The Entrepreneur Podcast
The Entrepreneur Podcast

Episode · 1 year ago

22. Mastery: Learning how to learn with Zero-to-Mastery founder Andrei Neagoie

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Staying at home has created an opportunity for many to learn new skills; whether it is a new language, how to code, or make bread. Before you start your next learning opportunity, wouldn't it make sense to learn HOW to learn so that the process is more effective, efficient, and fun?

On this weeks podcast, Eric Janssen is joined by Andre Neagoie, a software developer, turned entrepreneur, and currently lead instructor at his own company, Zero to Mastery (ZTM): the highest-rated programming course on the web that has graduated over 200,000 students.

Andrei shares his wild entrepreneurial journey that has taken him from launching his own adventure races, teaching surfing in Nicaragua, and finally to Silicon Valley and Toronto, where he worked as a Senior Software Developer before founding ZTM.

Before you spend the next few months burning countless hours learning a new language, or skill, spend some time learning how to learn the right way.

Hello, I the entrepreneur listeners.Before we get to our regularly scheduled programming, I wanted to give a little bitof an Intro to the interview you're about to listen to. We've beenexcited to release this interview for a long time. We thought, given thenew realities of Covid nineteen setting in, now would be the ideal time tointroduce a topic on learning how to learn. So, before you make an investmentin learning a new language, learning to code, learning really eating newskill, wouldn't it make sense to spend a little bit of time figuring outhow you should go about learning effectively and efficiently in the first place? Somy interview today is with Andre Nigoi, who is a software developer, turnentrepreneur and currently lead instructor at his own company, zero to mastery, whichis the highest rated programming course on the web that's graduated over two hundred thoustudents over the past two years. Andrea has had a wild entrepreneurial journey that'staken him from launching his own Venture Races, teaching surfing in Nicaragua and finally toSilicon Valley and Toronto, where he worked as a senior software developer beforelaunching his own learning company, zero to mastery. His new course is acourse actually on the learning how to learn. It's going to help you improve memoryproductivity and uncovers a lot of the skills of the world's top performers andlearning strategies that they've used, which is backed by research. Andrea actually generouslyprovided a coupon code for listeners of the PODCAST for fifty percent off on hisnew course. So you can go to zero to mastery dot IO. That'szero to the letters Teo, mastery dot io, click on learning how tolearn course and on the check out you can use the coupon code Hustle Hustllefor fifty percent off his monthly membership. He assures me that this is theabsolute best offer that he's ever given out. You're not going to find another betteroffer in the near term future or anywhere on the web. So that'szero to mastery, the letters Teo dot io, and the course is learningto learn. So before you spend the next few weeks or months burning colllesshours learning a new language, learning new skill, learning whatever, spend afew hours learning how to learn the proper way without further ado. Here's myinterview with Andrea Nigoy from zero to mastery. Andre, thanks for coming in andbeing a guest and being on the podcast. Glad to be here.Thanks for having me. It's nice to hang out with you. Yeah,it's been it's been a while. It's been a long time. So Iwant to get into the topic of learning how to learn. This is thethe purpose of today's podcast, but I want to rewind way back to earlydays for you. So I know you were a student at the university westernOntario and then had sort of a winding career. You done a bunch ofdifferent things before becoming the founder of zero to mastery. So would you mindhelp me fill in the blanks between graduated from Western and founder of this hugelypopular online learning to Code Company? All right, well, it's definitely awindy road, so let's try and fill those gaps. We're going to startin a location nowhere near coding, and hopefully we'll end up there. Soafter university, graduated from Western. Awesome experience. I was super excited buthad no idea what I want to do with my life. So I decidedto go to Japan and teach English for a year. So I was ina village of Threezero people and I taught English there and lived and taught everysingle person's child there. So I knew the entire community and it's it wasan amazing experience. Came back taught at a tennis club. Actually I wasa tennis club manager. So I was there for another year thinking up ofbusinesses, business ideas that I want to do. Came up with concept ofadventurists. That is, hey, wouldn't be great if every month we dida unique adventure in and around Toronto kind of recreate that Western feeling? SoI did that for a bit with friend from university. That was great.That pivoted to doing weekly Toronto DAY TOURS FOR TRAVELERS COMING INTO TORONTO. Thatwas great. Nothing significant, and at the same time I had an ideafor Ah, let's do an obstacle course race because of the time tough,mutter and and Spartan race were becoming really popular. So I did that aswell and through an event, which was great. But none of those businessesis really took off. They're just small, almost break even businesses. Lots offun, though, and then after that I joined a strip which wasa spring break company of all things. I had no sales experience. Actuallythought hey, you know, be tough selling the most expensive trip possible touniversity students that are broke. So that was that was Super Fun. GotSome experience selling to university students and actually getting practicing selling be because at schoolI we didn't have any courses on sales.

