It’s Never Too Late To Learn

It’s never too late to learn. At twenty-four, I ran several companies. Then, I would always wish there was a magical person who could come to advise me on what to do in each and every situation I felt troubled. I had so many questions:

 “Which one should I hire? This one from a startup that is on the brink of collapsing, or, the other one that just finished their MBA?”
 “Where should I place advertisement and how much should I spend? Should I use Nanos or pay an agency?”
 “Who is the right investor for this new idea I have just created in my head?”

But this magical figure, of course, never appeared in my life. Instead, there have been people in real life, and quite a few of them, who have given me their honest and valuable advice. Sometimes in an unexpected subject matter.

By being opened to listen, I must admit, I have adapted their point of view as my own. Sometimes, a conversation over one drink is enough to present me with a solution to a problem!

When I was a child, I had a lot of time on my hands. By the time I was fourteen, our family have moved at least twenty times. Changing schools was never easy – I was very shy and would avoid other kids and stay away from social activities. And my parents were traveling a lot for work.

My Dad had an extensive collection of books, around a thousand of them, and this one thousand books became my daily consumption. They were mostly on philosophy. I would slowly shape my own value system and established a few principles to call my own.

I am not very fond of the traditional education model. It didn’t work very well for me. Most of the knowledge that was passed over to me during the school years became outdated the day I graduated. Many subjects should have been condensed or combined, to avoid repetitiveness. What a traditional school should be able to teach you instead, is how to acquire and process new information. This skill is the most important one to ensure you can always build, pivot, or adapt things at any given moment of your professional career. 

I am an advocate for adaptive educational models and self-learning. I learn best either on my own, in a very small group, or with a book. When I am one-on-one with a teacher whose knowledge and experience I trust, this is when it gets really cool.

I remember getting easily distracted each time I sensed that a teacher was not truly into their job, or simply did not have enough practical experience. I always thought I could teach myself by reading the same books and not waste time. What’s the point of attending classes for someone else’s interpretation of the book, for hours, in a strained environment? I would simply read on most school subjects that were of any interest to me in advance. Then I’d skip the rest of the class.

 Today, I am in a constant search for new information and sources, because this habit is deeply ingrained in me.