The Entrepreneur Podcast
The Entrepreneur Podcast

Episode · 2 years 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 bit of an Intro to the interview you're about to listen to. We've been excited to release this interview for a long time. We thought, given the new realities of Covid nineteen setting in, now would be the ideal time to introduce a topic on learning how to learn. So, before you make an investment in learning a new language, learning to code, learning really eating new skill, wouldn't it make sense to spend a little bit of time figuring out how you should go about learning effectively and efficiently in the first place? So my interview today is with Andre Nigoi, who is a software developer, turn entrepreneur and currently lead instructor at his own company, zero to mastery, which is the highest rated programming course on the web that's graduated over two hundred thou students over the past two years. Andrea has had a wild entrepreneurial journey that's taken him from launching his own Venture Races, teaching surfing in Nicaragua and finally to Silicon Valley and Toronto, where he worked as a senior software developer before launching his own learning company, zero to mastery. His new course is a course actually on the learning how to learn. It's going to help you improve memory productivity and uncovers a lot of the skills of the world's top performers and learning strategies that they've used, which is backed by research. Andrea actually generously provided a coupon code for listeners of the PODCAST for fifty percent off on his new course. So you can go to zero to mastery dot IO. That's zero to the letters Teo, mastery dot io, click on learning how to learn course and on the check out you can use the coupon code Hustle Hustlle for fifty percent off his monthly membership. He assures me that this is the absolute best offer that he's ever given out. You're not going to find another better offer in the near term future or anywhere on the web. So that's zero to mastery, the letters Teo dot io, and the course is learning to learn. So before you spend the next few weeks or months burning collless hours learning a new language, learning new skill, learning whatever, spend a few hours learning how to learn the proper way without further ado. Here's my interview with Andrea Nigoy from zero to mastery. Andre, thanks for coming in and being 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 I want to get into the topic of learning how to learn. This is the the purpose of today's podcast, but I want to rewind way back to early days for you. So I know you were a student at the university western Ontario and then had sort of a winding career. You done a bunch of different things before becoming the founder of zero to mastery. So would you mind help me fill in the blanks between graduated from Western and founder of this hugely popular online learning to Code Company? All right, well, it's definitely a windy road, so let's try and fill those gaps. We're going to start in a location nowhere near coding, and hopefully we'll end up there. So after university, graduated from Western. Awesome experience. I was super excited but had no idea what I want to do with my life. So I decided to go to Japan and teach English for a year. So I was in a village of Threezero people and I taught English there and lived and taught every single person's child there. So I knew the entire community and it's it was an amazing experience. Came back taught at a tennis club. Actually I was a tennis club manager. So I was there for another year thinking up of businesses, business ideas that I want to do. Came up with concept of adventurists. That is, hey, wouldn't be great if every month we did a unique adventure in and around Toronto kind of recreate that Western feeling? So I 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. That was great. Nothing significant, and at the same time I had an idea for 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 as well and through an event, which was great. But none of those businesses is really took off. They're just small, almost break even businesses. Lots of fun, though, and then after that I joined a strip which was a spring break company of all things. I had no sales experience. Actually thought hey, you know, be tough selling the most expensive trip possible to university students that are broke. So that was that was Super Fun. Got Some experience selling to university students and actually getting practicing selling be because at school I we didn't have any courses on sales.

