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NOTABLE! What if you already know enough?

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Andy Black

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The most obvious danger of consuming too much is that it turns you into a consumer.

A lot of that “free” (and paid) content out there is designed to turn you into someone else’s consumer. (And it’s not free btw... not unless you put zero value on the time it took to consume that “free” content.)

You probably knew this right?


But here’s something I’ve noticed from PMs with a couple of thousand forum members:

Many of you don’t think you know enough to get started.

Many of you are constantly looking for something else to consume so you can finally become a producer.



I think the more insidious, hidden, danger of consuming is that it makes you think you don’t already know enough to start.



I always imagine a young lad knocking on the door with a lawnmower in tow.

“Hey mister. Do you need your grass cut?”

“Not today thanks.”

“No thanks. Maybe another time.”

“Oh wow. I was just thinking of finding someone to cut my grass. Yes please.”

(I live in a very polite little world.)



You know what that lad didn’t do?

He didn’t think:

“I better get a logo.”

“I better get a website.”

“I don’t know enough about cold calling.”

“I better go to the library and get a heap of books out on how to start a business.”

Here in this forum we’d call all of the above “action faking.”

Many of us know to give ourselves a stern talking to when we catch ourselves action faking.


But did you know the super dangerous rabbit-hole awaiting you if you set foot in the library?

“Oh boy. I didn’t realise I needed to know about marketing as well as just starting a business.”

“Uh-oh... I didn’t even know I needed to create avatars of my ideal customers before I go knocking on doors. What if I go round the wrong estate?”

“USP?! Whoa. I’m glad I came into the library today. I didn’t even know that I didn’t know about USPs.”

“Scaling? Growth? What’s that mean? Should I even try to start a grass cutting business?”

“OMG... look at all this stuff I didn’t know I needed to learn before I even step out of the house and speak to people this fine Saturday afternoon.”


I’m working with a career salesman at the moment. I’m hoping to onboard him so he can help me get more local service business clients.

He kept telling me of all the courses he’s been on and all the books he’s read.

That’s ok. I won’t hold that against him. He’s been a salesman over the course of 20 years, and been on the road most of that time.

“Dude. Don’t set “appointments”. Just meet for a chat over a coffee.”

“Dude. Don’t bring that hardback A4 book. Here, I got you a small black Moleskine.”


The best bit from one of our chats this week?

“Andy. This is great. I’m really enjoying just chatting to people. I love this word “chat”. I’m having to deprogramme myself from all that corporate bullshit I used to have to go through.”

Bingo!



Many of you are straight out of school or college.

You’ve been taught to consume and read your way out of problems.

You’ve been programmed whenever a new challenge comes up to instantly go searching for a book or course.

This is how deep the script has it’s claws in you. And the further you got into the education system the deeper those claws.

I get it. I was a good student. I got my degree. I worked a cubicle for nearly 2 decades. I took the courses. I Googled for “books on XYZ”. I took “evening classes on ABC”. I even decided I “needed” an MSc to get ahead.

I learned slowly that the lad with the lawnmower (who may very well have dropped out of school btw) was street-smart where I was book-smart.

And that he was streets ahead of me.



Then one day someone asked me a very simple question:

“Andy. What if you already know enough?”

Oh.


We all want to join team producer right? The best way is to produce more, not consume more.

What if you already know enough?



...

PS: This was all *produced* on my phone on a coach to the airport.

PPS: I could have consumed a podcast for the hour, or I could have produced a post in that hour. I chose to gain clarity by producing, to help others by producing, and to not clutter up my head with yet more “knowledge”.

I chose to clear my head not fill it.
 

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Andy Black

Andy Black

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Andy, absolutely true. Thanks.

May be to add, if you really need special knowledge, read into it as soon as you need it - and only into it.
100%. As MJ says: the best book is the one that solves the problem right in front of you.



I’m not knocking reading books, listening to podcasts, or taking courses.

Just be aware that time spent consuming is time not spent producing.

