TWP 005 – Learning How To Learn – The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

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Failing to teach people how to learn is probably the biggest failure of our ecosystem. In today’s episode I want to talk about three ways you can keep on learning, and keep on growing.
Covering areas like:

  • What is Learning how to Learn
  • The 3 ways I have used to learn
  • What is an educational content creator
  • How to gather useful knowledge
  • What is Project Based Learning
  • What is wrong with Ad boosted courses
  • What to keep an eye out on in future

Hosted by Saqib Tahir
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1:19 – Failure of our education system
2:15 – Basics of Learning how to Learn
2:56 – Learn how to Google!
3:17 – 0 to hero mentality
4:21 – What you should learn about
4:59 – I am not selling you a course….but
6:08 – Intro to LinkedIn Learning – The best ROI platform for learning
7:41 – Best investment is into S&ME
8:43 – What is an Educational Content Creator?
10:11 – My favorite creators for educational content
11:10 – What is definition of a good creator led course?
11:28 – How to identify the right course for yourself
12:26 – Never buy based on promise of money!
13:25 – Useful tip to save some money as a Pakistani course buyer
14:57 – Most courses are…..well…not good for you
15:29 – Summary: My recommendation for courses
16:08 – Intro to Knowledge Curation
16:33 – How I passively keep learning about tech
18:29 – Knowledge Curation – The Basics
19:05 – How to curate your Twitter feed
19:46 – How to curate your LinkedIn feed
21:47 – My opinion on LinkedInFluencers
22:22 – What is sticky content?
23:25 – The problem with short form educational content
23:41 – Knowing your goal with learning
24:05 – Learn using longer format content
24:28 – Short form vs Long form educational content – learn to balance knowledge curation
25:28 – Learning by Execution – The best way to learn
27:25 – Arming your boredom to learn
28:43 – Intro to Project Based Learning focused around Execution
29:48 – Rules for good Project Based Learning
31:46 – Using roadmaps to develop a project
33:14 – Creating projects based on outputs
36:00 – In the car segment: Running Ads on courses – My problems with it

English Transcript Summary: How to Learn New Things: Upskilling for Professionals in Pakistan

Welcome to another episode of The Wandering Pro. Today, we dive into a topic that is very close to my heart and highly relevant for many professionals: upskilling. Whether you’re working a job, freelancing, or running your own small business, one of the biggest challenges is learning new things. This episode builds on our previous discussion in “Escaping 9 to 5” where we talked about managing your main gig alongside your side gig. Now, we focus on the next step: what to learn and how to learn it.

The Struggle with Learning New Skills

In Pakistan, many professionals face a significant challenge in figuring out how to learn new things. The root cause often lies in our education system. It’s not just about whether our education is good or bad but about a fundamental flaw: we are not taught how to learn.

When people go to university, their expectations are set from day one: get a degree, get a job, earn money. However, the true goal of education should be to develop the ability to learn new things, to cultivate curiosity, and to build discipline. Whether it’s setting goals like going to the gym daily or learning a new skill, the process of learning requires a disciplined approach.

The Unfortunate Problem of the Education System

After speaking with hundreds of people in freelancing groups, Discord communities, and my social circle, I’ve noticed a recurring issue: many graduates from our local education system don’t know how to learn effectively. They either lack passion or direction, or they’re stuck in jobs that leave them no time to learn. This problem is exacerbated by a cultural mindset where people expect to be spoon-fed information rather than seeking it out themselves.

Developing a Learning Mindset

Many people don’t intend to be lazy, but the environment they grew up in and work in has shaped their mindset. They believe that joining a group or taking a course will instantly make them experts. This false sense of achievement is widespread and detrimental.

In today’s episode, I want to share three effective ways to enhance your learning. These are not the only ways, but in my experience as a lifelong learner, they are some of the best.

Diversifying Your Skill Set

My first piece of advice is to diversify your skill set. If you are a technical person, try to learn non-technical or soft skills. If you are in a non-technical role, such as sales, marketing, or a creative field, learn technical skills. This approach helps you build a complementary skill set, making you a more well-rounded and fulfilled professional. It also helps you connect the dots as you progress in your career.

