Why Online Learning Can Reduce Your Implementation Skills


Turn on the switch in your room. Did the light turn on? Well, if it wasn't for Michael Faraday, we may have still been in darkness

And that's because way back in 1831, Faraday invented electromagnetic induction. Right until that point, the whole idea of electricity was more of a curiosity than a reality. And one of the reasons why Faraday got to this particular moment in history, is because he left home. But not just home, but the amazing job he had as a bookbinder. 

Today we don't think twice about books But back around the 1800s, books were expensive and hard to find. However, Faraday had the fabulous luck of getting a position as an apprentice of a bookbinder. And for the next seven years, he read every book he could get his hands on, concentrating mostly on his first love—science. 

In a way, Faraday was a bit like us today With the Internet we have access to thousands of courses, webinars, reports and books at incredibly cheap prices. And yet most of us find it hard to learn skills as quickly as we should. And often it's not for want of application. Some of us may be easily distracted but others are dedicated enough. 

I sure was dedicated Four years ago, I decided to learn watercolours. My next step was to invade the library. I brought home every possible book on watercolours and pored through them like Faraday. Then, because I was still hungry, I bought physical books and supplemented them with e-books. And yes, several online courses too. 

And I painted I filled up a page a day, every day of the year for three and a half years (that's over 1000 paintings, if you're counting). And you know what? I learned a lot. But then I did one course in Spain and my watercolours took a dramatic turn for the better. 

Faraday did the same—and his life changed dramatically While he was no slouch in the reading department, Faraday longed for a "live workshop". He went four times to see speaking engagements of Humphry Davy, the most prominent chemist at the time. 

And then in a stroke of good luck for Faraday, Humphry Davy was temporarily blinded during one of his experiments. Faraday was called in to help as an assistant. And that was his "live workshop". 

Online learning is amazing, but you can't depend on online learning alone There's not a doubt in the world, that online learning is extremely valuable. And yet, a live workshop is a completely different and needed experience. And we're not just talking about workshops just from the client's point of view. 

My wife Renuka and I travel over 10,000 miles to conduct workshops, because there are things you can learn offline that you simply cannot learn online. You can try and try all you want, but the learning is different. 

It's not a question of "or". It's a question of "and" Both the online and live workshops are what's needed. And yet most of us won't make the journey. Of course we have our reasons, but one of the biggest reason is that we can get most stuff online, so why bother paying for the hotels, the stay, when we can get the comfort of a workshop in our homes? I don't know about you, but every time I've left home, I'm not just leaving home. 

I'm leaving the hassles of home too No garbage to put out, no dishes to wash, no cat to be fed, no this and no that. For two whole days while I travel, I can think and work on my business instead of in it. And while I'm at the workshop, I have no distractions—well, fewer distractions anyway. 


But all workshops are not created equal In fact it's easier to confuse the terms "workshop" and "seminar". In my experience, a seminar is inferior to a workshop. You may have one or many speakers, but they all have their own ideas and it's rarely a cohesive plan. 

A workshop on the other hand has to be cohesive as you actually have to learn and then work on something. So given a choice, I will always choose a workshop over a seminar. 

The second mistake is when you have no information in advance If you're going to get your notes to the workshop three seconds before the speaker starts to speak, you know you're going to miss a lot. We don't learn much the first time we encounter anything. 

Remember how easy it is to drive a car? Remember the first time you sat behind the wheel? 

A workshop that doesn't send out notes at least a month in advance, is inferior because it's not allowing you to prepare. Even a cursory preparation helps you to absorb the facts, and then go through them a second or third time around. In a "real" workshop, you'll have done the ground work, and are ready to learn and implement. 

Most people struggle for no reason They don't understand that to really get the benefit of learning, you have to do both—learn like Faraday at the bookbinder and then to leave and go into the real world scenario of a "workshop". And we're just a product of our times. 

We like stuff to be home-delivered. And you know what? That home-delivery is good, but only for so long. You then need to get outside your comfort zone, do some due diligence and find a workshop that will teach you skills. This in turn boosts your confidence and I'd go so far as to say, boost your income as well. 

Faraday was born in a poor family For him a book binder's job was the most incredible gift ever. 
Yet he pushed beyond his comfort zone. He took the risks he needed to take. And he put that learning into practice. 

Look around you at those you consider successful Look around and you'll find one thing in common. They all did their home-learning. 
But all of them left their nest. 

Turn on the switch in your mind. 

Did the light turn on?

Sean D'Souza


15+ years ago, fresh out of college with a degree in accounting Sean de Souza joined an advertising agency where he *met* Leo Burnett, a man who had spent his lifetime in the hard trenches of communication and advertising.

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