After that, that was about ayear. Was Enough of me doing that job, enough for me tomove on. I then moved on to another travel company and I ended uptraveling and teaching about a hundred and fifty tour guides all over the world,essentially how to give proper tours, how to work with customers. I didtheir pay roll, I did their review. I pretty much a hundred. Ihad a hundred and fifty people to Babysit. It was a lot ofwork. Around that time. This is about five years after university, Idecided that, you know what, I'll do yoga teacher training. That wouldbe fun, something different, so I did that as well. Decided that, you know what, I should do, Yoga and surf retreat. So Ialso learned how to surf. I got my yoga certificate and I starteddoing yoga and surf fruit treats in Nicarago. That was really fun and successful.And through all of this, the entire time I'm going through the journey. I know I'm talking a lot, but we're filling in the gaps.I'm almost done. I realized that there wasn't a tangible skill that I had. I've done a lot of things, I've learned a lot of things,but there wasn't something tangible where I can go to any company and say,Hey, hire me, this is my exact hill skill. So I wasthinking about and I thought, you know what, every time I started abusiness there was always a developer or a website that I had to create andI threw money to somebody, asked for a website, and always what cameback from this black box was something that I didn't ask for. So Ithrew more money in it and something else came back and it was the mostfrustrating process. So I actually quit my job at the time and decided hey, five months, then I teach myself how to Code. So I didthat for five months. Got Quite a few offers actually after five months asa full time developer. Did that for a few years and I thought Hey, I'm not too bad at this, maybe I'll teach somebody else to dowhat I did. So started zero to mastery. This was about two yearsago and now we have about a hundred and twenty thousand students. We areconstantly expanding our courses and instructors and, yeah, we have quite a lotof students from about a hundred and ninety four countries, so it's quite thejourney. So how many of those get a bunch of businesses, I'm tocall the projects? Like you had a bunch of businesses along the way.How many of those were did you have while also doing a full time job, and how many of those were like left your job in order to focuson those things? All of them were done and conjunction with my jobs.So I never took time off from a full time job because they were neverI never took the plunge or I never thought they would be successful enough tosustain me. So it's almost like I never focused a hundred percent on themuntil I decided to teach myself to code and I saw the power of focusingon something and dedicating your full attention to that one task interesting. So theywere always the overused term. Now side hustles there were always things that youdid after normal work. They said there's like thee to five and then thefive to nine. So they were your five to nine Gig. Exactly exactly. I maybe sneaking in a bit of work within my actual work, butfor my side Hustles, got it, got it, I remember. SoI've been following the journey of it and I remember sort of seeing them andyou have one of those of those instagra reactive. You active on Instagram?Yeah, I posted there occasionally just to have some sort of an image,since I have students online that search for me. So I remember like followingyour story on Instagram and seeing like, oh, man, he's at Iknow he's had a strip and sales, but like he's traveling all over theworld. He's in Nicarag while he's running these surfinger treats. It just alwaysit had this perception of like he's kind of figure it out, he's gotlike the Worklife, you know, intermingled perfectly. Did it? Did itfeel that way when you were in it, or did it feel like I've gotus, I'm like wrestling through still trying to figure this out. Oh, it is complete chaos and mess. It was just why water rafting throughthrough the jungle and monkeys flying at you and is was a complete mess.And the thing is still now, like, yeah, things are successful, Ifeel pretty comfortable, but the entire time you're just always learning new things. That are you're doing new things. And Yeah, zero to mastery ispretty successful right now, but there's new things, new challenges. So yeah, maybe the waters have calmed down a bit, but it's never been likethat and honestly, I would never say that I was ever stressed or Iwas ever feeling like I was drowning. The entire time I was having fun. And yeah, maybe posting the good moments on Instagram, maybe not postingthe bad moments, but at the same...

...time the lows were also made meappreciate the highs as well. But no, my life is still a complete mess. Don't let Instagram Pollio. All right, good, good reminder foreverybody. Don't don't just go by what's on instagram. So you this allstarted when you taught yourself to code. So what? How did you dothat? How, in the early days, did you figure out what was goingto be the best way to learn how to code? So at thetime I knew absolutely nothing about coding. So I had that challenge right Ineed to learn a topic that obviously a lot of companies were interested in.I was learning to code when it was really starting to take off and theywere just so much demand for developers out there. But the problem was Ididn't know any developers. There wasn't that much resources of the time online.Maybe some of them were outdated, but I didn't know they were outdated becauseI knew nothing about the industry. So what I essentially did was I dedicateda month of my time to create essentially my self guided boot camp with anythingthat I could get my hands on and figure out what exactly is the thetwenty percent that I need to learn right now to get a job as soonas possible, because I knew the real learning was going to happen when I'mworking on a real project with real teams. So my goal was not to bethe best developer and get the best jobs from the best companies, itwas to get hired as fast as possible, and not at an entry level butjust at an intermediate level, because I knew that that was that's wherethe learning starts. So I created a curriculum based on online research. Italked to friends who knew developers and eventually formed a curriculum that I thought byno means was perfect, but I thought would emphasize those skills that I'll getinterviewed on and, Lo and behold those skills that I acquired over those fivemonths. By no means was I an expert, but in an interview youdon't have to be an expert, you just have to answer the right questionsthat they ask interesting. So the goal wasn't learn how to be a greatdeveloper. In the beginning, the goal was learned what I needed to learnin order to get hired to start exactly, and because I knew that to bea great developer you need to have work experience. So again, duringmy month of study, I realized that you can't be a great developer withoutwork experience. So to me that was an evident, clear goal that,well, I need to get hired as soon as possible, because then I'mjust getting paid to learn. I can ask all the questions that I wantfrom all these developer be friends that I don't have, but if I workalbum surrounded by developers. So that was my goal and that was my clearcut goal, where I only focused on things that will get me through thatdoor. Got It and your conversation with those early for those early job interviews, was it was still very honest right. Like you said, look, I'ma junior developer. I've I have this baseline level of skill and I'mlooking to get some experience. Like what was your what was your pitch?And those interviews it was definitely not that pitch, because that sounds I don'tthink anybody would hire me. But I was extremely honest with them. Isaid, Hey, I've been learning for five months. This is all thethings that I've done in those five months. I know that you're I'm not goingto be your best developer right now. By guarantee you in six months fromnow I'm going to be one of your best hires. Now. Thatsounds amazing and I'm sure the people might hear that, but there's also otherfactors. When you interview, to get asked to well, here, hereare some coding assignments. While they would ask you to do a few codingassignments, I would always go above and beyond, do extra and yeah,because these coding assignments are take home assignments. I'm able to research and spend timeon it, but I I produced more than what somebody would produce andthey saw that. I think. I think that's the that's the key thing, was that they knew right away that I wasn't the best hire or maybethe best option, but they knew that I wanted it more than anybody elseand by the end of the interviewed, I may interview, I made surethat they knew I would work, work harder than any of their employees,and I think employers value that. So I actually when I interviewed, Iinterviewed at a bunch of companies and I moved on to only the ones thatI liked and I actually got the offers, all the offers, so I nevergot rejected, actually, except for one that said no to me thatactually came back three months later and took me out to dinner to try andgive me an offer. But I think it wasn't because I was the bestdeveloper. It was simply because they knew...