Method 1 – Courses – ….but with conditions

The first method I recommend is taking courses, but with certain conditions. Courses are easy to create and the market is saturated with them. However, not all courses are valuable. My favorite types are creator-led courses and those available on LinkedIn Learning.

LinkedIn Learning

LinkedIn Learning is a professional platform that offers a wide range of courses. It’s particularly valuable because it provides learning paths for various skills, compiling hours of videos and exercises to help you gain significant knowledge. Despite the increasing cost due to currency fluctuations, it remains a high ROI option compared to platforms like Coursera or Udemy.

Investing in learning through LinkedIn Learning can be a great use of your time and resources. Instead of saving money in low-yield accounts, investing in your skills can provide much better returns in the long run.

Creator-Led Courses

Creator-led courses are another excellent option. A creator, in this context, is someone who creates content for a specific target audience or to explore a specific problem. For example, I create The Wandering Pro podcast to help people upskill or improve their careers and businesses.

Value of Investing in Education and Upskilling

In the previous segment, we discussed the importance of investing time and money into learning new skills, particularly through platforms like LinkedIn Learning. We touched on the idea of dedicating 80 hours a month to self-education, emphasizing that this is a much more valuable investment than traditional savings, especially for those still building their careers. As an early professional, you should focus on investing in yourself rather than any financial instruments. Learning is the highest ROI activity you can do compared to anything at this stage.

Conditions to Learn from a Creator Led Course

Defining a Creator

A creator is someone who produces content targeting a specific audience or addressing a particular problem. For instance, the Wandering Pro podcast is designed for individuals looking to upskill or improve their careers or businesses. True creators share their knowledge and experiences freely, with a genuine desire to help others. They may have monetized their content to sustain themselves, but their primary goal is to share value with their audience.

Characteristics of Good Creators

Good creators are identifiable by a few key traits:

  1. Niche Focus: They have a clearly defined target audience or problem space.
  2. Generosity with Knowledge: They share valuable information without expecting anything in return.
  3. Practical Experience: They have hands-on experience in their field, which adds credibility to their content.

Some notable creators who exemplify these traits include Chris Do for design and marketing, Alex Hormozi for sales, Vinh Giang for communications, and Aatir Abdul Rauf and Aakash Gupta for product management.

Evaluating Creator Courses

When considering purchasing a course from a creator, several factors should guide your decision:

  1. Free Content Assessment: Follow the creator for a period, consuming their free content to determine its relevance and value to you.
  2. Content Quality: Ensure the course offers a comprehensive package of the creator’s knowledge and experience.
  3. Outcome-Focused: Look for courses that promise skill acquisition rather than monetary gain. Ethical creators often clarify that their courses aim to impart skills, not guarantee financial returns.

Affordability and Accessibility

Creator-led courses can be expensive, especially for audiences in countries like Pakistan. So here’s my tip – Reach Out for Discounts: Contact the creator through LinkedIn or Twitter, explaining your situation and asking for a pricing parity option. Many creators are willing to offer significant discounts to make their courses accessible to a wider audience.

Method 2 – Passive Learning: A Complementary Approach

Passive learning through mediums like podcasts can significantly enhance your knowledge base. By listening to long-form podcasts regularly, you can accumulate a substantial amount of information over time. For example, listening to tech podcasts like the WAN Show, Waveform,, and Decoder can enrich your understanding of the tech industry.

Benefits of Long-Form Content

Podcasts, as a medium, allow for in-depth discussions, making them an excellent source of detailed information. Unlike short-form content that often relies on clickbait, podcasts attract listeners genuinely interested in learning. This format allows for thorough exploration of topics, providing listeners with a deeper understanding of the subject matter.

For me, tech podcasts have been a valuable source of passive learning. Despite not being a developer, the knowledge I gained from these podcasts allowed me to engage in informed discussions with software developers, sometimes even out-debating them on technical topics.

