7 Key Insights on Social Media & Lifelong Learning

Me, Jay Yang, and Tyler Cho post recording.

In November, my friend Tyler Cho invited me to be a guest on his podcast The Idea Exchange. We had connected before in the past. Without hesitation I booked a flight to Chicago. The plan was to rent out a space to record the show.

Our mutual friend Jay Yang, who connected us, also was based in Chicago. We decided to make it a three-way discussion.

Here’s 7 takeaways from the episode we did focused on social media, creating, and internet learning:

1. The power of curiosity-driven learning

Learning any subject requires you transcend the classroom. Your learning has to be self-directed.

Naval Ravikant says “Specific knowledge can be taught through apprenticeships or self-taught. It’s high paying because society has not yet figured out how to teach or automate it. It tends to be creative or technical.” I found the only way to truly learn something is to either find a mentor or teach yourself. 

Most of the subjects taught in a classroom only touch the surface. They’re good for establishing a foundation, but it’s rare to understand how to apply that knowledge.

A better approach to learning is to allow curiosity to drive it. Choose subjects that spark your interest. Delve into them deeply, beyond the surface level. Embrace patience to allow yourself the time to fully grasp concepts. Don't rush the learning process.

Reflect on your learning journey to reinforce understanding.

2. Connecting through the internet

Tyler highlighted the internet’s immense power to forge connections with link-minded individuals. After starting his podcast Tyler said he realized “the internet is insanely powerful in connecting people with aligned interests and values.” 

The internet has created a new medium for:

  • Networking
  • Collaboration
  • Personal growth

The problem is most people don’t know where to begin.

I didn’t know anyone when I moved to Arizona. I had never even stepped foot in the state before deciding to make the move. I didn’t know how I was going to make new friends, but I wanted to be surrounded by people with entrepreneurial minds.

This is what prompted me to start sharing my ideas online. It became a beacon for me to start finding new people and make new friends.

I figured there had to be people in Arizona that were online. The challenge was just using the internet to find them. A few months after I moved here I sent a cold DM to Louis Shulman after seeing he was based in Scottsdale. We instantly became friends.

By actively engaging in online communities and platforms, you can significantly expand your professional and personal horizons, just as Tyler and I experienced.

3. Cross-generation learning is important

Age does not define your wisdom. Tyler said “maybe now more than ever is it crucial to learn from people across generations.” Tyler, Jay, and I had almost a 10 year gap between us. 

There was a unique ability for us to reflect on the progression of our lives up to this point. Cross generational learning broadens your understanding and provides insights that you don’t receive from people at the same stage as you.

Seek older mentors. Their experience offers invaluable wisdom. Connect with younger people. You’ll get fresh perspectives and ideas based on how they see the world. Listening to people of all ages is the easiest way to gain a well-rounded view of life and work.

Cross-generational learning, as Tyler advocates, enriches your understanding and keeps you in tune with the evolving world.

4. Career paths are no longer linear

Tyler started out in banking after graduating from Stanford. He eventually switched into a web3 startup and then the podcasting space. Jay started out doing music promotion on YouTube. Now he works as a content strategist for Noah Kagan and is building micro-brands.

I started out in sales, then went to intern at an early-stage VC fund, and am now building products. Jay said “I've lived 10 years in the last two,” despite only being 18 years old. I feel the same way. Career paths are becoming less linear and as a result you’re living out dog years by quickly building up new skills.

Explore a variety of your interests. Don't hesitate to pursue different passions. Each experience contributes to your skill set. Be open to changing career paths based on new learnings and interests.

Use your unique journey to create a personal brand that reflects your diverse experiences and skills. When you have a non-traditional career path, as Jay would say, you’re building a rich portfolio of experiences.

5. Creativity and content creation

Effective content creation requires understanding your unique process. We talked a lot about the creative process and the importance of recognizing your personal style. Jay said, "I've learned reading a lot of biographies and studying people who have gone on to do great things... they've all been slightly wired different."

The importance of creating content is it creates understanding at the same time. You’ll hear the best way to learn something is to teach. If you create videos or write you’re cheating the process of learning by teaching.

Study successful people and learn from their journey’s to influence your creativity from their failures. Creating content allows you to practice your creativity regularly. 

Consistent creation and experimentation improve your skills and help refine your unique voice. Understanding and hone your creative process is important to long-term success.

6. Advice is not one-size-fits-all.

There are so many complexities involved with advice. Tyler said, "one of the hardest things is to take the perspective of another human being." Understanding your circumstances and goals is crucial.

When it comes to advice:

  • Evaluate Advice Critically: Consider the context and relevance of advice to your situation.
  • Understand Your Goals: Be clear about your personal and professional objectives.
  • Seek Diverse Opinions: Gather perspectives from various sources, but ultimately trust your judgment.

Take advice with a grain of salt, as Tyler suggested, and align it with your unique path.

7. Small bets in creative endeavors

Big successes often stem from small, experimental steps.

The concept of making small bets in creative projects is a strategy for discovery. Don't be afraid to try new ideas and projects, even if they seem small or insignificant at first. Each small project or experiment provides valuable learnings, regardless of its immediate success. Use the insights gained from small bets to inform larger, more significant projects.

Embrace the power of small bets to fuel innovation and creativity in your endeavors.

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