...how much drive I had. Andit sounds cheesy but it works. You're communicating with humans and humans connect onthat and but then you may you were making a bed. So you weresaying on yourself, basically. So you're saying, you hire me and withinsix months I'll be one of your top and at but at that point inyour mind you're knowing that you don't like, you don't know, you don't knowit all yet. So you're saying it within six months I'm going tolearn everything I need to learn in order to be one of your top.That's the classic strategy and learning and one of the philosophies and doing something wellis having stakes. If you have stakes, if you if something's on the line, you're more motivated to learn. I knew that they weren't going tofire me after six months because I was in the top developer. But mepersonally, I made that promise. That's that's steak. That's something that Iknew that I have to deliver on, or at least get really, reallyclose to, otherwise I'm a liar, and that's I just created for myselfintrinsic motivation to have that steak of well, the six months I'm going to hustleand learn as much as possible, ask as many questions as possible andtry and do all the right things too. Hopefully in six months for them tosay, all right, that was a good hire. Other why islearning an important skill to learn? I think in our current day and agethings are changing so fast. As a matter of fact, in in twothousand and eighteen, world economic form did a study to look at careers andskills and they realize that the skills and careers that we used to have inthe twenty, maybe the early twenty one century, where, you know,around fifty years. People got jobs out of university and they kept those jobs, they got pension and that was it. Now the Halflife, that is thehow long does your career value or skills decay to fifty percent of thevalues that they initially had? It's around five years. So we live inan age where most people graduating university, all my friends graduating university, thathave graduated, are doing something completely different than they did five years ago.And that's the the stat of the World Economic Forum came with, which isthe idea that an average career now lasts five years and you need to almostlearn new to skill and new skills. The the problems not unemployment, butredeployment and your ability to not just learn something at university and then stick toa job. I mean, that won't get you very far, like itdid maybe in the S. instead, now you have to be ready toadapt at because in five years, most likely, most definitely, you'll haveto learn something either on top of those skills or something completely different. It'sscary, but also an opportunity for those who learn the right tools to reallyexcel in this new field. It's the idea of like, uh, I'mdone school, I've learned everything I need to know, is dead. Ifyou're not learning and relearning and exploring new things, you're going to be relevantfive years. The journeys just beginning. I the one thing that I reallytake took away from university is how to learn in a system, how tobe efficient in a system. But the actual topics that I learned in universityI don't use them right now. Ninety percent of the topics that you learnyou don't use. But I really learned a valuable lesson of how to learnhow to work within a system, and that's really what you need to do, which sounds scary because now you're thinking there's no end inside, I haveto constantly work, work and just put in time and grind and hopefully bythe age of seventy I can retire. But that's actually not the case.Learning is is not a hard thing to do if you enjoy what you're doing, and the big thing after university is that you get to pick the topicsthat you want to learn, why you're interested in it's almost in a way. As long as you're learning something, you're fine and you don't have todedicate a full day for it. As long as you're learning something a littlebit at a time each day, you're going to super surpass mores people thatgraduate and think that they can just coast. Cool. I want to get intosome of your philosophies around learning, because you run a I've been beenteaching for many years, but you've just run a phenomenal volume of students toyour program so like a hundred and Twentyzero students have been trained and learning howto Code through your program so just like crazy volume. Do you have anylike philosophies or pillars or frameworks or whatever in how you think about going aboutteaching people how to learn new things?...