After that, that was about a year. Was Enough of me doing that job, enough for me to move on. I then moved on to another travel company and I ended up traveling 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 did their pay roll, I did their review. I pretty much a hundred. I had a hundred and fifty people to Babysit. It was a lot of work. Around that time. This is about five years after university, I decided that, you know what, I'll do yoga teacher training. That would be fun, something different, so I did that as well. Decided that, you know what, I should do, Yoga and surf retreat. So I also learned how to surf. I got my yoga certificate and I started doing 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 was thinking about and I thought, you know what, every time I started a business there was always a developer or a website that I had to create and I threw money to somebody, asked for a website, and always what came back from this black box was something that I didn't ask for. So I threw more money in it and something else came back and it was the most frustrating process. So I actually quit my job at the time and decided hey, five months, then I teach myself how to Code. So I did that for five months. Got Quite a few offers actually after five months as a 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 do what I did. So started zero to mastery. This was about two years ago and now we have about a hundred and twenty thousand students. We are constantly expanding our courses and instructors and, yeah, we have quite a lot of students from about a hundred and ninety four countries, so it's quite the journey. So how many of those get a bunch of businesses, I'm to call 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 focus on 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 never I never took the plunge or I never thought they would be successful enough to sustain me. So it's almost like I never focused a hundred percent on them until I decided to teach myself to code and I saw the power of focusing on something and dedicating your full attention to that one task interesting. So they were always the overused term. Now side hustles there were always things that you did after normal work. They said there's like thee to five and then the five to nine. So they were your five to nine Gig. Exactly exactly. I maybe sneaking in a bit of work within my actual work, but for my side Hustles, got it, got it, I remember. So I've been following the journey of it and I remember sort of seeing them and you 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 following your story on Instagram and seeing like, oh, man, he's at I know he's had a strip and sales, but like he's traveling all over the world. He's in Nicarag while he's running these surfinger treats. It just always it had this perception of like he's kind of figure it out, he's got like the Worklife, you know, intermingled perfectly. Did it? Did it feel that way when you were in it, or did it feel like I've got us, I'm like wrestling through still trying to figure this out. Oh, it is complete chaos and mess. It was just why water rafting through through the jungle and monkeys flying at you and is was a complete mess. And the thing is still now, like, yeah, things are successful, I feel 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 is pretty 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 like that and honestly, I would never say that I was ever stressed or I was ever feeling like I was drowning. The entire time I was having fun. And yeah, maybe posting the good moments on Instagram, maybe not posting the bad moments, but at the same...

...time the lows were also made me appreciate the highs as well. But no, my life is still a complete mess. Don't let Instagram Pollio. All right, good, good reminder for everybody. Don't don't just go by what's on instagram. So you this all started when you taught yourself to code. So what? How did you do that? How, in the early days, did you figure out what was going to be the best way to learn how to code? So at the time I knew absolutely nothing about coding. So I had that challenge right I need 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 they were just so much demand for developers out there. But the problem was I didn'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 because I knew nothing about the industry. So what I essentially did was I dedicated a month of my time to create essentially my self guided boot camp with anything that I could get my hands on and figure out what exactly is the the twenty percent that I need to learn right now to get a job as soon as possible, because I knew the real learning was going to happen when I'm working on a real project with real teams. So my goal was not to be the best developer and get the best jobs from the best companies, it was to get hired as fast as possible, and not at an entry level but just at an intermediate level, because I knew that that was that's where the learning starts. So I created a curriculum based on online research. I talked to friends who knew developers and eventually formed a curriculum that I thought by no means was perfect, but I thought would emphasize those skills that I'll get interviewed on and, Lo and behold those skills that I acquired over those five months. By no means was I an expert, but in an interview you don't have to be an expert, you just have to answer the right questions that they ask interesting. So the goal wasn't learn how to be a great developer. In the beginning, the goal was learned what I needed to learn in order to get hired to start exactly, and because I knew that to be a great developer you need to have work experience. So again, during my month of study, I realized that you can't be a great developer without work experience. So to me that was an evident, clear goal that, well, I need to get hired as soon as possible, because then I'm just getting paid to learn. I can ask all the questions that I want from all these developer be friends that I don't have, but if I work album surrounded by developers. So that was my goal and that was my clear cut goal, where I only focused on things that will get me through that door. 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'm a junior developer. I've I have this baseline level of skill and I'm looking 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't think anybody would hire me. But I was extremely honest with them. I said, Hey, I've been learning for five months. This is all the things that I've done in those five months. I know that you're I'm not going to be your best developer right now. By guarantee you in six months from now I'm going to be one of your best hires. Now. That sounds amazing and I'm sure the people might hear that, but there's also other factors. When you interview, to get asked to well, here, here are some coding assignments. While they would ask you to do a few coding assignments, 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 time on it, but I I produced more than what somebody would produce and they 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 maybe the best option, but they knew that I wanted it more than anybody else and by the end of the interviewed, I may interview, I made sure that they knew I would work, work harder than any of their employees, and I think employers value that. So I actually when I interviewed, I interviewed at a bunch of companies and I moved on to only the ones that I liked and I actually got the offers, all the offers, so I never got rejected, actually, except for one that said no to me that actually came back three months later and took me out to dinner to try and give me an offer. But I think it wasn't because I was the best developer. It was simply because they knew...

