January 31, 2024

Picking A Bone with “Knowledge Worker” and the Framework to Learn New Skills (DF#134)

Picking A Bone with “Knowledge Worker” and the Framework to Learn New Skills

How to Master New Skills Effectively

Got a question you want answered on the podcast? Ask us at ask.degreefree.co/question and get your question answered on the podcast!

We’re diving deep into the false distinction between knowledge and labor in the workplace.

I've got some personal stories to share from my experiences as a firefighter and handyman, shedding light on how knowledge plays a crucial role in seemingly physical jobs.

Let's kick things off by challenging the conventional idea of a 'knowledge worker.'

It's time to break down the barriers that devalue trade and labor. I want to hear from you, about your thoughts on this.

What You’ll Learn:

- Exploring the concept of 'knowledge workers' and its impact on the devaluation of trades and labor.
- Proposing alternative names for knowledge workers and seeking suggestions from listeners.
- Introducing a three-component framework for learning new skills: self study, structured study, and supported study.
- Highlighting the significance of continuous learning and applying the learning framework to personal and professional development.

Join us as we delve into different approaches to learning like self-study and structured study.

The importance of curating learning materials and committing fully to one skill at a time will be emphasized.

Stay tuned for valuable insights on personal and professional growth. Make sure to subscribe and leave your feedback. See you soon!

Enjoy the episode!

Desperate for an alternative to the college debt trap for your teen?

Overwhelmed by all the college alternative options?

Help your 16-20 year old build a the life the want!

Checkout our book, The Degree Free Way, to Help Your Teenager Save $100,000, Stop Feeling Overwhelmed, and Start Getting Excited About Their Future.

Like, subscribe, write us a review, and if you have a question or want some advice email us at [email protected]

Join the Degree Free! Receive our weekly newsletter and get exclusive tips and tricks to help your child build they life they want, Degree Free!

Newsletter Sign Up - Email Only

Listen to the episode on: Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsSpotifyAmazon MusiciHeartRadio, or on your favorite podcast platform.


Unlock valuable insights and shatter job market barriers by tuning in to our last episode where we explore in-demand careers, share inspiring success stories, and debunk the myth of degree requirements - listen now for a dose of empowerment!

Links and Notes from the Episode

In this episode, Ryan Maruyama challenges the term "knowledge worker" and argues that all types of workers require knowledge, including those in labor-intensive jobs. He commented on the term for creating a false divide between knowledge and labor, which has devalued trades over time. Ryan proposes alternative names such as "digital professionals" and "imagination engineers" for knowledge workers.

He introduces a framework for learning new skills, which includes self-study, structured study, and supported study. He emphasizes the importance of curating and learning material effectively to acquire new skills. He mentions different approaches to learning, including self-study, structured study, and supported study, providing examples such as learning Google Ads or coding through boot camps.

Ryan describes a program that helps young people achieve their life goals through personalized study and support. He highlights the program's one-on-one nature, accountability, support, and structure. Acknowledges that this is their most expensive service, but it is also of the highest quality.

He discusses common pitfalls in learning new skills, such as not committing to materials and attempting to learn multiple skills simultaneously. He stresses the importance of selecting one skill at a time and completing it before moving on to another. The episode concludes with an invitation for listeners to share their thoughts and questions.

Connect with Ryan:

Action Steps & Recommendations:

  • Recognize the value of knowledge in labor-intensive jobs.
  • Challenge the false distinction between knowledge and labor.
  • Advocate for alternative names for knowledge workers, such as 'digital professionals,' 'virtual workers,' and 'imagination engineers.'
  • Embrace a framework for learning new skills, which includes self-study, structured study, and supported study.
  • Curate learning materials and resources for effective self-study.
  • Consider structured study options such as pre-designed courses or programs.
  • Seek support and guidance from mentors or experts through supported study.


  • 00:00:00 - Knowledge workers vs laborers
  • 00:01:23 - Opening up Q&A for listeners
  • 00:05:54 - The false dichotomy of knowledge workers
  • 00:13:52 - Alternative names for knowledge workers
  • 00:17:01 - Framework for learning new skills
  • 00:20:47 - The 3 S's to learn new skills
  • 00:24:12 - Pros and cons of self-study
  • 00:27:49 - Benefits of structured study
  • 00:33:01 - Advantages and disadvantages of supported study
  • 00:35:59 - The 3 S's of learning a new skill
  • 00:36:43 - The two most common pitfalls when learning new skills
  • 00:39:11 - The importance of committing to your learning materials and avoiding learning multiple skills at once

References, Resources Mentioned & Suggested Reading:

Episode Transcript
Please enjoy this transcript or our episode!