Yeah, there's definitely a framework thatI have. The one thing that I want to comment well, of whatmakes a good instructor because you you kind of ask that point. And whathas helped me reach such a large audience from so many different countries, obviouslywith different backgrounds and experiences, I think as this idea of being able togo back to the beginner mindset, being able to remember how it was likefor you learning, because as we get more and more experience, get smarterand smarter, we almost lose touch with that beginner mindset. And one ofthe things that has obviously helped me was the fact that I did spend somuch time planning out how I would teach myself. What are the key thingsto learn? I think ink for a an educator, for somebody that's ateacher, the ability to relate and really understand the student and what the simpleterms are that you need to use to explain something not only shows that you'rea good instructor that can relate to students, but also shows your understanding, becauseif you can explain it simply well, then you definitely know your stuff andit's actually it's it's called a fineman technique, after after Richard Feynman,a noble peace prize or not know a peace prize Nobel prize winning physicist becauseof his ability to explain concept a complex topics to his students. So letme ask on that. then. Do you think the modern definition of whatmakes a good teacher is changing? Because if I go like his maybe historically, or if I overgeneralize, it's like someone who has been out there doingit for fifty years, right, you've seen every angle, you've seen dozensof people be successful, many more fail. You've learned every lesson there is tolearn and then you know what's next in my retirement, maybe now I'llgo and teach it. Do you think that, like I'm over you know, overgeneralizing, but like, do you need to be the best in theworld in order to be a good teacher? No, I've absolutely not. Ido want to point out that I don't want to be the typical millenniumthat comes in and says, Oh, the old system of teaching is wrongand like abolish all university and structures because they don't know what they're talking there. They all styles. That's not true. I think it really comes to theindividual person. There's some excellent, excellent teachers that have been doing itfor fifty years and there's also excellent, excellent teachers, that I've been doingit for one year, whatever the subject matter is. I think the keyhere is as you progress through your career, and this is happening to me aswell well, you become good or you start to get positive reinforcement sayingthat Hey, students are enjoying my courses, their understanding things, and you almostbecome complacent. You almost become comfortable because you know there's nothing to workon, you're not receiving any negative feedback. I think the concept of a goodteacher is changing in the sense that, because we're in such a connected worldright now, you can get immediate feedback on your teaching style. Inmy case, everything is online. I know right away when a student doesn'tlike a course because I know when they stop watching the videos, I knowwhen they leave a review. And a good teacher, in my opinion,it's somebody that takes those notes and constantly tries to improve and constantly tries tounderstand what they did wrong or what they can improve on. And I thinkthe all style of teaching, which is in a classroom and in a physicalclassroom, facetoface, that works really, really well because most of the time. Students can leave. They can just walk out on you right and sometimesmaybe you'll have a cohort that leaves and you only see them for a semester. I think the definition of a good teacher is changing now where because there'sthis online presence, because it's more than the classroom. Now you have toreally a be good and engage in off so students don't just leave, don'tjust end your video, so you're able to really connect with the student,even though you might have not have that physical presence, but also be yourability to now leverage that and get feedback from your students and get more data, not to sound and not to say that data is everything, because Ithink that word is kind of overblown, but getting that feedback and using thatfeedback to constantly improve yourself, because you're never going to be a perfect teacher. I think that's that's really important. So the constant improvement and learning howto leverage both worlds, because I agreed, like I teach primarily, almost exclusivelyin person and there is a certain there's always going to be people thatlove the band and are going to buy the tshirt right, and teaching inperson is kind of like that. It's like you're going to the concert.You get to see it in person.

There's an interaction in the class.It's a it's a different environment than in some of my experiences learning online.Same with like. I'm not saying better or worse. So it's just thinkit's different. I think there's probably a hybrid world where they all work together. There's but there's actually probably some things that are better served being exclusively onlinesome that are better sort of being mostly in person. So I don't knowwhat the future is going to look like, but I see it blending more andmore. Yeah, I mean it's that's the thing. There's pros andcons in person teaching and being a good teacher. There's some pros and constantyou have that facetoface connection that you just can't beat online. You know,facetoface is really, really important, but at the same time you might nothave the number of students that you can impact. The students that you havefacetoface usually tend to be less, which gives you less feedback, Oh andand what you can improve on. So yeah, I mean it's I thinkto be a good instructor in this modern age you just need to not necessarilyjust online, but you just have to be more in tune with a witha never connected world, with students that have more distractions. Distractions than everare more likely to focus on different things during your classes. So you justneed to almost be more engaging than perhaps in the past to keep that attention. Yeah, honestly, I come from the music business and I think ofit as being a performer like you. Actually it helps to have an entertainmentelement. Absolutely you're you're competing for attention in a generation that's trained to checktheir phone, you know, hundreds of times in a few hours. Soit's almost changing to being a it's my version of being a closest all evercome to being an artist, you know, to being a performer. So oneof the things, I know we're kind of going on a tangent here, but it I just find this topic so fascinating because it is it isan important topic. One of the things that I did before I release myfirst course, because I actually want to run and thought back to my past, to who are my favorite teachers, why were they my favorite teachers,and I looked all the way back from kindergarten to when I got my yogacertificate to Youtube channels and I was like, what made me stick what made mestick around for this instructor? Why do I still remember that instructor?And actually diagrammed it out and wrote bullet points for each one of these instructorsand looked at commonalities as well as exceptions, and that was that was a reallyinteresting exercise for anybody that wants to teach. Honestly, even for learners, it's interesting to do that exercise to see exactly what, what type oflearner you are, that when what kind of teacher Uni, but also forteachers that perhaps want to learn from other teachers. That's actually goes perfectly andand talk about because first step for you is if I want to be agood teacher, so learning how to be a teacher. You're not the firstperson to ever want to be a teacher. Like you've got your own lived experiencesabout what a good teacher is. There's a learning how to teach courses, I'm sure online, there's books, so it's smart too, as afirst step to say, and that's my instinct. I've done a bunch ofthese strengths assessments. My instinct is to always go to talk to other peopleor ask other people who've been there before. Right. So, before I domy own research, let me actually start with who do I know who'sbeen there before? Who Do I know who's really good, either the greatestthat I know or potentially world class at this, and what can I learnfrom them? So that's it's a good starting point, right, and that'sthe thing, right, we because we're in this ever connected world, wehave the benefit that we didn't have. I mean, you and I grewup when Internet, even before the Internet, when we had to write our ownbook reports. Actually have to read the book. We can't just goonline and get the summery notes. You know, I had to go tothe library. I think in an ever connected world it's so important for uswe almost get a cheat code where you want to learn something, well,good that barrier. You don't have to go to the library. There's somuch content online that you can jump start whatever that learning process is by learningfrom people that have done it before, because you don't have to reinvent thewheel. Learn from them, learn from their mistakes and start from maybe notwe're exactly where they're at, but at least close to where they're at becauseI you're wasting your energy reinventing the wheel if somebody or has already learned thatlesson. All right, so ask a question on this, because do youthink that there's a risk of missing out on your own version of the learningif you're own reading the notes? You know? So like, instead ofsaying, okay, I want to be the best teacher in the world,option a would be do my own research and by the top three books thatthe experts recommend on how to be a...