...how much drive I had. And it sounds cheesy but it works. You're communicating with humans and humans connect on that and but then you may you were making a bed. So you were saying on yourself, basically. So you're saying, you hire me and within six months I'll be one of your top and at but at that point in your mind you're knowing that you don't like, you don't know, you don't know it all yet. So you're saying it within six months I'm going to learn 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 well is 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 to fire me after six months because I was in the top developer. But me personally, I made that promise. That's that's steak. That's something that I knew that I have to deliver on, or at least get really, really close to, otherwise I'm a liar, and that's I just created for myself intrinsic motivation to have that steak of well, the six months I'm going to hustle and learn as much as possible, ask as many questions as possible and try and do all the right things too. Hopefully in six months for them to say, all right, that was a good hire. Other why is learning an important skill to learn? I think in our current day and age things are changing so fast. As a matter of fact, in in two thousand and eighteen, world economic form did a study to look at careers and skills and they realize that the skills and careers that we used to have in the 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 the how long does your career value or skills decay to fifty percent of the values that they initially had? It's around five years. So we live in an age where most people graduating university, all my friends graduating university, that have 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 is the idea that an average career now lasts five years and you need to almost learn new to skill and new skills. The the problems not unemployment, but redeployment and your ability to not just learn something at university and then stick to a job. I mean, that won't get you very far, like it did maybe in the S. instead, now you have to be ready to adapt at because in five years, most likely, most definitely, you'll have to learn something either on top of those skills or something completely different. It's scary, but also an opportunity for those who learn the right tools to really excel in this new field. It's the idea of like, uh, I'm done school, I've learned everything I need to know, is dead. If you're not learning and relearning and exploring new things, you're going to be relevant five years. The journeys just beginning. I the one thing that I really take took away from university is how to learn in a system, how to be efficient in a system. But the actual topics that I learned in university I don't use them right now. Ninety percent of the topics that you learn you don't use. But I really learned a valuable lesson of how to learn how 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 have to constantly work, work and just put in time and grind and hopefully by the 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 topics that 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 to dedicate a full day for it. As long as you're learning something a little bit at a time each day, you're going to super surpass mores people that graduate and think that they can just coast. Cool. I want to get into some of your philosophies around learning, because you run a I've been been teaching for many years, but you've just run a phenomenal volume of students to your program so like a hundred and Twentyzero students have been trained and learning how to Code through your program so just like crazy volume. Do you have any like philosophies or pillars or frameworks or whatever in how you think about going about teaching people how to learn new things?...

Yeah, there's definitely a framework that I have. The one thing that I want to comment well, of what makes a good instructor because you you kind of ask that point. And what has helped me reach such a large audience from so many different countries, obviously with different backgrounds and experiences, I think as this idea of being able to go back to the beginner mindset, being able to remember how it was like for you learning, because as we get more and more experience, get smarter and smarter, we almost lose touch with that beginner mindset. And one of the things that has obviously helped me was the fact that I did spend so much time planning out how I would teach myself. What are the key things to learn? I think ink for a an educator, for somebody that's a teacher, the ability to relate and really understand the student and what the simple terms are that you need to use to explain something not only shows that you're a good instructor that can relate to students, but also shows your understanding, because if you can explain it simply well, then you definitely know your stuff and it'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 because of his ability to explain concept a complex topics to his students. So let me ask on that. then. Do you think the modern definition of what makes 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 doing it for fifty years, right, you've seen every angle, you've seen dozens of people be successful, many more fail. You've learned every lesson there is to learn and then you know what's next in my retirement, maybe now I'll go and teach it. Do you think that, like I'm over you know, overgeneralizing, but like, do you need to be the best in the world in order to be a good teacher? No, I've absolutely not. I do want to point out that I don't want to be the typical millennium that comes in and says, Oh, the old system of teaching is wrong and 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 the individual person. There's some excellent, excellent teachers that have been doing it for fifty years and there's also excellent, excellent