Find Your Learning Tempo

Oana Filip

I had to expe­ri­ence three types of online cours­es (Grow Your Audi­ence, Chimp Essen­tials and Sto­ry­telling for Influ­ence) to under­stand which learn­ing envi­ron­ment fits me best.

Approach Online Courses with Curiosity

It is the first time when I face so many mixed feel­ings in the face of a learn­ing expe­ri­ence. I guess I wasn’t open-mind­ed enough to get it right dur­ing my tra­di­tion­al edu­ca­tion. I’m grate­ful that at least today I know what works for me. I tru­ly believe I found my tem­po regard­ing how I can expand my knowl­edge in a healthy way.

I’m a true fan of Paul Jarvis. I’ve been watch­ing him since 2013 — read­ing his Sun­day Dis­patch­es arti­cles, lis­ten­ing to his pod­cast or buy­ing his cours­es. At that time I was a free­lancer, and he seemed to be the right guy to learn from. What I appre­ci­ate most is the fact that he’s one of the peo­ple who is gen­uine­ly inter­est­ed in doing pur­pose­ful work. No recipes, no mag­ic tricks.

The Reason Why I Bought This Course

Grow Your Audi­ence is the sec­ond prod­uct I bought from Paul’s port­fo­lio (after Chimp Essen­tials) and it is one of the best cours­es I came across, both in the dig­i­tal and non-dig­i­tal land­scape.

He’s shar­ing con­sis­tent con­tent from top to toe, and he’s fun­ny and wit­ty dur­ing the jour­ney. He’s true to him­self, and every­thing about this course is tight­ened to how Paul Jarvis gets things done in gen­er­al — this kind of con­sis­ten­cy is some­thing that tru­ly inspires and motives me.

In fact, two words con­vinced me to invest into this course: trust mar­ket­ing. In a world where this play­ground gets a bunch of labels, some of which are quite nasty, I felt like I found my land­mark. Yaaay!

Cleaning the murky waters

Since my ear­ly days at Pix­el­grade, the word itself aka mar­ket­ing brought a lot of vul­ner­a­bil­i­ty and con­trary reac­tions. I came in the mid­dle of a team that thought mar­ket­ing is almost the equiv­a­lent of lying and over­re­act­ing. Some of my col­leagues linked to con­cept to some­thing that makes you feel false, irre­spon­si­ble, and every­thing in between.

It wasn’t a sexy start line from some­one who’s past expe­ri­ences proved that great mar­ket­ing is the full oppo­site of the spec­trum. It can bring con­crete busi­ness results through authen­tic com­mu­ni­ca­tion, it is a tool to build and nur­ture a great com­mu­ni­ty of peo­ple who share the same val­ues, and a gate­way to tell an accu­rate sto­ry about your brand, prod­ucts or ser­vices.

I Discovered a Few Things About Myself

This course opened my eyes in many regards, but most of them have noth­ing to do with the top­ic per se. Even though I came across ideas that I fre­quent­ly over­look, the impres­sive is con­nect­ed to my way of learn­ing and how I refer to it.

1. I learn best when I feel I’m part of something bigger.

I go full speed when there’s a high­er goal because this gives me dri­ve to keep my wheels spin­ning for the long game. Grow Your Audi­ence is for a one-man-show kind of guy or gal. You have no peer pres­sure or peer feed­back which was a bit dis­ap­point­ing for me since I see a lot of val­ue in such a form of assis­tance.

I could have a chat on Slack, but this didn’t mean I was exposed to in-depth feed­back. There’s sim­ply a dif­fer­ent vibe and way of con­nec­tion. When I stud­ied Sto­ry­telling for Influ­ence at IDEO, I was thrilled to have a teacher around and a bunch of great mak­ers all over the world that was hap­py to ping-pong ideas. I woke up in the morn­ing excit­ed to get in touch with them. To see how far they’ve head­ed. To join smart con­ver­sa­tions.

It was a feel­ing of belong­ing­ness hard to ignore or to beat. That’s why I appre­ci­ate so much the human inter­ac­tion and the great feel­ing of being part of some­thing big­ger.

