my LLC and figure out how to do that. I went with LegalZoom. I won't do that again. I had to open a business bank account. I had to set up an account with a government system and answer a bunch of questions to get what is called a CAGE code. I had to set up an account with a second government system to bid on the contracts. I had to setup a third account with a system that was a program to invoice the government so I could be paid. I had to buy a phone line to use for the business and researched how to do it cheaply.

After I began bidding on the contracts, I had to learn their methods of packaging since they want everything a certain way. I eventually would need to learn how to relabel everything. When I finally won my first contract, I had to setup an account with a fourth system so that I could print labels with a specific template and bar codes and get the shipping labels (the government is picky).

So then, I want to get paid. I go into that third account. So many blocks and links and buttons, what do I do? I had to call their office and have them walk me through it (it was actually super easy once they showed me).

My point is that there was no way I was going to foresee knowing any of that. It was hurdle after hurdle, obstacle after obstacle. I thought I'd just jump in and start bidding. Nope. When I first decided to start the contracting business I didn't know what I didn't know. The only way I know what I know now is by doing it and running into those problems along the way, learning how to overcome it, and then do what I needed to do to get around it. I had no idea what my Uncle did to get to the point he did. I had to learn it for myself and for that I was much better off.
 

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figuring out what you dont know.

THIS is business! Congrats on landing on this. The better you are at this, the better leader you will become.
 
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