...great teacher. Option B would belike probably just google, like the online shortened version of those notes, orI'm sure there's like a youtube video of someone summarizing and in three minutes,or like a blog post where it's like free key learnings. So how doyou know when to invest the two weeks in reading the four hundred page bookversus staff just get the three bullets out of a summary? Right? Imean there's that. That's the biggest issue right now. It's almost a blessingand a curse the fact that we have the Internet and we have so muchknowledge and there's so much video content being uploaded to you do, so muchblog post being written on the Internet. You have paradox of choice. WHATDO I pick? And honestly, that is one of the toughest challenges.And if you want to be a successful learner, so that is you wantto be a teacher, you want to be a salesman, you want todo anything that involves learning, one of the important skills that you need tohave is this idea of selection, of being able to pick and choose whyyou learn, because, I guarantee you, whatever topic you want to choose,nowadays it's impossible to go through everything in your lifetime. Really, I'mmaking a ball statement, but there is just so much information out there.So how do you pick that? How do you select that right material?I mean, it's a tough one to answer because it really depends, butthere are a few rules that you can follow. One, for example,you know, it's how hard was it to create that content? Right?Block posts are great. It's a really great way to get thoughts out there, but the time invested in writing a block post is usually a day,maybe if it's a really good block block post from a really good writer,maybe a little bit more. A book, on the other hand, that takesyears of planning and going through the process of doing the research. SoI like to look at how much time does this person spend on this topic, maybe researching? Are they an expert on this topic? What other thingshave they done? And you start to notice the people who, and I'mkind of generalizing here with the block posts. I even write block posts, butI also know how easy they are to write. So I look athow much of an expert is this person? What have they done that deserves myattention, and from there decide why you want to invest your time on. And as you start to read, I you start to discover. Youwill find different things, and you mentioned this as well. Obviously talking toothers. Do you know somebody that is where where you want to be,that has the skill that you want to acquire? Maybe as that maybe goto a meet up or conference that has the people that you want to becomeand find out how they got there? Because even though it might take abit of time to plan out what you should focus on, it's going tosave you a lot more time in the long run than just watching a thousandyoutube videos on coding, because will you just want to learn how to codebut you don't really have a reason why you're watching those ones. Yeah,there's I think it's rayed Allio in his book principles, talks about a believabilitylevel. It's like, is this person believable in that they actually have somedemonstrated level of experience or proficiency or success in a certain thing? So,before you read someone's blog post on learning, how to learn, how long they'vewritten books? Are they actually experts in this before you just take theirblog post for the summary. Okay, right, your own pillars. Soyou'd mentioned a few things that I thought were super interesting in how to makelearning sort of a lifelong pursuit. So you had two pillars. First onewas everything is a game. What do you mean by that, I ask? So the two pillars, I think in order for us to learn orbe excited about learning and this lifelong journey that is learning, and you know, your ability to learn throughout your life, I really believe, indicates the levelof your success, I kind of, I guess in my head, createdthese two pillars to emphasize the point but also make it fun and almosttangible to the person that to them learning seems like such a Meta skill thatthey don't actually need to focus on. They just want to maybe read aboutit and forget about it. So the first one is everything is a game, and I like to think about about school. When I went to universitywestern, you know, I had an absolutely amazing time, absolutely love theschool, but the way that I got really engaged with with studying and succeedingfor exams and learning was to pretend like this is a whole system and agame. I was super excited by the idea of how can I look atthis system objectively, this whole idea of going to class, of taking exams, of reading books and then doing ABC or d multiple choice? How canI optimize this? How can I play...