2. I perform best when I need to achieve one main result.

Grow Your Audi­ence course is tai­lored on the neces­si­ty of exer­cis­ing at the end of each les­son, while I’m more hap­py with hav­ing a sin­gle mis­sion to accom­plish. It is hard to keep my moti­va­tion up and to kick­ing and to fin­ish my home­work after 30 min­utes of watch­ing videos. Instead, I love hav­ing a red thread and stick to it to get clos­er to the final des­ti­na­tion.

I’m more inclined to select what I tru­ly need, and to skip what­ev­er doesn’t suit my inter­ests. I admit that I post­poned and avoid­ed plen­ty of the exer­cis­es rec­om­mend­ed dur­ing the course because there was no fol­low-up.

At IDEO I was aware from day one that I will learn how to write a sto­ry be the end of the course and share it pub­licly. It was like a side-project where each les­son, exer­cise, and advice fit­ted right on the spot. No won­der why I invest­ed far more hours into the process that makes me feel proud even today.

3. I enjoy best when rewards are part of the deal.

I found rewards high­ly sig­nif­i­cant, and I start­ed to appre­ci­ate them in my ear­ly days as a free­lancer prop­er­ly. At that time there were moments when I felt quite lone­ly dur­ing my work hours, so I devel­oped a habit of cel­e­brat­ing small wins.

Get­ting to the fin­ish line makes me feel proud, and receiv­ing a form of recog­ni­tion for the effort feels good. It doesn’t mat­ter its nature — emo­tion­al, intel­lec­tu­al — or a mix. Instead of a diplo­ma, Grow Your Audi­ence ends with a sec­tion of valu­able bonus­es which are top-notch. Even the free Word­Press themes cre­at­ed by Paul Jarvis are nice to play with, but there’s not the end I was dream­ing of.

There are those tiny details (such as a cer­tifi­cate, diplo­ma, a per­son­al­ized tweet or emo­ji, you-name-it) that give a stronger sense of pur­pose. It is a unique feel­ing and a good moment to reflect on what hap­pened dur­ing the jour­ney. A cel­e­bra­tion of the fact that I made it by the end.

Learning Experiments Are Mandatory

In a world full of pre­fab solu­tions for almost every­thing, I dare to con­sid­er that it’s quite strange to focus only on one approach regard­ing learn­ing.

We train every sin­gle day to look at the world with dif­fer­ent lens, so why would we do the reverse when it comes to improv­ing our capa­bil­i­ties?

At least that’s my mantra after fin­ish­ing the Grow Your Audi­ence course. It suc­ceed­ed to show me that there’s no recipe regard­ing how I can expand best my skill set nor which style fits my needs prop­er­ly.

Paul Jarvis offers a unique way of teach­ing, and there’s no won­der why loads of stu­dents are buy­ing his cours­es. On top of that, every­thing fits like in a puz­zle, and once you start you eas­i­ly notice that each les­son comes nat­ur­al and right on time. Even though it might sound child­ish, believe me, that clar­i­ty and knowl­edge don’t always come togeth­er. It takes a lot of expe­ri­ence to achieve this sta­tus.

Keep Crafting Your Learning Path

If you’re a free­lancer or a cre­ative entre­pre­neur who wants to reach his full poten­tial and make mon­ey in a healthy way, feel free to buy Grow Your Audi­ence, fol­low Paul on Twit­ter, sub­scribe to his newslet­ter and stick to his uni­verse. You will thank me lat­er.

If I encour­aged you to do just one thing after read­ing this sto­ry, that would be to don’t set­tle and keep feed­ing your curios­i­ty.

Exper­i­ment and build a learn­ing frame­work accord­ing to your inner-why. Be brave enough to shape it to your cur­rent demands and adjust it as you evolve.

I came to the con­clu­sion that I need a pecu­liar path con­cern­ing my learn­ing habits. It doesn’t mean that one is bet­ter than the oth­er, it’s just that each brings dif­fer­ent perks to the table. I’m at a tip­ping point when I feel I’m ready to embrace a dif­fer­ent route to keep nour­ish­ing my cre­ativ­i­ty and design it accord­ing­ly.

Oana Filip
Oana Filip

Digital storyteller @Pixelgrade and community builder for creative industries. A true believer in the power of making the world a better place.