By integrating active learning through courses and passive learning through podcasts, you can create a well-rounded approach to upskilling, enhancing both your practical skills and theoretical knowledge.

Transitioning to Knowledge Curation

As we move forward, we’ll explore the concept of knowledge curation. This involves selectively gathering information from various sources to build a robust understanding of a topic. This approach not only saves time but also ensures that you focus on high-quality, relevant content.

The Value of Passive Learning and Feed Curation

Passive learning is an underrated yet powerful tool for personal growth and professional development. By consistently exposing yourself to valuable content, you can accumulate a wealth of knowledge over time without even realizing it. Let’s dive deeper into how you can optimize your passive learning through effective feed curation.

Curate Your Feeds

One of the simplest yet most overlooked methods of passive learning is curating your social media feeds. Platforms like Twitter, Reddit, Instagram, Threads, and LinkedIn are rich sources of information if you use them wisely. Here’s how you can do it:

Twitter Lists: Twitter has a feature called Lists, which allows you to group accounts that tweet about specific topics. For instance, you can create a list focused on Pakistan’s economics and add relevant accounts to it. This way, whenever you open that list, you’ll only see tweets related to that topic. Over time, you’ll build a solid understanding of the subject.

LinkedIn Connections: LinkedIn can become overwhelming with random updates from all your connections. To make LinkedIn work for you, unfollow everyone initially. Yes, everyone. Then, start following thought leaders and content creators in your field of interest. LinkedIn’s new badge system can help you find top voices in various categories. This will ensure your feed is filled with valuable insights rather than irrelevant posts.

Embrace Long-Form Content

In an era dominated by short-form content like TikTok videos and YouTube Shorts, our attention spans are shrinking. While these formats provide quick dopamine hits, they don’t contribute significantly to long-term learning. To counter this, make a conscious effort to consume long-form content regularly.

Podcasts: Podcasts are excellent for passive learning. They offer detailed discussions on various topics, providing depth and context that short videos can’t match. Incorporate podcasts into your routine, whether during commutes, workouts, or chores.

Books and Articles: Reading books and long-form articles is another effective way to deepen your knowledge. Aim to read at least one substantial piece of content each week. This practice will improve your retention and understanding of complex topics.

Method 3 – Learning Through Execution

Finally, the most effective way to learn is through execution. Theoretical knowledge is valuable, but practical application is where true learning happens. Whether it’s launching a new project, writing a blog, or developing a small software tool, the act of doing solidifies your knowledge.

Take Action: Whenever you have a new idea or want to learn a new skill, start by executing it. If you want to build a website, don’t just read about it—start building. The process of trial and error will teach you more than any course or book can.

Document Your Journey: As you execute, document your progress. This not only helps in tracking your learning but also serves as a portfolio of your practical experience. Sharing your journey can also inspire and help others who are on a similar path.

By curating your feeds, embracing long-form content, and prioritizing execution, you can significantly enhance your passive learning. These strategies will help you build a robust knowledge base and develop skills that are not only relevant but also deeply ingrained. Remember, the goal is not just to learn but to apply and grow continuously.

The Importance of Project-Based Learning

Project-based learning is a powerful approach to mastering new skills. By working on actual projects, you not only gain practical experience but also solidify your theoretical knowledge. Let’s explore how you can effectively implement project-based learning into your routine.

Start with a Question

The foundation of project-based learning is to start with a question. Ask yourself what you want to learn. It could be anything from building a website to writing articles. Once you have identified your goal, set a clear output or deliverable that you aim to achieve. For instance, if you want to learn to write, your output could be publishing a series of articles.

Practical Examples

Let’s delve into some practical examples to understand how this works:

Website Development: If you want to learn website development, start with a simple platform like Wix. Create a basic website to understand the fundamentals. Once you’re comfortable, move on to more complex platforms like WordPress. This hands-on approach will help you learn the intricacies of website development even if you have no coding background. For example, the SK Nexus website was built using this method without any advanced coding knowledge.