...this game where I can be goodat it but also not also enjoy the process? So the idea is,well, what's something that I can do? All my friends are are sleeping ornot sleeping and studying the night before the exam, maybe too nice beforethe exam, pulling all nighters. It's like, what can I do whereI don't do that, but I can almost use cheat codes to do justas well as them in the exams, sleep at night but also study justas much as them? So I started looking at this idea that if Igo into work if I go into a job, everything is a system,and this comes from my coading background, but everything is just blocks that arecommunicating with each other and if you look at these blocks as systems, thenyou start to notice some faults or you start to notice some some things thatyou can you can almost use cheek coats on and improve that system. Sothis idea. When I did my first examined Western I remember I got tenpercent. It was is terrible, is so disheartening. Good start, nota gut start, to university career, but I was so proud of thefact that on my last exam at university I had studied just as much asI as I did for that math class that I got ten percent in.I study just as much as I did there and I forgot the exact number, but you know it was over ninety and it was the amount of timethat I spent was the same. and to me that was me learning thegame, learning the system and how to improve it. And if you findin your learning journey like this game that you can play of how can youlevel up your skill? I suck at something, but how can I improveit? And you almost find find it comically fun, then the idea ofyou sucking in the the goal being so far away doesn't seem as daunting.It just it just sounds like another challenge and other rock that you have tohop to get to the end. So everything in a game, was oneand the second was efficiency, trump's grit, grit being resilience and hard work andeverything else. So you're are you saying hard work and Grit Aren't important? I knew you're going to ask that. So definitely not. Grit, supersuper important. It's the idea of pushing through, being resilient and,you know, really driving towards your goal super, super important. But thekey here is efficiency, trump's grit. I think a lot of people,including myself, get overwhelmed because when they learn a new skill, when theygo to class, let's say an Ivy business class, they know that they'recompeting with other smart individuals that are going to put in the time, thatare going to grind throughout the night and day to be the top performer.And for some students maybe that excites to them, but also it's intimidating becauseif you're the type of person that isn't willing to put in eighty hours aweek, to work on something, you immediately give up right away because you'renever going to be able to compete with that person that's that's always working,has cut out everything from their life except for this one task and you're notwilling to compromise on that. That's very disheartening. But there's actually a bitof light at the end of the tunnel here, where just grinding and justworking hard doesn't necessarily mean it's the best strategy. The efficiency is actually key, and this goes back to my story of everything is a game. Right, there's always efficient ways of doing things. There's always ways to learn a topicin an efficient way. What is the important parts that you should learnfirst to, like I did with coding, to get a job and get workexperience. So there's the smart way of learning things and then there's ashotgun approach of lesious cram as much as possible into my brain. And thegood news for people that may not be the super type A personalities that wantto work eighty hours a week is that all you need to do is figureout what this efficiency is and you'll be just as successful as somebody that usesthe shotgun approach, if not more giving in like what an example of thatwould be? Maybe encoding is you teach it like what? What an exampleof I guess the the great example would be stay up work eighty hours ora hundred hours a week and learning how to Code. But what's an exampleof efficiency and learning how to code? Yeah, so that's actually a greatexample. Let's let's generalize it here for Non Tech People in the in thetech world, especially now, everything is changing constantly. If you stop learningfor even a year, you're already behind. Technology right now is moving at asuch a fast space. So no matter how many years in the industry, you almost have to keep up with the new libraries, practices and toolsthat are coming out. So you're constantly...