And that you can waste more than just the time initially spent consuming.

What if it took you down a rabbit-hole for days, weeks, months, or even years?

What about the opportunity cost of not producing TODAY?
 

minivanman

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Again, this is where my anxiety comes in handy.

And by the way, I've made a couple of dollars in my life and guess what? I've never had 1 logo! I made more money today than a lot of people make in a week just in my washer and dryer business and guess what? No logo! :eek: Do you know what The Maids or Merry Maids logo is? No? Well that sucks because they spent a LOT of money marketing that logo. So do you think if you don't know their logo, people will know what your logo is when you only spend $1000 marketing it? Get real.....

Personally, when I do need information about starting a business, I won't sleep until I get that information. Then I absorb it while I sleep and then I get the ball rolling as soon as possible. If you've waited a year to start..... either get started by the 1st of the month or quit fooling yourself.
 

MoneyPhantom

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either get started by the 1st of the month
Better do today or even instantly as you read this. Put everything else aside.

There has been some research on this. If you don't start within 72 hours from your decision to start, the probability that you'll ever start drops radically (I believe even below 1%).
 

MTEE1985

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The most obvious danger of consuming too much is that it turns you into a consumer.

A lot of that “free” (and paid) content out there is designed to turn you into someone else’s consumer. (And it’s not free btw... not unless you put zero value on the time it took to consume that “free” content.)

You probably knew this right?


But here’s something I’ve noticed from PMs with a couple of thousand forum members:

Many of you don’t think you know enough to get started.

Many of you are constantly looking for something else to consume so you can finally become a producer.



I think the more insidious, hidden, danger of consuming is that it makes you think you don’t already know enough to start.



I always imagine a young lad knocking on the door with a lawnmower in tow.

“Hey mister. Do you need your grass cut?”

“Not today thanks.”

“No thanks. Maybe another time.”

“Oh wow. I was just thinking of finding someone to cut my grass. Yes please.”

(I live in a very polite little world.)



You know what that lad didn’t do?

He didn’t think:

“I better get a logo.”

“I better get a website.”

“I don’t know enough about cold calling.”

“I better go to the library and get a heap of books out on how to start a business.”

Here in this forum we’d call all of the above “action faking.”

Many of us know to give ourselves a stern talking to when we catch ourselves action faking.


But did you know the super dangerous rabbit-hole awaiting you if you set foot in the library?

“Oh boy. I didn’t realise I needed to know about marketing as well as just starting a business.”

“Uh-oh... I didn’t even know I needed to create avatars of my ideal customers before I go knocking on doors. What if I go round the wrong estate?”

“USP?! Whoa. I’m glad I came into the library today. I didn’t even know that I didn’t know about USPs.”

“Scaling? Growth? What’s that mean? Should I even try to start a grass cutting business?”

“OMG... look at all this stuff I didn’t know I needed to learn before I even step out of the house and speak to people this fine Saturday afternoon.”


I’m working with a career salesman at the moment. I’m hoping to onboard him so he can help me get more local service business clients.

He kept telling me of all the courses he’s been on and all the books he’s read.

That’s ok. I won’t hold that against him. He’s been a salesman over the course of 20 years, and been on the road most of that time.

“Dude. Don’t set “appointments”. Just meet for a chat over a coffee.”

“Dude. Don’t bring that hardback A4 book. Here, I got you a small black Moleskine.”


The best bit from one of our chats this week?

“Andy. This is great. I’m really enjoying just chatting to people. I love this word “chat”. I’m having to deprogramme myself from all that corporate bullshit I used to have to go through.”

Bingo!



Many of you are straight out of school or college.

You’ve been taught to consume and read your way out of problems.

You’ve been programmed whenever a new challenge comes up to instantly go searching for a book or course.

This is how deep the script has it’s claws in you. And the further you got into the education system the deeper those claws.