Podcast Editing: Interested in podcasting? Start by recording and editing your own episodes. Use software like Audacity to edit your recordings. Through repetitive practice, you’ll become proficient in editing and producing high-quality podcasts. This podcast, for instance, is recorded and edited by myself, demonstrating the effectiveness of learning by doing.

Project Management Tools: To learn project management, experiment with tools like Notion and Basecamp. Use them to manage your personal projects or simulate project management scenarios. This practical usage will enhance your understanding far better than theoretical learning alone.

Execution and Consistency

The key to successful project-based learning is consistent execution. Here are two crucial aspects to keep in mind:

1. Consistency Over Quantity: Make steady progress towards your goal every day. It’s better to work on your project for 10 minutes daily than to spend hours sporadically. Consistency builds habits and ensures continuous improvement. If you struggle with consistency, consider reading “Atomic Habits” by James Clear. It offers valuable insights on building and maintaining habits.

2. Document Your Progress: Keep a record of your daily or weekly progress. This documentation serves multiple purposes: it helps track your development, keeps you accountable, and allows you to reflect on your learning journey. You can use tools like a notes app, a voice recorder, or even share your progress in community forums like Discord. Engaging with a community can provide additional support and motivation.

Roadmaps and Learning Paths

For those unsure where to start, roadmaps can be incredibly helpful. A roadmap outlines the steps needed to achieve a particular skill. Here’s how to utilize a roadmap for project-based learning:

Find or Create a Roadmap: Search online for roadmaps related to your desired skill. For example, if you want to become a better writer, look for a writing roadmap. These often include a series of tasks or milestones to help you progress. If you can’t find an existing roadmap, create your own by breaking down the skill into manageable steps.

Execute the Roadmap: Follow the roadmap diligently. Each step or task should bring you closer to your goal. For instance, if the roadmap suggests watching educational videos, do so and document your learnings. Engage in tasks that challenge you and push your boundaries.

Generate Project Ideas: Once you have a foundational understanding, brainstorm project ideas that align with your learning goals. For writers, this could mean starting a blog on Medium, creating a newsletter on Substack, or writing posts on social media. The key is to apply your knowledge in real-world scenarios.

By following these steps, you can effectively implement project-based learning and achieve your goals. This approach not only enhances your skills but also prepares you for practical applications in your career and personal endeavors.

Defining Your Output

When defining your output, be specific about the quantity and quality of your work. For example, if you want to improve your writing, set a goal to write ten articles of 1500 words each. This specific output gives you a clear target to work towards.

If you find it challenging to stay motivated, remember that even small efforts count. If you don’t feel like writing one day, spend time brainstorming ideas or consuming relevant content. The key is to engage with your project daily, even if it’s just for a few minutes. This consistent effort will accelerate your learning process.

Empowering Your Learning Journey

By implementing project-based learning, you can take control of your educational journey and achieve significant growth. This method allows you to learn at your own pace, focus on practical applications, and stay motivated through clear, tangible goals. Whether you’re learning to write, build websites, or manage projects, project-based learning can help you develop a unique skill set that sets you apart.

Remember, the goal is not just to learn but to become proficient through consistent practice and application. As the saying goes, “A focused fool can accomplish more than a distracted genius.” By focusing on your projects and maintaining a steady effort, you can achieve remarkable results and become a leader in your field.

Thank you for listening to this episode of The Wandering Pro. Join us next time as we continue to explore effective learning strategies and personal growth techniques.


This TWP episode dives deep into the crucial topic of upskilling for professionals, freelancers, and small business owners. It emphasizes the challenges faced in learning new skills due to gaps in traditional education systems.

The episode offers practical solutions, highlighting three main approaches: diversifying skill sets by learning both technical and non-technical skills, utilizing platforms like LinkedIn Learning for structured courses, and opting for creator-led courses for targeted expertise.

It stresses the value of continuous learning and practical application, advocating for curated social media feeds to enhance passive learning and recommending engagement with long-form content for deeper knowledge retention.

Ultimately, the episode encourages listeners to prioritize practical experience over excessive course-taking, embracing project-based learning as a highly effective method for skill acquisition and growth.

Prepared by Yousaf Babur

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