...swimming. Now this can get really, really hard and difficult and really least to burn out. And this isnot just coding. There's always things that probably in your profession career, youcan constantly learn. Now with with the technology side of things, with coding, there's so much out there that it's impossible to keep up with everything.You have to be selective to not being in the tech industry forces you tobe selective, at least if you want to be successful. So one ofthe examples that I like to give is I have a lot of students whowhat they do is they read the first block post that they read that talksabout something and they assume that this is what they need to learn and theytry to learn this, and then they read the next block post that saysyou need to learn this, so they add this to the list and eventuallythey're just trying to learn everything and in a month they just absolutely quit.I had actually friends who started to learn how to Code. They even wentto boot camps where they paid tenzero and they still don't have a job becausethey just try to do everything and eventually burnt out and decided that coding isnot for them. Maybe it was for them, but they just took astrategy where the shock and approach, where they try to do everything too much, and this is a this is a lifetime journey and if you're if you'redoing a strategy that only lasts you for six months because you're going to burnout. Well, I whoever's doing a more efficient, selective approach is goingto win out in the long run. So that's one of your don't knowif it's principles or techniques, but the Parado principle essentially right, like don'ttry to do it all. Let's try to first figure out what are thetwenty percent of the things that are going to give you eighty percent of resultsand just filter everything at to start. At least filter everything else out andlet's just focus on those twenty percent things. Don't let the list get too big. Exactly. And you know, Pardo principle is one of those thingsthat has been discussed a lot and online and quite a lot of people knowabout it, but for those that don't, it's essentially this idea of the twentyand eighty percent. So the twenty percent usually accounts for eighty percent ofthe results. So you can say twenty percent of my customers account for eightypercent of my revenue. So let's focus on the twenty percent and that cango into learning. Right. What is the twenty percent that is going togive me eighty percent of the result? One example that I like to useas language learning. Yeah, if you wanted to learn, let's say,Spanish, and you know no Spanish, that's to learn Spanish. Me Fluentin Spanish. From zero to that mastery. That's a big jump. That's afar away goal that you can't see. But you know what you can do? You can google the hundred most used words in Spanish and learn.Learn those first, and that is their principle right there, focusing on what'sthe key thing. If you learned the most commonly used a hundred words,I bet you you're going to do pretty well and you're going to feel prettygood about yourself just a couple of days in. So focusing on those keythings is important. And the big thing with the Preto principle is not necessarilythe addition of what should I add that? It is the twenty percent. It'salmost more of the elimination. You look at the whole field, let'ssay coding, let's say language learning, let's say juggling, and you saylet's remove the eighty percent. That doesn't perhaps matter as much. What arethe twenty percent that I should keep around because it's so important that I needthis and that is this idea of elimination, I think is something that really needto do be in our day and age, because again, it's soeasy to keep adding things, keep learning things, keep adding blog posts,keep adding bookmarks. I think elimination is one of those things that we oftenforget about. If you were to, let's go coding specifically, someone newto wants to learn how to Code. What are the biggest, call itthe most common waste of time, like what do people's what's the biggest mistakeor biggest waste of time that people make when they're learning how to code?This is it just popped in my head right away because I see it somuch and it's one of those things where I tell people about it, butso many people don't listen to it, and even myself I was a faultat it when I started, and that is as soon as you hear somebodythat is better than you say something or an opinion, you assume that that'sGospel, that that is right, and now you believe what they believe andyou start telling people those beliefs. So let's say code and be like youthink, Oh, react or javascript is the best language. Oh, somebodythat likes, maybe a senior Dur a developer at your company, said thatyou're going to go around to your friends be like Javascripts the best language,and there's a lot of that tribalism that...

...happens where the more advanced senior developerscan really influence the beginner, more junior impressionable developers, and this is notjust coding. It's very easy to do that. I think it's really,really important, especially as a beginner, whether it's coding or or anything inlearning, to understand that most likely, most things are never black and white. There's always pros and cons. So learning the pros and cons instead ofthe black and white this is right, this is wrong, is one ofthe biggest things that you can you can change again. It's one of thosethings that I mentioned all the time and it's still with my community. It'sone of those things where sometimes I have to be like, Hey, guys, stop fighting. It's it's all pros and cons, right versus Gospel,black or white. What are your favorite books or resources in learning how tolearn, or specifically more broadly learning? Not specifically learning how to Code,but what are your favorite resources or books for someone looking to teach themselves howto learn anything better? So I definitely have a few books that have changedmy my perspective, my career and just have had a really positive impact onmy life. I like to divide them. Actually have the book list in frontof me. I like to divide them into the the micro, whichis the specific learning techniques that can be applied pretty much today, and thenthe macro, which is more career are oriented. How should you start structureyour career and learning throughout the rest of your life? So I'll start withthe micro. First, micro, the two books that I think are reallygood to start off with, just to get you excited about the idea oflearning, is moonwalking with Einsheine with Joshua Fair, and emergency by Neil Strauss. Excellent books, both almost talking about the author and how they mastered atopic that they knew nothing about at the beginning of the book. Very entertainingreads to really get you excited. And then the other three that I thinkare really get more esoteric philosophical books on learning, which, when I saythat, doesn't sound exciting but they are quite good, is the art oflearning by Josh Waite, Skin Deep Work by CAL Newport and the for ourchef by Tim Ferris. Are Excellent books that have had great impact on mylife. But the ones that had, I've had the most impact are themacro, the more career big picture of vision, where I would say threebooks. One is is so good they can't ignore you by Calnewport, oneof my all time favorite books. If you had one book to read rightnow, definitely read that. SMART cuts by Shen Shane Snow, and then, finally, anti fragile by Nasim Talib. Those three books have really shaped mythinking and have helped me to navigate the the jungles that is, thethe workplace, the careers and all the overwhelming decisions that you have to makein your life. Those first two that you recommended the moonwalking with Einstein,and what's the other one? Emergency, emergency, so those are more.I've read moonwalking with Einstein. Thought was amazing and maybe I get what you'resaying. It's not like, not only if you want to learn how totrain to have a better memory, but more so just to get you excited, that about how the authors went about their process of learning new things right. Like the lesson in it isn't learn how to memorize a deck of cards. The lesson of the book is like here's a cool, new, differentapproach to how the authors learn something new, right, and I think that's that'sthe key thing and that's why those books are so great, because learningisn't something really appealing. When somebody tells you, Hey, I'm going toteach you how to learn, you think to yourself. I mean like Ido that at school. I think like textbooks and like going off lock myselfin a library, loss of there's class. Yeah, she's right. So Ithink it's really, really important to get people excited, and this iswhy I mentioned these two books, because they are Super Fun. weats andthey're going to get you excited, because as we get older, we tendto start stick to the things that we're good at. You know, whenyou're a child, you're trying a bunch of things and then, slowly,slowly, you have external factors. I tell you, wow, Johnny's reallygood at dancing, while Johnny's a really good chess player, and you kindof tend to go towards these things that you get positive feedback from. Andas we get older we're almost too selfconscious to try absolutely new things that weare absolutely terrible at, like starting from zero. Is such an intimidating thing. When you're a forty year old man or woman with a child, witha career and you want to learn salsa dancing, I mean that is thatis tough. A lot tougher than if...

