April 27, 2021

A Principles-based Approach to Learning a New Skill

Recently I started learning SEO. For many years I had a basic understanding of SEO principles, but I never put that knowledge into action. Now I understand why SEO consultants make so much money! This is hard stuff, and boring to boot.

It’s safe to say that keyword research isn’t a natural passion of mine. Does that mean I should give up? No! All skills worth having are hard. The harder a skill is to learn the more valuable it is.

This is the beauty of learning through principles. I know that this is an expected part of the learning process, the first bottleneck of many but one that I can overcome. I’ve been through this in other domains. Three months into learning Mandarin I felt like a complete idiot who would never be able to carry on a conversation. The first month playing classical guitar made me want to cry, both because my fingers hurt and because I was so terrible. Putting together my first WordPress site was one frustration after another. (And that site got hacked just after it went live!)

So I’ll take my lumps and try to enjoy it as I slog through keyword research. I’m going to make some stupid mistakes along the way, get frustrated because it doesn’t seem to be working, and feel like giving up. But in the end it will be worth it.