Find Your Learning Tempo

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