Article originally published on mindcrumb.com
Imagine that you have decided to become an expert in cartoon drawing. Your journey may involve taking a class, buying a book, watching a Youtube video, or hiring a private tutor. All of these are reasonable means of getting started. The problem is that more than half of those who get started will give up before they reach their goal for a variety of reasons. Some might be too overwhelmed with the sheer amount of new information they must absorb, others might resent the teaching methods, and a few others simply fail to see how any of the material out there will actually get them past the beginner or intermediate level. I am definitely one of those!
I personally find that the most effective means of becoming great at anything is by tracing the footsteps of an expert with a similar background to mine. As an engineer, I find it to be much easier to learn from a highly analytical person who has mastered a creative subject such as drawing, as opposed to trying to learn from a more naturally talented individual who has been practicing the skill since childhood. Finding such experts is not always obvious and trusting in their advice is not always easy, especially if they have mastered the subject with vague recall as to what techniques and mindsets they adopted to get past their beginner phase.
I started Mindcrumb with an idea to create a transparent learning community where those embarking on new learning journeys eventually become experts for newcomers to learn from.
As a student, you will not only benefit from having access to existing documented journeys, but also from the useful tools on the site which will allow you to systematically extract relevant bits from any journey (e.g. lessons, setbacks or milestones). This extraction and narrowing of focus will allow you the ability to monitor your progress as you make sure to not repeat the same mistakes over and over again. Moreover, it allows you to learn about how others successfully overcame the same problems that you’re facing and thus better navigate your own journeys.
As a teacher (or expert), you have a record of your successful, unfiltered journeys on the site for others to see which keeps your advice (paid or free) more credible and relatable. Beginners can see both your successes and failures, which we hope will ease beginning learner anxiety of slow and discouraging initial progress.
One of the strong points of Mindcrumb is that you can easily invite anyone to follow your journeys and get a detailed or a summarized version of your progress. This makes it a powerful assessment tool for receiving comprehensive advice and identifying any blind spots that are holding you back from progressing.
Journeys are not limited to just learning new skills or hobbies. They can also extend to transformational life experiences, like growing a business, raising awareness for a cause, or switching to an entirely new job and industry. Case and point: My personal take on fixing unemployment is providing the relevant tools for people to switch from dying and low-demand industries into their up-and-coming, high-demand counterparts. For example, a coal miner stuck in a dead-end job is much more likely to listen to and learn from a fellow coal miner who transitioned into a growing industry than from a university professor preaching the importance of adopting new technologies even if the underlying message is fundamentally the same. This is why I hope Mindcrumb can provide a less intimidating way for everyone to start new adventures and learn new things. I hope you can join me on this mission!