Please note the transcript may have a few errors. We're human. It can be hard to catch all the errors from a full length conversation. Enjoy!

Ryan Maruyama [00:00:00]:
The problem that I have with the term knowledge worker being reserved for those people that just sit behind desks and move things around the screens is that laborers and people that do things in the real world, those people still need to have an incredible amount of knowledge to get their job done. Alright. Welcome back to the podcast, everybody. I am really excited to get started today. One, we are in the temporary studio again, the temporary studio being my office. If you're watching on YouTube, you notice that desk is new from last week. Hannah is once again busy and tied up with actually running the business instead of just making content. So I am back by myself, but I have a banger for you.

Ryan Maruyama [00:00:48]:
I promise. Couple of housekeeping notes. Hannah will be back soon, so be prepared for that. Make sure that you're scribe for that episode? We'll probably be talking about why she's missing and, what she's been doing for the business. Definitely stay tuned for that. Also we actually did set up the studio, but I'm doing this in my office again because it is easier for me to record these 1 man band episodes on my computer than it is to do it in the studio. So that's why I'm doing it like this. Regarding the podcast, I am really, really excited.

Ryan Maruyama [00:01:23]:
We have executed on something that we've been thinking about for a really long time or I've been thinking about for a really long time, which is opening up q and a's for you to ask. And so if you go to ask at degreefree.c0forward/question, and I'll put it on the screen here, and then it'll be in the podcast notes as usual. Links will be at degreefree.c0forward/podcast, and you can find everything there. But once again, if you go to ask.degreefree.coforward/question, you can go ahead and ask a question there? The reason why we did it this way is because we have a lot of inbound. We have a lot of contact forms coming in, people email us at [email protected]. And it's just a little hard to go through everything and get to everything? Some things are business requests. Some things are people asking about, like, what do you do or how much you charge for this or whatever. And then some people are like, hey.

Ryan Maruyama [00:02:23]:
Hey. I have a podcast episode, and we didn't have a really good way of putting all these things into the correct buckets. So we figure if we go this route, it'll automatically be in this bucket. So if you have a question that you would like answered on the podcast, go to ask.degreefree.c04/ question and ask your question there. So I threw it together today. It's v one, but I'd like to get your questions there. The way that the questions are gonna work is they are going to be in either video or audio format. So if you have a question, you can ask by sending us a video, something that you record on your phone prior and then you can upload it? Or if you go to that URL, you can go on your mobile phone or computer, and you can go ahead and ask your question.

Ryan Maruyama [00:03:10]:
Video is best so we can see your face, but there's also audio as well. We're doing it with the video and audio because we wanna make it a little bit more personable. We wanna make it actually you instead of me saying, Mike from Indiana is asking whatever? Instead of that, it's your voice, and you are actually asking us question? And then we can answer it on the podcast or on the TikTok or wherever else. So definitely ask dotdegreefree.coforward/question. I am really looking forward to hearing your questions. So, you know, now we do get a lot of inbound, and I'm hoping that all of you use it. But just because you submit a question, doesn't mean we'll automatically answer it. We're gonna go and compile it.

Ryan Maruyama [00:03:48]:
And we're thinking about doing maybe 1 episode a month or maybe an extra episode is where we'll go through these questions, and we'll and we'll answer them. Definitely go there and submit your questions? I am really, really, really, really looking forward to it. What I wanted to start with today is you know what's wrong with this country, is that everyone can point out problems really easy, but most people don't have, like, any solutions. So it's just a bunch of people complaining. And today for this segment, I'm not gonna be any different. I just have complaints to lodge, and I kinda sort of have solution that kinda need your help, coming up with a solution? And we'll get to that in a second, at least for this segment. I have a really actionable thing to get into right after this, but I wanted to talk about this because this irritated me. So I started rereading the book, The Effective Executive by Peter Drucker.