I get it. I was a good student. I got my degree. I worked a cubicle for nearly 2 decades. I took the courses. I Googled for “books on XYZ”. I took “evening classes on ABC”. I even decided I “needed” an MSc to get ahead.

I learned slowly that the lad with the lawnmower (who may very well have dropped out of school btw) was street-smart where I was book-smart.

And that he was streets ahead of me.



Then one day someone asked me a very simple question:

“Andy. What if you already know enough?”

Oh.


We all want to join team producer right? The best way is to produce more, not consume more.

What if you already know enough?



...

PS: This was all *produced* on my phone on a coach to the airport. It’s waaay easier than trying to do so on my phone on Facebook. Just saying.

PPS: I could have consumed a podcast for the hour, or I could have produced a post in that hour. I chose to gain clarity by producing, to help others by producing, and to not clutter up my head with yet more “knowledge”. I chose to clear my head not fill it.
Great post Andy.

One of the better analogies I’ve heard about this is imagining your knowledge destination is a wall. Every book you read or podcast you listen to gets you halfway closer, after a few you are pretty close, but no matter how much you read or study you will never actually reach it.

So, as you said above...reach that point of knowing enough and go do something with it. That point comes quicker than you think.
 

bobfour

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Jan 18, 2018
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I disagree.

The root cause of trouble in business is failure to gain facts—incontrovertible and unshakeable facts.

I buy $900 industry market research reports and read everything I can about a client's business, so when I go into a meeting I have the facts.

This is no lazy man's field.
 

lowtek

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To piggyback off of this, my favorite method is to learn through production.

I'm "transitioning" from physicist into a machine learning engineer, because I'm solidly in the camp of "code it yourself if you can". So what's my process for learning this new field?

Example: I wanted to learn to program a deep reinforcement learning algorithm called Deep Q Learning. In a nutshell, it's a way for artificial intelligence agents learn to play video games. These algorithms have applications far beyond trivial video games, but games are the most accessible to the new learner without access to Uber or Doordash levels of data. So how could I learn this?

Option 1) Watch someone else's video tutorial, blindly copy the code line for line without really thinking too deeply.

Option 2) Read some material on how the algorithm works, translate that into code, and turn it into a YouTube video series to teach others.

Option 1 would have gotten me functional code to play with, but if I wouldn't really know the why behind it. When I decide I want to learn something else, I would have to watch more videos and spend the same amount of time because I haven't learned anything that I can generalize.

Option 2 means that I have to struggle (almost 16 hours of coding, testing, debugging) to build something from scratch. At the end of that, I have to go through line by line and be able to justify it to an audience. Then spend a few hours recording, editing, and uploading. So it takes 20 hours when I could have just spent a few watching someone else's content.
I have to endure the pain of feeing stupid and inadequate; ride the wave of feelings from excitement, anxiety, despair, and ultimately triumph and pride. This is in contrast to the purely pleasurable feelings you get from consuming someone's content. This is not an easy path to choose.

But the end result is that I understand the topic inside and out. It means that when I want to learn the next topic I can leverage my slightly deeper understanding to learn it faster.

Repeated iterations of option 2 result in compound returns on learning. This allows one to arrive at a state of deep domain expertise in difficult things.

This is the difference between what KungFuSteve would call Tier 1, and Tier 3 gurus. The Tier 1 gurus understand the why, because they have taken concepts from their brain into production. Knowing the why and not just the how allows them to generate new knowledge to sell to the tier 3 gurus. The tier 3 gurus gobble it up and then wonder how the Tier 1 guys come up with this stuff. Never stopping to think that perhaps they should step back and look at first principles.

It's also the reason why Biophase can go from one eCom success to another, as if he's blessed by some Archangel of selling shit online.

TL;DR

Follow Andy's advice and get started learning something by doing / producing
Don't wuss out and read tutorials, really learn how to do it and just take the pain
Become the tier 1 guru and then generate new knowledge in your domain

@404profound
 

minivanman

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Better do today or even instantly as you read this. Put everything else aside.