teachers, that I've been doing it for one year, whatever the subject matter is. I think the key here is as you progress through your career, and this is happening to me as well well, you become good or you start to get positive reinforcement saying that Hey, students are enjoying my courses, their understanding things, and you almost become complacent. You almost become comfortable because you know there's nothing to work on, you're not receiving any negative feedback. I think the concept of a good teacher is changing in the sense that, because we're in such a connected world right now, you can get immediate feedback on your teaching style. In my case, everything is online. I know right away when a student doesn't like a course because I know when they stop watching the videos, I know when 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 to understand what they did wrong or what they can improve on. And I think the all style of teaching, which is in a classroom and in a physical classroom, facetoface, that works really, really well because most of the time. Students can leave. They can just walk out on you right and sometimes maybe 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's this online presence, because it's more than the classroom. Now you have to really a be good and engage in off so students don't just leave, don't just 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 your ability 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 I think that word is kind of overblown, but getting that feedback and using that feedback 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 how to leverage both worlds, because I agreed, like I teach primarily, almost exclusively in person and there is a certain there's always going to be people that love the band and are going to buy the tshirt right, and teaching in person 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 think it'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 online some that are better sort of being mostly in person. So I don't know what the future is going to look like, but I see it blending more and more. Yeah, I mean it's that's the thing. There's pros and cons in person teaching and being a good teacher. There's some pros and constant you 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 not have the number of students that you can impact. The students that you have facetoface usually tend to be less, which gives you less feedback, Oh and and what you can improve on. So yeah, I mean it's I think to be a good instructor in this modern age you just need to not necessarily just online, but you just have to be more in tune with a with a never connected world, with students that have more distractions. Distractions than ever are more likely to focus on different things during your classes. So you just need 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 of it as being a performer like you. Actually it helps to have an entertainment element. Absolutely you're you're competing for attention in a generation that's trained to check their phone, you know, hundreds of times in a few hours. So it's almost changing to being a it's my version of being a closest all ever come to being an artist, you know, to being a performer. So one of 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 is an important topic. One of the things that I did before I release my first 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 yoga certificate to Youtube channels and I was like, what made me stick what made me stick 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 instructors and looked at commonalities as well as exceptions, and that was that was a really interesting exercise for anybody that wants to teach. Honestly, even for learners, it's interesting to do that exercise to see exactly what, what type of learner you are, that when what kind of teacher Uni, but also for teachers that perhaps want to learn from other teachers. That's actually goes perfectly and and talk about because first step for you is if I want to be a good teacher, so learning how to be a teacher. You're not the first person to ever want to be a teacher. Like you've got your own lived experiences about 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 a first step to say, and that's my instinct. I've done a bunch of these strengths assessments. My instinct is to always go to talk to other people or ask other people who've been there before. Right. So, before I do my own research, let me actually start with who do I know who's been there before? Who Do I know who's really good, either the greatest that I know or potentially world class at this, and what can I learn from them? So that's it's a good starting point, right, and that's the thing, right, we because we're in this ever connected world, we have the benefit that we didn't have. I mean, you and I grew up when Internet, even before the Internet, when we had to write our own book reports. Actually have to read the book. We can't just go online and get the summery notes. You know, I had to go to the library. I think in an ever connected world it's so important for us we 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 so much content online that you can jump start whatever that learning process is by learning from people that have done it before, because you don't have to reinvent the wheel. Learn from them, learn from their mistakes and start from maybe not we're exactly where they're at, but at least close to where they're at because I you're wasting your energy reinventing the wheel if somebody or has already learned that lesson. All right, so ask a question on this, because do you think that there's a risk of missing out on your own version of the learning if you're own reading the notes? You know? So like, instead of saying, 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 that the experts recommend on how to be a...

