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?
NOTABLE! Most liked posts in thread: What if you already know enough?
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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.
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
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.
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! 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.
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%).
I love how you said you could have consumed for 1hr but you decide to produce.
I came back this forum like a week ago to ask my lead gen question, and I was so happy with the value exchange that I've just been going on a rampage trying to answer/help on any posts I can
I find that I gain MUCH more clarity through posting than I could ever gain from reading
I end up backspacing my sentences, sitting and questioning myself, asking "why am I advising this" or "is this the right way to explain this?" or "how could I make this more clear?" etc.
Same with working - you can read all you want but it's only until you start working that you start going "ohhhhhh....."
Anyways, yeah - get started ASAP - but also be careful.
I got my first SEO client when I didn't know ANYTHING, I read for maybe 1 week, and never had an SEO client ever lol.
So I put a man's business - a man's livelihood - at risk. It all worked out but I still kinda feel a little bad for the risk. That's how he feeds his kids, yanno?
But when the pressure is on, you kinda learn really fast so...
I don't really know what to advise. Just find the balance between "I gotta read 3873873 books" and "I'm gonna rearrange this mans business strategy with no knowledge at all!"
There's a way to ease into these things. Especially with the internet. If you're a new copywriter, you don't have to take up a client right away. You can write 10 sales letters and post them on here to see what we think of them and where we can help.
If you do paid ads, you can take $100-500 and mess around selling a service in your area (even if you don't have a service) - just make a landing page and put your personal number on it. Then when people call for a plumber just get their address then connect them with a good plumber. Or tell them sorry wrong number - whatever
Or if you have an idea for a product or something - do the same thing. Say you wanna sell slippers that look like dog feet or something... Make a landing page and set up a checkout and everything, complete with your pictures and copy and blahblah
But when they put in CC info and go to buy, it's out of stock "Sorry, we'll have em in soon!"
Basically I'm saying to stop making ginormous plans unless you have experience making/conquering medium plans. And don't make medium plans unless you have experience making/conquering small plans.
Whatever big goal you have - there's a small version of it that you can start RIGHT NOW
Wanna open up a carpet cleaning company?
Ok just buy some secondhand cleaning equipment and some carpet tiles from home depot, then throw wine and shit on the carpet and start F*cking around and finding out how shit works, how various type of stains react with the carpet blahblah
Just spitballing ideas but you get the point
There's ALWAYS something you can do RIGHT NOW
Put down the book and pull out a blank piece of paper and be uncomfortable until you come up with an actual, actionable task you can do. Screw theory
Also don't get caught up in planning - that's mental masturbation too
Write ACTIONABLE tasks and do them
Be the boss and employee
Write instructions like a boss and follow them like an employee - that's how I've found to get shit done
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.
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.
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.
You need a degree in business or entrepreneurship before you start a business.
You need to spend money on a course before you’re good enough to help someone.
You need a piece of paper before you should even compete.
Here, get training as part of your package when you come work for us. That training would be thousands if you were to pay for it yourself. You need that additional training to advance your career.
What do you need?
Hit the nail on the head Andy.
There comes a point where you must put down the books and stop salivating over online forums and the success of others. IMO 3-5 books is enough. Browsing the forums for 2 months is enough.
It becomes a distraction. All of a sudden yours days are spent on books/forums rather than taking action. I believe the best examples on this forum are not regulars, because they get it, why add one more thing to the daily list when I could be producing for my ventures?
I frown every time I see a post asking "what wordpress theme should I use" or "I don't have a logo yet so I can't make a sale" or "I need a website, that's priority #1". None of this matters......This just shows the OP has not yet woken up.
If you don't know how to do something.....google it
If you need recommendations........google it
If you need to learn an industry........google it
If you need anything..........google it
It's an interesting time we're living in.
We started by repeatedly getting up every time we fell over, till we eventually could stand and walk.
I did a video somewhere of the kids doing some painting. They just got a brush, water, paper, and started painting.
They didn’t worry what it would turn out like or if anyone would judge or laugh. They didn’t think they’d better do a painting course before they darkened the page.
They did it for the joy of doing it.
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