There has been some research on this. If you don't start within 72 hours from your decision to start, the probability that you'll ever start drops radically (I believe even below 1%).
You are correct. I meant for example if a guy is going to start a trucking company, he will need to get the equipment. Or if a person is going to start something on the internet they might have to wait until they get paid to actually put the wheels in motion. But you are 100% correct, get done TODAY what you can and don't put it off. Set a day within the next 30 to launch. If possible, within the next 30 minutes. Or, go back to watching Aqua Teen and asking your mom if you can stay out after 10pm. :)
 

MTEE1985

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I disagree.

The root cause of trouble in business is failure to gain facts—incontrovertible and unshakeable facts.

I buy $900 industry market research reports and read everything I can about a client's business, so when I go into a meeting I have the facts.

This is no lazy man's field.
Sounds like you’re misinterpreting. Nobody on this forum will argue against constant and continued learning.

What we do see is people who will spend months or years reading those $900 reports to be “ready” for the meetings that they’ve never set.
 

404profound

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I disagree.

The root cause of trouble in business is failure to gain facts—incontrovertible and unshakeable facts.

I buy $900 industry market research reports and read everything I can about a client's business, so when I go into a meeting I have the facts.

This is no lazy man's field.
It probably depends who you're selling to / what you're selling.
 

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404profound

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Aug 27, 2017
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Desert of Desertion
To piggyback off of this, my favorite method is to learn through production.

I'm "transitioning" from physicist into a machine learning engineer, because I'm solidly in the camp of "code it yourself if you can". So what's my process for learning this new field?

Example: I wanted to learn to program a deep reinforcement learning algorithm called Deep Q Learning. In a nutshell, it's a way for artificial intelligence agents learn to play video games. These algorithms have applications far beyond trivial video games, but games are the most accessible to the new learner without access to Uber or Doordash levels of data. So how could I learn this?

Option 1) Watch someone else's video tutorial, blindly copy the code line for line without really thinking too deeply.

Option 2) Read some material on how the algorithm works, translate that into code, and turn it into a YouTube video series to teach others.

Option 1 would have gotten me functional code to play with, but if I wouldn't really know the why behind it. When I decide I want to learn something else, I would have to watch more videos and spend the same amount of time because I haven't learned anything that I can generalize.

Option 2 means that I have to struggle (almost 16 hours of coding, testing, debugging) to build something from scratch. At the end of that, I have to go through line by line and be able to justify it to an audience. Then spend a few hours recording, editing, and uploading. So it takes 20 hours when I could have just spent a few watching someone else's content.
I have to endure the pain of feeing stupid and inadequate; ride the wave of feelings from excitement, anxiety, despair, and ultimately triumph and pride. This is in contrast to the purely pleasurable feelings you get from consuming someone's content. This is not an easy path to choose.

But the end result is that I understand the topic inside and out. It means that when I want to learn the next topic I can leverage my slightly deeper understanding to learn it faster.

Repeated iterations of option 2 result in compound returns on learning. This allows one to arrive at a state of deep domain expertise in difficult things.

This is the difference between what KungFuSteve would call Tier 1, and Tier 3 gurus. The Tier 1 gurus understand the why, because they have taken concepts from their brain into production. Knowing the why and not just the how allows them to generate new knowledge to sell to the tier 3 gurus. The tier 3 gurus gobble it up and then wonder how the Tier 1 guys come up with this stuff. Never stopping to think that perhaps they should step back and look at first principles.

It's also the reason why Biophase can go from one eCom success to another, as if he's blessed by some Archangel of selling sh*t online.

TL;DR

Follow Andy's advice and get started learning something by doing / producing
Don't wuss out and read tutorials, really learn how to do it and just take the pain
Become the tier 1 guru and then generate new knowledge in your domain

@404profound
This is an important distinction I hadn't considered. I did catch myself consuming tutorials while trying to get my head around javascript. Once I let them go and started trying to build my first project... then I discovered my only savior is Stackoverflow.
 
