No one is coming to save you.
Experts are valuable when you’re learning new skills, but neither experts nor institutions are going to nurture you, guide you, or make your creative dream a reality. You’re on your own path. It’s all up to you. This isn’t a bad thing, either. Your creativity gives you the capacity to design the life you want. The world of education has already changed. You no longer need an MFA to paint, publish, or write plays. Venture capitalists don’t care where you went to school if your idea is powerful and your code gets the job done. In the most vibrant new industries, college is no longer a requirement for an amazing career. Companies on the cutting edge want knowledge, talent, and passion, not certificates.
Books, blogs, courses, podcasts, and online seminars are now better, cheaper, and more varied than ever before. No money? No problem. It’s never been easier to learn online with numerous free resources. I would be remiss not to mention, CreativeLive which has given away literally billions of minutes of video learning from the world’s top instructors in dozens of categories.
Other learning platforms include: Maven (a cohort based learning tool), Skillshare, Udemy, or any niche site for learning that can be founds via a quick internet search… A few other resources that are worth looking into:
- YouTube – no brainer, but never fails to surprise me what you can learn if you have a specific problem or task
- ChatGPT – use a prompt to turn it into your coach or ask it questions on a topic you are interested in
- Podcasts – there are thousands
- Join communities. By following people in communities you are interested in, you’ll start finding and seeing resources being passed around. Twitter is a great resource to learn about the latest that’s happening around in many specific communities.
There are lots of similar platforms available. The goal is to go from general to more specific as fast as possible. In learning something very discrete you will both learn MORE about how you learn and learn more about your areas of interest!
All those inexpensive learning resources are incredibly valuable, but only if you are willing to do the work on your end. No matter how strong your foundation, how you prefer to learn, or how much money and time you have to invest, you can design and embark on a program of self-directed learning that will get you where you need to go. The knowledge is all out there, ripe for the picking. You don’t need experts. You probably don’t need school. What you do need is to create, learn, repeat.