...you were a fourteen year old andyou know, your parents forced you to do some salsa dancing. So Ithink those two books really get you excited and make you realize again everything isa game where these skills and learning is actually if you start at zero,no problem, you can get there and most skills can be learned and youcan do it in a fun way, in a in a Gameish way,and those two books really do that. Yeah, I think we often forgetplay, you know, like we forget we get so take yourself so seriouslyand you come out of school kind of burn and do something interesting and Iat least for me, I got lost and probably taking myself too seriously fortoo long. I'm trying to unlearn a little bit of that and play alittle bit more. So learning, learning things that aren't always associated with excellingin your career, becoming a better negotiator, being better at sales, like,there are sometimes things that you can learn that are just for fun thatalso help you be better in other areas, but not you're not doing it forthat reason, absolutely absolute and I can look back on every single skillthat I've learned, even juggling even or Goami, where those were somehow usefulthrough all my life in like the most unexpected, weird ways. And you'reright, I think we takes ourselves too seriously. That's that's one thing thatI pride myself on is that I'm still a child on the inside. And, as a matter of fact, for anybody that's listening and graduating suit orabout to leave university, thinking that they're going to go into their real world, well, we real world is full of children trapped in adults body.Like everybody is a child just trying to look a lot more impressive than theyare, look like they have things figured out, but nobody has their thingsfigured out. We're all just children. So having that mentality almost loosen thingsup. I think the famous thing is if you're a nervous public speaker,you know, pretend like everybody's in underwear. It's kind of like that. Youknow, everybody's just a child, just half within. Nothing's as seriousas you think, and having that playful curiosity will lead to you trying newthings, learning new things. Cool if you could rewind the tape, you'vehad a done a whole bunch of different things, taken a bunch of swings. Is there anything that you would do differently or any advice that you'd giveto yourself if you were twenty two again? That's see, that's a tough onebecause I thought about this before. I've journaled about it before, andthe answers always know, because every single mistake is has led to some learning. But I feel like that's a copout answer that everybody gives. So ifI had to absolutely pick one, because you're forcing me to, I meanit sounds like I'm purposefully staying on topic, but it's really this. It's theidea of I wish I learned earlier how to learn. I wish Iknew the importance I I wish I knew that it was a learned skill,not that, oh, I'm just bad at reading textbooks, Oh, I'mjust bad at focusing and lectures and it's just an innate skill that we have. No, it was a learned skill that you can actually practice, justlike basketball, just like swimming, just like whatever it is. It's askill that you can practice and I wish I had started practicing this learning skilla lot earlier because I would have been so much further along. It's oneof those skills. Again, it's so medh had so you almost doesn't soundexciting, but the little time that you invest in it is going to changethe course of your life. So yeah, I would have. I would havelearned how to learn a lot sooner and who knows, maybe I wouldhave I would have done a lot more with my life. I feel likeyou come out of university or any any schooling and you're just like, I'veread so much, I've studied so much, I'm just ready to go do stuffnow. I'm done with books for a while, and I was sameas you, I feel like. For there was a dark period there whereI just didn't read for a long time and it's something I wish I wouldhave kept reading for different reasons, but I wish I'd kept it up.Well, here's the good news for anybody that's leaving university. You're going tobe first time in your life where you have all this learning time open up, where nobody's telling you what to learn, nobody's saying, Hey, go tothis class at this time. You have the freedom to not learn andjust do whatever you want to do. But you also have the freedom tonow pick whatever topic you're interested in it. So that's almost nice in a waywhere, yeah, you're exhausted from learning and taking exams. I knowI was after Western now was just so sick and tired of writing essays andexams. I never wanted to write an essay my my life. Luckily Idon't think I don't write essays anymore, which I'm extremely happy about, butit opened up all this free time to finally do the things that I'm interestedin. What were the things that I was interested in? I wanted tolearn how to surf. I wanted to...

...learn how to navigate with a mapand compass. Does that really make me a lot of money, make meSuper Rich, super successful? No, but I was curious in it andsomehow those skills translated to something in the future that actually made me productive inmy career. So it almost is a free pass after graduation to learn whateveryou want. Yeah, that's awesome. Well then, I appreciate you sittingdown and take a little bit of time to chat. This has been alot of fun. And is there anything we can do to help you?Where do people find you online? All right, yeah, if for anybodythat's interested in what I do, especially if you want to learn how tocode the you can just tweet at me. My name is on twitter Andre soa Drei, and then my super complicated last name and EA Goie.It's I run a coding school called zero to mastery. You can google meand I'll teach you how to code and travel the world perfect. Thank youso much, man. I appreciating the time. Thanks for having me.Bye. You've been listening to the Ivy Entrepreneur podcast. To ensure that younever miss an episode, subscribe to the show in your favorite podcast player orvisit Iv don't see a forward slash entrepreneurship? Thank you so much for listening.Until next time.

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