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Andy Black

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True story:

A Japanese Sensei took me and another enthusiastic beginner aside and asked us if we knew the secret to learning faster.

He leant forward and whispered: “Teach”.
 

lewj24

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“A few observations and much reasoning lead to error, many observations and little reasoning to truth.”

“The atmosphere of libraries, lecture rooms, and laboratories is dangerous to those who shut themselves up in them too long. It separates us from reality like a fog.”

~ Alexis Carrel
 

Nik@16

Contributor
Aug 22, 2018
110
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India
The most obvious danger of consuming too much is that it turns you into a consumer.

A lot of that “free” (and paid) content out there is designed to turn you into someone else’s consumer. (And it’s not free btw... not unless you put zero value on the time it took to consume that “free” content.)

You probably knew this right?


But here’s something I’ve noticed from PMs with a couple of thousand forum members:

Many of you don’t think you know enough to get started.

Many of you are constantly looking for something else to consume so you can finally become a producer.



I think the more insidious, hidden, danger of consuming is that it makes you think you don’t already know enough to start.



I always imagine a young lad knocking on the door with a lawnmower in tow.

“Hey mister. Do you need your grass cut?”

“Not today thanks.”

“No thanks. Maybe another time.”

“Oh wow. I was just thinking of finding someone to cut my grass. Yes please.”

(I live in a very polite little world.)



You know what that lad didn’t do?

He didn’t think:

“I better get a logo.”

“I better get a website.”

“I don’t know enough about cold calling.”

“I better go to the library and get a heap of books out on how to start a business.”

Here in this forum we’d call all of the above “action faking.”

Many of us know to give ourselves a stern talking to when we catch ourselves action faking.


But did you know the super dangerous rabbit-hole awaiting you if you set foot in the library?

“Oh boy. I didn’t realise I needed to know about marketing as well as just starting a business.”

“Uh-oh... I didn’t even know I needed to create avatars of my ideal customers before I go knocking on doors. What if I go round the wrong estate?”

“USP?! Whoa. I’m glad I came into the library today. I didn’t even know that I didn’t know about USPs.”

“Scaling? Growth? What’s that mean? Should I even try to start a grass cutting business?”

“OMG... look at all this stuff I didn’t know I needed to learn before I even step out of the house and speak to people this fine Saturday afternoon.”


I’m working with a career salesman at the moment. I’m hoping to onboard him so he can help me get more local service business clients.

He kept telling me of all the courses he’s been on and all the books he’s read.

That’s ok. I won’t hold that against him. He’s been a salesman over the course of 20 years, and been on the road most of that time.

“Dude. Don’t set “appointments”. Just meet for a chat over a coffee.”

“Dude. Don’t bring that hardback A4 book. Here, I got you a small black Moleskine.”


The best bit from one of our chats this week?

“Andy. This is great. I’m really enjoying just chatting to people. I love this word “chat”. I’m having to deprogramme myself from all that corporate bullshit I used to have to go through.”

Bingo!



Many of you are straight out of school or college.

You’ve been taught to consume and read your way out of problems.

You’ve been programmed whenever a new challenge comes up to instantly go searching for a book or course.

This is how deep the script has it’s claws in you. And the further you got into the education system the deeper those claws.

I get it. I was a good student. I got my degree. I worked a cubicle for nearly 2 decades. I took the courses. I Googled for “books on XYZ”. I took “evening classes on ABC”. I even decided I “needed” an MSc to get ahead.

I learned slowly that the lad with the lawnmower (who may very well have dropped out of school btw) was street-smart where I was book-smart.

And that he was streets ahead of me.



Then one day someone asked me a very simple question:

“Andy. What if you already know enough?”

Oh.


We all want to join team producer right? The best way is to produce more, not consume more.

What if you already know enough?



...

PS: This was all *produced* on my phone on a coach to the airport. It’s waaay easier than trying to do so on my phone on Facebook. Just saying.