...great teacher. Option B would be like probably just google, like the online shortened version of those notes, or I'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 do you know when to invest the two weeks in reading the four hundred page book versus staff just get the three bullets out of a summary? Right? I mean there's that. That's the biggest issue right now. It's almost a blessing and a curse the fact that we have the Internet and we have so much knowledge and there's so much video content being uploaded to you do, so much blog post being written on the Internet. You have paradox of choice. WHAT DO I pick? And honestly, that is one of the toughest challenges. And if you want to be a successful learner, so that is you want to be a teacher, you want to be a salesman, you want to do anything that involves learning, one of the important skills that you need to have is this idea of selection, of being able to pick and choose why you learn, because, I guarantee you, whatever topic you want to choose, nowadays it's impossible to go through everything in your lifetime. Really, I'm making 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, but there 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 takes years of planning and going through the process of doing the research. So I 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 things have they done? And you start to notice the people who, and I'm kind of generalizing here with the block posts. I even write block posts, but I also know how easy they are to write. So I look at how much of an expert is this person? What have they done that deserves my attention, and from there decide why you want to invest your time on. And as you start to read, I you start to discover. You will find different things, and you mentioned this as well. Obviously talking to others. 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 go to a meet up or conference that has the people that you want to become and find out how they got there? Because even though it might take a bit of time to plan out what you should focus on, it's going to save you a lot more time in the long run than just watching a thousand youtube videos on coding, because will you just want to learn how to code but 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 believability level. It's like, is this person believable in that they actually have some demonstrated 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've written books? Are they actually experts in this before you just take their blog post for the summary. Okay, right, your own pillars. So you'd mentioned a few things that I thought were super interesting in how to make learning sort of a lifelong pursuit. So you had two pillars. First one was everything is a game. What do you mean by that, I ask? So the two pillars, I think in order for us to learn or be 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 level of your success, I kind of, I guess in my head, created these two pillars to emphasize the point but also make it fun and almost tangible to the person that to them learning seems like such a Meta skill that they don't actually need to focus on. They just want to maybe read about it 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 university western, you know, I had an absolutely amazing time, absolutely love the school, but the way that I got really engaged with with studying and succeeding for exams and learning was to pretend like this is a whole system and a game. I was super excited by the idea of how can I look at this system objectively, this whole idea of going to class, of taking exams, of reading books and then doing ABC or d multiple choice? How can I optimize this? How can I play...

...this game where I can be good at 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 or not sleeping and studying the night before the exam, maybe too nice before the exam, pulling all nighters. It's like, what can I do where I don't do that, but I can almost use cheat codes to do just as well as them in the exams, sleep at night but also study just as much as them? So I started looking at this idea that if I go 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 are communicating with each other and if you look at these blocks as systems, then you start to notice some faults or you start to notice some some things that you can you can almost use cheek coats on and improve that system. So this idea. When I did my first examined Western I remember I got ten percent. It was is terrible, is so disheartening. Good start, not a gut start, to university career, but I was so proud of the fact that on my last exam at university I had studied just as much as I 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 time that I spent was the same. and to me that was me learning the game, learning the system and how to improve it. And if you find in your learning journey like this game that you can play of how can you level up your skill? I suck at something, but how can I improve it? And you almost find find it comically fun, then the idea of you 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 to hop to get to the end. So everything in a game, was one and the second was efficiency, trump's grit, grit being resilience and hard work and everything 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, super super important. It's the idea of pushing through, being resilient and, you know, really driving towards your goal super, super important. But the key here is efficiency, trump's grit. I think a lot of people, including myself, get overwhelmed because when they learn a new skill, when they go to class, let's say an Ivy business class, they know that they're competing with other smart individuals that are going to put in the time, that are 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 because if you're the type of person that isn't willing to put in eighty hours a week, to work on something, you immediately give up right away because you're never 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 not willing to compromise on that. That's very disheartening. But there's actually a bit of light at the end of the tunnel here, where just grinding and just working 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 topic in an efficient way. What is the important parts that you should learn first to, like I did with coding, to get a job and get work experience. So there's the smart way of learning things and then there's a shotgun approach of lesious cram as much as possible into my brain. And the good news for people that may not be the super type A personalities that want to work eighty hours a week is that all you need to do is figure out what this efficiency is and you'll be just as successful as somebody that uses the shotgun approach, if not more giving in like what an example of that would be? Maybe encoding is you teach it like what? What an example of I guess the the great example would be stay up work eighty hours or a hundred hours a week and learning how to Code. But what's an example of efficiency and learning how to code? Yeah, so that's actually a great example. Let's let's generalize it here for Non Tech People in the in the tech world, especially now, everything is changing constantly. If you stop learning for even a year, you're already behind. Technology right now is moving at a such a fast space. So no matter how many years in the industry, you almost have to keep up with the new libraries, practices and tools that 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 is not just coding. There's always things that probably in your profession career, you can 