Ryan Maruyama [00:04:44]:
If anybody knows that book, it's like business 101 or businessperson 101 as far as how to make decisions and how to manage people, how to manage decision making and that whole process. Now I came across a term, quote, knowledge worker. I absolutely hate that term. I hated it so much that I kinda just stopped reading, and then I went down this really big rabbit hole, which is what I'm gonna share with you right now. He uses his term in the 19 fifties and the 19 sixties to talk about the trend that he saw in the labor market and the overall economy as a whole. Right? He said that it was implementation of theoretical and analytical knowledge within organizations and industries that would drive them forward, which is and was absolutely true. Theoretical and analytical knowledge within organizations and industries would drive them forward. Yeah.

Ryan Maruyama [00:05:45]:
I can't argue with that. Sure. The bone that I have to pick with him is just about the use of knowledge worker. Right, by using those terms, he created a false dichotomy that the binary distinction between, like, knowledge and labor is made up and misleading. Right? So a lot of people know the term knowledge worker, but I'll just kinda sum it up for you here? Knowledge worker are people that sit behind desks and move things on screens, whereas labor is people that do things and affect things in the world. The problem that I have with the term knowledge worker being reserved for those people that just sit behind desks and move things around the screens? Is that laborers and people that do things in the real world, those people still need to have an incredible amount of knowledge to get their job done. Hey there. I hope that you're loving this episode of the degree free podcast.

Ryan Maruyama [00:06:44]:
We spend a ton of time every week creating this content for you. So my only ask is you take a quick second to leave a review or thumbs up on whatever platform you're on. It's one of the best and easiest ways that you can support this podcast, and this simple action can help bring more people into the degree free community. At degree free, we wanna help as many people as we can thrive and succeed without needing a college degree. Your review will be a step in that direction. If you could do this small favor right now, pause this and leave a review. It would truly mean the world to us. Thank you, and back to the show.

Ryan Maruyama [00:07:15]:
I've done both of these styles of jobs in my own life. I was a firefighter, and before that, I was a handyman for years. And now I don't do any work in the physical world. I just rant about things online, like how I'm doing right now. But when I was a firefighter, I remember the 1st time I cut someone out of a car. Right? And I think back to that, like, did that take knowledge to do? Like, yeah, that absolutely technology to do to do it safely, to do it efficiently, to make sure that we didn't injure the patient any more than they're already injured, to make sure that we didn't cut something we weren't supposed to cut to make sure that the car didn't crumple or act in a way that we didn't want it to act. It took highly specialized knowledge to know how to cut the car. Like, you make this cut first, then you make this cut, and then you make this cut.

Ryan Maruyama [00:08:06]:
And then you're not injuring the person or the patient or yourself any further? That's super, super knowledgeable. So that's a little bit of an extreme. I remember when I was a handyman, I am terrible, terrible electrical work. Absolutely terrible. I don't understand it at all. ACDC. It's a band. ACDC is a band to me.

Ryan Maruyama [00:08:29]:
I remember I was interviewing to work with this guy. It's pretty funny. I was interviewing to work with this guy, and he was a true blue handyman. He kinda did everything, and he did everything including electrical work. He brought me on for a job for one day. That was my interview. My interview was 8 hours of work with him for a day. And so perfect.

Ryan Maruyama [00:08:53]:
Let's do this. We go to the house that we're working on, and there's, like, 7 jobs that need to be done? And he's just like, okay. Well, why don't you install the dishwasher? And I was like, okay? Yeah. Sure. I was like, I can absolutely install the dishwasher. I get to the dishwasher or where the dishwasher cut out supposed to be. I thought he was asking me to put the dishwasher into the unit, screw it in, plug it in, and and all that good. What he meant was why don't you go and wire the dishwasher because it needs an outlet.

Ryan Maruyama [00:09:26]:
It doesn't have an under the sink outlet when you gotta wire that up. I got there, and I was just like, okay? Well, I got 2 options here. I can either totally fake it and just do something and and just see if it works, or I can ask him and just tell him, like, hey. I don't know what's going on here. But I felt like if I did that, the interview would pretty much just be over, and he wouldn't wanna work with me. So I did the first thing, and I just did whatever. There was 3 wires. I did something with it.

Ryan Maruyama [00:10:00]:
It sparked. It shut things down, and I was just like, oh, man. So I had to call him anyway because he was just like, what just happened? Long story short, I didn't get the job. Long story short, I was correct. He was like, you don't know what you're doing. It was like it was like it was like, you don't know what you're doing. This interview is over, which is exactly what I thought was gonna happen if I had just told him that I didn't know what I was doing. I thought I thought it would the interview would have been over, and I might not have been because I was honest.

