Permissionless Learning

June 9, 2020

Friend (F): I want to enter the digital marketing field.

Me (I): Great, where are you learning from?

F: I’m preparing for my MBA.

I: Have you tried learning about the field first or thought about practicing it by running your own marketing campaigns? You could do it on the side while keeping your current job.

F: Should I prepare for GMAT or CAT? I should do both right?

I: <brain gives up>

This is not an isolated incident. I know people who “want to enter” fields like data analytics, digital marketing, product management, writing, and more. Let’s call this variable X.

After they decide to do X, the narrative in their mind discards the notion of doing X, and instead starts preparing for entrance exam to get into a college and exchange 2-4 years of their time and pay life-changing sums of money before taking another step of simply doing X.

While this does not apply to certain fields where you cannot operate without certifications (eg - lawyer, doctor), or you cannot be competent without years of disciplined study (eg - deep tech), a vast majority of skills do not have this requirement.

This is 2020, where knowledge is free and abundant.

You can learn just about anything from YouTube, Skillshare, Udemy, Coursera platforms, or from individuals directly teaching their skills using platforms like Teachable, Podia.

This is 2020, where the fastest way to do X, is to do X.

You do not need to crack an entrance exam, join a college or get a degree to learn how to do X.

Want to become a digital marketer? Start an Instagram page and figure out how to grow it from 0 to 10k followers using 5 different marketing techniques.

Want to become a copywriter? Write copy every day.

Want to become a product manager? Build a simple (code or no-code) product and document everything about the journey that will highlight your range of thinking.

Want to become a data analyst? Pull public data sets, perform your own analyses and share it with the world.

This is 2020, where learning is permissionless.

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