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 to be selective, at least if you want to be successful. So one of the examples that I like to give is I have a lot of students who what they do is they read the first block post that they read that talks about something and they assume that this is what they need to learn and they try to learn this, and then they read the next block post that says you need to learn this, so they add this to the list and eventually they'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 went to boot camps where they paid tenzero and they still don't have a job because they just try to do everything and eventually burnt out and decided that coding is not for them. Maybe it was for them, but they just took a strategy 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're doing a strategy that only lasts you for six months because you're going to burn out. Well, I whoever's doing a more efficient, selective approach is going to win out in the long run. So that's one of your don't know if it's principles or techniques, but the Parado principle essentially right, like don't try to do it all. Let's try to first figure out what are the twenty percent of the things that are going to give you eighty percent of results and just filter everything at to start. At least filter everything else out and let'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 things that has been discussed a lot and online and quite a lot of people know about it, but for those that don't, it's essentially this idea of the twenty and eighty percent. So the twenty percent usually accounts for eighty percent of the results. So you can say twenty percent of my customers account for eighty percent of my revenue. So let's focus on the twenty percent and that can go into learning. Right. What is the twenty percent that is going to give me eighty percent of the result? One example that I like to use as language learning. Yeah, if you wanted to learn, let's say, Spanish, and you know no Spanish, that's to learn Spanish. Me Fluent in Spanish. From zero to that mastery. That's a big jump. That's a far 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's the 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 pretty good about yourself just a couple of days in. So focusing on those key things is important. And the big thing with the Preto principle is not necessarily the addition of what should I add that? It is the twenty percent. It's almost more of the elimination. You look at the whole field, let's say coding, let's say language learning, let's say juggling, and you say let's remove the eighty percent. That doesn't perhaps matter as much. What are the twenty percent that I should keep around because it's so important that I need this and that is this idea of elimination, I think is something that really need to do be in our day and age, because again, it's so easy to keep adding things, keep learning things, keep adding blog posts, keep adding bookmarks. I think elimination is one of those things that we often forget about. If you were to, let's go coding specifically, someone new to wants to learn how to Code. What are the biggest, call it the most common waste of time, like what do people's what's the biggest mistake or 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 so much and it's one of those things where I tell people about it, but so many people don't listen to it, and even myself I was a fault at it when I started, and that is as soon as you hear somebody that is better than you say something or an opinion, you assume that that's Gospel, that that is right, and now you believe what they believe and you start telling people those beliefs. So let's say code and be like you think, Oh, react or javascript is the best language. Oh, somebody that likes, maybe a senior Dur a developer at your company, said that you'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 developers can really influence the beginner, more junior impressionable developers, and this is not just 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 in learning, 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 of the black and white this is right, this is wrong, is one of the biggest things that you can you can change again. It's one of those things that I mentioned all the time and it's still with my community. It's one 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 to learn, 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 how to learn anything better? So I definitely have a few books that have changed my my perspective, my career and just have had a really positive impact on my life. I like to divide them. Actually have the book list in front of me. I like to divide them into the the micro, which is the specific learning techniques that can be applied pretty much today, and then the macro, which is more career are oriented. How should you start structure your career and learning throughout the rest of your life? So I'll start with the micro. First, micro, the two books that I think are really good to start off with, just to get you excited about the idea of learning, is moonwalking with Einsheine with Joshua Fair, and emergency by Neil Strauss. Excellent books, both almost talking about the author and how they mastered a topic that they knew nothing about at the beginning of the book. Very entertaining reads to really get you excited. And then the other three that I think are really get more esoteric philosophical books on learning, which, when I say that, doesn't sound exciting but they are quite good, is the art of learning by Josh Waite, Skin Deep Work by CAL Newport and the for our chef by Tim Ferris. Are Excellent books that have had great impact on my life. But the ones that had, I've had the most impact are the macro, the more career big picture of vision, where I would say three books. One is is so good they can't ignore you by Calnewport, one of my all time favorite books. If you had one book to read right now, definitely read that. SMART cuts by Shen Shane Snow, and then, finally, anti fragile by Nasim Talib. Those three books have really shaped my thinking and have helped me to navigate the the jungles that is, the the workplace, the careers and all the overwhelming decisions that you have to make in 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're saying. It's not like, not only if you want to learn how to train 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, different approach to how the authors learn something new, right, and I think that's that's the key thing and that's why those books are so great, because learning isn't something really appealing. When somebody tells you, Hey, I'm going to teach you how to learn, you think to yourself. I mean like I do that at school. I think like textbooks and like going off lock myself in a library, loss of there's class. Yeah, she's right. So I think it's really, really important to get people excited, and this is why I mentioned these two books, because they are Super Fun. weats and they're going to get you excited, because as we get older, we tend to start stick to the things that we're good at. You know, when you're a child, you're trying a bunch of things and then, slowly, slowly, you have external factors. I tell you, wow, Johnny's really good at dancing, while Johnny's a really good chess player, and you kind of tend to go towards these things that you get positive feedback from. And as we get older we're almost too selfconscious to try absolutely new things that we are 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, with a career and you want to learn salsa dancing, I mean that is that is tough. A lot tougher than if...

