I discovered that anyone can learn anything and can learn anything new, regardless of who they are or at what age. They can be a school leaver, a professor or even a chief executive officer. With the Internet, anyone can self-learn and self-teach. Everyone is capable of building his or her own business, even without knowing much about the business. Everyone can also teach about doing business, even without experiencing the business world.
One fine example is the famous founder of MyBurgerLab, Chin RenYi. Chin has done a sharing on my webinar platform before, saying that his burger recipes can be found online via Google.
If you mention to anyone who lives in the Klang Valley, especially those who fall in the millennial age range, about “MyBurgerLab”, more than likely they’ll know about it. If not, chances are they are ones without any social medias or maybe don’t go out as much.
Chin’s transparency kept me thinking a lot about reaching out to self-learn what I wanted to do, no one is stopping anyone to be successful, with the Internet. So, I decided to see how far I could experiment this “google yourself to be an expert” by learning “the art of self-learning” on my own personal goals.
I have always dreamt of performing a piece of classical Chinese dance, but I encountered a problem. I Googled, but there was not a teacher for such dance routine available in Kuala Lumpur. I even asked a friend, who is an owner of Malaysia’s dance magazine, but still could not find one.
However, with no teacher and no experience, there’s only one way. I need to force myself into the “self-learning” mode. The journey to discover the skill of self-learning thus began.
I learnt from a TED speaker that it takes 20 hours to self-learn any new skill. What follows is the step-by-step of how I self-learned a new skill on the internet and I am sharing this in hopes that it will inspire you to free your mind to not let the “no teacher”, “no senior”, “no experience” mindset be a barrier to your development in business or career. Go “YouTube”, go “Google”, go “Facebook”, go on the internet and start your very own self-learning journey.
STEP 1: DATA GATHERING
I Googled the dance title and discovered that there are many videos available online, some are on YouTube and others on Youku (China’s version of YouTube). Review five videos and choose the one you want to use as reference.
Tip: I was overwhelmed at the variety of videos available. So, first, sort out the videos based on “Most Viewed”, and just look at the Top 5 most viewed videos.
STEP 2: DECONSTRUCTION OF THE COMPONENTS
After you have picked the one video you want to use as your “learning” reference material, deconstruct it.
My video was 3:30 minutes, so I sliced the dance move into a tempo of four beats (it’s a music and dancing thing) and I designed a self-learning schedule, day by day, committing my time during that day to learn the different sections.
For example, on Day One, my target is to learn from a time frame of 0 to 36 seconds. So, I just focus on learning the first 36 seconds and practice for two hours.
Here’s how my time management goes, I made a commitment to myself and followed it strictly for 10 days.
Note: Most people check emails every 10 minutes. So, if you want to focus on achieving your dreams, email and smartphone will need to be put aside for the next 10 days.
“If this is the dream that you really want to achieve, your inner passion will help you through the toughest frustration period.”
STEP 3: MANAGEMENT AND IMPLEMENTATION
Start to practice and track dream progress using Google Sites.
The way to make sure I stick to the schedule is to create my own Google Site (it’s free). You can set this high-intensity learning for 10 to 20 days depending on your own schedule. I use the Google Site to keep me focused.
Repeat and practice are the key, there’s no shortcut. You’ll find that it’s frustrating at first to get through the first five days (because your habit and action need to change), but just hang in there and stick to your learning plan.
STEP 4: REINFORCE YOUR COMMITMENT
Share your progress. After you’ve committed to something, it’s best to share with friends.
When you share something with other people, you tend to subconsciously be committed to deliver. My friends had mixed reactions because not all of them are fans of dancing.
Never mind whatever the response will be, just share your progress with your friends.
As for how much does it cost to do a self-learning programme? Well, let me try to break it down using my experience:
Time Cost: 20 hours (2 hours per day)
Costume Cost: RM107.21
Online Tools used: FREE (YouTube for video reference and Google Site for dream management & tracking)
Besides learning how to “self-learn”, I’ve also learnt how to do “effective time-management”, “productivity” and “only focus on important matters”.
These skills are too valuable now, because with abundance of bachelor or master degree-holders out there, if you don’t pick up the skill of self-learning, you’ll be sort of “outdated”.
Only four steps:
• Step 1: Data gathering
• Step 2: Deconstruction of the components
• Step 3: Management and implementation
• Step 4: Reinforce your commitment
“With the advent of the Internet, you can now teach yourself anything, from business to hobby.”
Foremost, you must learn who you are, learn what your passions, strengths, talents and values are. Dig deep within yourself to find this out. Learn what you love. Some people love to network, some people love to do strategic planning, some people love to motivate and inspire others.
Back to the example of Chin’s MyBurgerLab, his passion is to change the world of food and beverage from just the selling of food to the selling of extremely good service, making customer feel like human-being.
And so, he went to Google, in search of the best burger recipes, searching the best customer relationship management tool available to reach out to his clients. Because he did what he loved, he knew what he wanted, and with no experience, manage to “self-learn” and be successful.
Real learning happens outside the formal classroom-sphere. Explore the different networks in Facebook, LinkedIn or other social media platforms on the internet to explore like-minded people, be connected to them and talk to them. You’ll be more than surprise to find out that the world is borderless when you start to open up and reach out to other people.
If you like to learn about “website marketing”, there are tonnes of Facebook groups available for you to join. Go out there and join their physical events or online forums. Make friends with people who are willing to exchange notes and share with you.
Remember, there’s always more to learn and everything is a lesson, whether it’s good or bad. Most importantly, make self-learning a passion and obsession. Happy self-learning!
Written by: Evanna Phoon, Founder of FounderMethod.com