I’ve spent the last few days teaching my not-quite three-year-old how to ride his new bike. It’s a bright red two-wheeler that he adores.
The first day was spent figuring out the pedalling bit. Forward moves you ahead. Backward stops you cold. Easy enough.
The second day was harder. Learning how to steer. Actually, the concept is easy. What was hard was remembering to keep the handlebars pointed forward even though all the interesting things to look at are on the left and right.
Today we put it all together and biked nearly a mile altogether. He still needs a push up the hill, and the occasional reminder to look where he’s going, but he got to the soccer park and back, to the swing park and back, and to the store and back like a pro.
It made me think about how we learn things. We learn to talk by trying to repeat what we hear. We learn to walk by getting up and moving our feet. We learn to ride a bike by getting on a bike and trying it.
Why are we so enamored with books, then?
Look at the Internet Marketing field. People talk proudly about ‘spending a year reading everything there was to read’, and most people buy oodles of books on everything from how to write articles to how to build web pages. And after you’ve read all the books, you’ve still got nothing.
And all the books in the world won’t help until you get out there and do.
Get on the bike and try out the pedals. Learn how to steer. Focus on keeping yourself on the road. Fall down a few times. Get up and try again.
So, before you go out and buy the next ebook from the next guru, here’s a plan.
1) Figure out what you want to do, or what you can do.
2) List all the steps you need to take to do #1 successfully
3) Extract all the items in #2 that you are not able to do on your own right now.
4) Divide that list into items you want to learn to do, and items you want to outsource.
5) Now you have your list of things you need to learn, find free ebooks and web pages to tackle those, and if all else fails, ask advice in a forum for the best ebook or course to buy on those topics.
6) Start doing, experimenting, and working WHILE you learn. Doing anything else is a waste of time.