...you were a fourteen year old and you know, your parents forced you to do some salsa dancing. So I think those two books really get you excited and make you realize again everything is a 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 you can do it in a fun way, in a in a Gameish way, and those two books really do that. Yeah, I think we often forget play, you know, like we forget we get so take yourself so seriously and you come out of school kind of burn and do something interesting and I at least for me, I got lost and probably taking myself too seriously for too long. I'm trying to unlearn a little bit of that and play a little bit more. So learning, learning things that aren't always associated with excelling in your career, becoming a better negotiator, being better at sales, like, there are sometimes things that you can learn that are just for fun that also help you be better in other areas, but not you're not doing it for that reason, absolutely absolute and I can look back on every single skill that I've learned, even juggling even or Goami, where those were somehow useful through all my life in like the most unexpected, weird ways. And you're right, I think we takes ourselves too seriously. That's that's one thing that I 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 or about 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 they are, look like they have things figured out, but nobody has their things figured out. We're all just children. So having that mentality almost loosen things up. 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. You know, everybody's just a child, just half within. Nothing's as serious as you think, and having that playful curiosity will lead to you trying new things, learning new things. Cool if you could rewind the tape, you've had 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 give to yourself if you were twenty two again? That's see, that's a tough one because I thought about this before. I've journaled about it before, and the 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 if I had to absolutely pick one, because you're forcing me to, I mean it sounds like I'm purposefully staying on topic, but it's really this. It's the idea of I wish I learned earlier how to learn. I wish I knew 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'm just 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, just like basketball, just like swimming, just like whatever it is. It's a skill that you can practice and I wish I had started practicing this learning skill a lot earlier because I would have been so much further along. It's one of those skills. Again, it's so medh had so you almost doesn't sound exciting, but the little time that you invest in it is going to change the course of your life. So yeah, I would have. I would have learned how to learn a lot sooner and who knows, maybe I would have I would have done a lot more with my life. I feel like you come out of university or any any schooling and you're just like, I've read so much, I've studied so much, I'm just ready to go do stuff now. I'm done with books for a while, and I was same as you, I feel like. For there was a dark period there where I just didn't read for a long time and it's something I wish I would have 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 to be 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 to this class at this time. You have the freedom to not learn and just do whatever you want to do. But you also have the freedom to now pick whatever topic you're interested in it. So that's almost nice in a way where, yeah, you're exhausted from learning and taking exams. I know I was after Western now was just so sick and tired of writing essays and exams. I never wanted to write an essay my my life. Luckily I don't think I don't write essays anymore, which I'm extremely happy about, but it opened up all this free time to finally do the things that I'm interested in. What were the things that I was interested in? I wanted to learn how to surf. I wanted to...

...learn how to navigate with a map and compass. Does that really make me a lot of money, make me Super Rich, super successful? No, but I was curious in it and somehow those skills translated to something in the future that actually made me productive in my career. So it almost is a free pass after graduation to learn whatever you want. Yeah, that's awesome. Well then, I appreciate you sitting down and take a little bit of time to chat. This has been a lot of fun. And is there anything we can do to help you? Where do people find you online? All right, yeah, if for anybody that's interested in what I do, especially if you want to learn how to code the you can just tweet at me. My name is on twitter Andre so a 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 me and I'll teach you how to code and travel the world perfect. Thank you so much, man. I appreciating the time. Thanks for having me. Bye. You've been listening to the Ivy Entrepreneur podcast. To ensure that you never miss an episode, subscribe to the show in your favorite podcast player or visit Iv don't see a forward slash entrepreneurship? Thank you so much for listening. Until next time.

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