PPS: I could have consumed a podcast for the hour, or I could have produced a post in that hour. I chose to gain clarity by producing, to help others by producing, and to not clutter up my head with yet more “knowledge”. I chose to clear my head not fill it.
Great Post. Cannot be more insightful.
 

PizzaOnTheRoof

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I do this ALL THE TIME.

Hell, I'm doing it right now.

I keep telling myself I'm one step closer to finding that "secret sauce" to getting started, or that I can just start tomorrow because I'm young and have plenty of time.
 

AgainstAllOdds

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I do this ALL THE TIME.

Hell, I'm doing it right now.

I keep telling myself I'm one step closer to finding that "secret sauce" to getting started, or that I can just start tomorrow because I'm young and have plenty of time.
Stop reading/watching. Start doing.

Make it a goal to not consume any new info for a week. Use your current skill sets to take action. Then in a week evaluate whether or not you need more knowledge to execute. If not, then keep executing. If you do, then go learn whatever it is you need and repeat the process.
 

PizzaOnTheRoof

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Stop reading/watching. Start doing.

Make it a goal to not consume any new info for a week. Use your current skill sets to take action. Then in a week evaluate whether or not you need more knowledge to execute. If not, then keep executing. If you do, then go learn whatever it is you need and repeat the process.
Thanks. This is probably the best way to get if of the “knowledge loop”.
 

The Abundant Man

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It's like the belt system in Martial Arts.

Beginners are white belts because white means you clean and pure. You have no knowledge but you're starting out. As the belts progress the colors get "dirtier". You have brown belt then you go to Black.

Though getting a black belt means you now know all the basics and you go and seek new knowledge of the art. You begin to teach others so that you can plant new seeds and help them grow and mature. Getting a Black Belt means you have your foundations down and you're now ready to add more.

You're always constantly seeking knowledge. It's never ending.







If you already know enough then it's time to put that knowledge into action.
 

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p0stscript

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True story:

A Japanese Sensei took me and another enthusiastic beginner aside and asked us if we knew the secret to learning faster.

He leant forward and whispered: “Teach”.
From personal experience I know this to be very true.
It also puts a different slant on the saying "those who can, do; those who can't, teach"
 
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Andy Black

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It also puts a different slant on the saying "those who can, do; those who can't, teach"
Yeah, that line sounds like sour grapes from those who can’t teach...
 

Smuggo

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This is basically me for the last month. Trying to launch my first business and doing this all-around stuff. I need to remember this topic. Thanks! :happy:
 

GoGetter24

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Oct 8, 2017
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The truth is you don't know anything until you get started.

Content knowledge and experience knowledge are not in the same league at all. Ten hours of content knowledge is worth less than one hour of experience knowledge.

At the same time, if you launch into something big without knowledge, you're going to get wrecked.

The solution is to start small projects, and finish them, and then to increase the size/difficulty of the next project, and so on.
 

S.Y.

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Oct 4, 2017
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Gold!

Consume less, do more.

The best way to learn is practice. Practice brings your pseudo-understandings to the surface. It shines the light on your limitations.

That's said, learning from others is also important. Learning from books and podcast or blogs.. Has it place.

And if so, what is the solution?
1. Have a bias for action.
2. Just in time learning

PS: "The average CEO reads 60 books a year". Have you heard that before? It might be true. I don't know. What I know is this phrase made me focus on quantity over quality for a while. Beware!
 

Thinh

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Aug 11, 2018
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PS: "The average CEO reads 60 books a year". Have you heard that before? It might be true. I don't know. What I know is this phrase made me focus on quantity over quality for a while. Beware!
Exactly: the average CEO. They read 60 books a year because they're CEO, not the other way around.

It's like lately you hear everywhere "successful CEOs like Tim Cook get up at 3am to go to work."

Yeah, he wakes up that early because he's the CEO of one of the most valuable companies in the world. He's not Apple's CEO because he wakes up at 3am everyday.
 

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