5 min read

Quick guide to Learning

Everything can be learned.

But is it really worth it ?
Getting to know 80% of a subject takes 5 months.
Getting to know 95% takes 5 years.

Getting to 80%

At this stage, everything you see is new and learning is very accessible. Since everyone knows better than you, surround yourself with people that know more on a daily basis. In today's world of content, the basics are seen and explained by so many content creators trying to "democratize" that it becomes overly accessible.

By surrounding, I mean physically and mostly virtually. With the content creator economy (and personal branding!) every knowledgeable individual is encouraged to share its knowledge online for money and/or fame.

Go on Twitter, search every person in the subject you are interested in, and hit "follow". Go on their subscribers list, and hit "follow". Go to their newsletter, and hit "follow". Go to Apple Podcast, search "[Topic]", and hit "follow".

The target is to let the algorithms know that you are interested in the subject. At this part of the learning journey, game theory applies: the biggest accounts deliver the best knowledge (that you can understand at that point).

You should absorb all this content, both actively and passively. Let your mind wander around this complex wording. Sleep on it. The subject should become a part of your online life.

Should take about 6 months. When you feel that you've heard the same things over and over, and you understand all of them, move onto the next phase.

Getting to 90%

Now that you've got all the "theory" accessible by outsiders, it's time to become an insider. Let the subject become a part of your physical life. This means : get a job, create your network and make friends relative to the subject.

Getting a job should be pretty easy. You should apply to a small startup in the subject and basically work for free (or minimum wage). If you have an experience in dev, go dev for them. But if not, go "Marketing". This is the best way to fake it.

By faking it, I mean pretending that you can actually get results very easily with an insane learning curve. Every time your boss asks you to do [ABC], simply research "how to [ABC]" and execute it.

Want good SEO? Create a blog.
Want a great brand image? Create events.
Want to get more customers? Run ads.

Then watch yourself fail miserably, and learn from it. Reassure yourself, your boss will be so angry you will learn how to do it properly the next time. Remember, you are not paid. But you still provide value.

Get there for the longest time possible. The target is to both learn, and have a decent reputation.

Then leverage this minimal reputation in physical events to create your network. By saying that you "work in [subject]" you will immediately become a part of the crew. You are no more a simple "enthusiast".

Make yourself friend with these people. It should not be hard: you are both into [subject], and usually niche subject are far more political and share the same ideals.

To leverage people in events, create content online about [subject].

Remember : you are an insider of [subject] with great knowledge. Share it everywhere. Create yourself an audience. The people should associate your face with [subject].

Post on Twitter: 3 tweets a day, 1 thread a week. Twitter people are the niche people. They are the most savage ones, therefore the philosophy. They are your tribe. The people you should be accepted by.

Then, when Twitter is rolling out good, post on LinkedIn twice a week. Talk about [subject] and target for reach. LinkedIn is the ones with the influence and the money.

People of [subject] will be more accessible if they've seen your face already. This will grant you access to the inside of the [subject]. You are now behind the curtains, with the people creating value. Use this as an advantage and try to get known by the best people in the ecosystem.

Eventually, a bigger startup than the one you are working at will reach out to you to work for them. Go for it. And repeat the process. Bigger startup means better salary (but still undervalue yourself), better image and better leverage.

Learn. Learn. Learn. Both specialize and take time to still study [subject]. Now that you work in the industry, a great way to get paid while learning is to become a part-time journalist and write articles about certain aspects of [subject].

Do it for 2 years.

Getting to 95%

Now, you've gone from having knowledge which is accessible by everyone, to knowledge which isn't (only insiders know about it). It is time to go for knowledge which cannot be shared.

There are much knowledge which cannot be shared, for various reasons. We are talking from simple signed NDAs, to information so valuable it could destroy the market of [subject].

But it is the most valuable information, such an unfair advantage it can make your lifetime opportunity. But how can you become a person so valuable that others will share these pieces of information?

Go hardcore. Make [subject] a part of your identity. When the people see your face, they should associate it with [subject] directly. The more people outside the niche recognize you, the better you did your job.

First, create your own project with the funds from the previous 2 years. If you've managed successfully, you should have about 100k$ and a great network. This part will have a great deal of luck involved (and hard work), but if you succeed, you will be the most demanded man in [subject].

Use your voice very carefully, and only say valuable things. You are not in the search of reach anymore, you want to talk precisely about your subject. Be so precise and knowledgeable, that the world craves your interventions.

Leverage this demand of your voice to be invited in newspapers, podcasts, interviews, conferenceā€¦ Stop showing up at "regular" events and only go to the high-demand ones. Show every time you are with a known person.

After that, you should become so known and wanted, that people will share the most valuable insight about [subject] with you. Who known, maybe even you will create these insights with your startup? šŸ˜‰

Conclusion

You've made it to the top 0.1% of your niche. It took around 5 years of hard work. Looking back at it, how do you see yourself? Was this investment of time worth it? What other things could you have done?

You should feel about 2 emotions reading this blog post

  • (1) Disappointment: "It's going to be hard, I really don't want to put that much amount of time into this".
  • (2) Excitement: "Seems so easy! How can I start from now?"

Either way, you are correct.