Ryan Maruyama [00:10:34]:
But because I wasn't honest and I almost burned the house down, it definitely was over then. But anyway, you see that was labor. And just because I was doing labor, didn't mean that I didn't need knowledge. The word choice that he used there alienated and divided a whole generation of people. Right? We gotta remember that this is the 19 fifties and the 19 sixties when he first coined this term, and I think it was actually in another book that wasn't the effective executive. I did this in my research, but I forgot to write write it down here. It was, like, in his 1st book, or or I think he coauthored it with somebody and he was quoted as knowledge worker or something like that. But this was in the fifties sixties, and this was like pivotal work at the time.

Ryan Maruyama [00:11:15]:
And I don't think I'm giving him too much credit. When I say that I think it had a great deal to do with why we've devalued trades and labor over the past few decades, words matter. I'm saying knowledge worker. Would you rather be a knowledge worker or would you rather be a laborer or would you rather be anything else other than a knowledge worker? I don't know. I would probably will wanna be a knowledge worker. Like, yeah, I think so too because I don't wanna be a dummy. I wanna have knowledge. Like, yeah.

Ryan Maruyama [00:11:45]:
Me too. But like I said, those 2 stories, if I need a knowledge to cut somebody out of the car and I didn't have knowledge of electrical wiring. And so, yeah, you definitely need knowledge for labor work. Anyway, that is my little rant for today. To make this a little bit more useful and, you know, listening to this, that we really care about overtaking the narrative and really think about the different words that we use because we don't want these words to just be forced and thrust upon us, which is why this whole movement is called degree free. We don't say college dropout. Everybody else says that. We're not gonna let the colleges define who we are in a negative sense.

Ryan Maruyama [00:12:25]:
And so college breakout. You plain old this didn't go, which is great. You broke out of college. Awesome? College age kids, young adults. We have to take back the language. We have to take back the narrative. So I couldn't think of any good names, but I need help thinking of names. So when I thought about it, what do these types of jobs really do? They work in some sort of virtual space.

Ryan Maruyama [00:12:49]:
I'm talking about the knowledge workers. What do these jobs really do? They work in some sort of virtual space. Accountants move numbers on a spreadsheet. Developers create magic in a screen, and it doesn't necessarily have to be in today's term. Like, when I say virtual, I just mean something that is, I mean, not necessarily in the physical world. But when I think of accountant, I actually don't think of a modern day accountant. Whenever I think of accountant, I think of, like, Scrooge and him, like, Ebenezer Scrooge just like being pissed and going over the accounts and telling people to stop Christmas carol like, singing Christmas carols and things like that? That's what I think of. And that is also virtual because his job is in that spreadsheet.

Ryan Maruyama [00:13:35]:
Although that spreadsheet isn't digital with that guideline. I went to my assistant. My assistant is. And I have a few names that I would like to bring to the court? And if you could let me know in the comments on YouTube, that'd be great. Or Spotify. Now they have comments on Spotify. I don't know if you knew that. But, yeah, you could do that as well.

Ryan Maruyama [00:13:56]:
I probably spent too much time on this to be completely honest, but this is the type of gold that you get a degree for your podcast. Instead of going to sleep or instead of reading the effective executive to tell me that this was not an effective use of my time to go down this rabbit hole and then to come and spend 30 minutes talking to you about this rabbit hole. I said, screw that. Here we are. And so this is the goal that you get at the degree of free podcast. Here are the 3 best names that my assistant came up with. 1, digital professionals or digital workers. That's kinda so so.

Ryan Maruyama [00:14:34]:
2 is gonna be virtual workers, right, kind of working in that virtual environment again. 3 is intangible laborers. No. I don't really like that one, but I see its point. I couldn't think of anything better than that. So I I had to go to chat. I didn't I didn't know what to do. Now here are 2 funny ones or what I thought was funny.

Ryan Maruyama [00:14:54]:
How funny can you really be talking about knowledge worker alternatives? So the first one is abstraction alchemists. I like that. I never would have thought about that. And the second one that I really like, this is actually buried in the list, was imagination engineers. I like this one a lot. And I like this one a lot because it's really, really close to imagineers, like the people that work at Disney, like the engineers that work at Disney. So it'll be cool to use this one and see how long it take before the Mickey Mouse legal team comes after us for it. And I'll just whoever says, like, yes, I'll just make sure that they knock on your door to give you the cease and desist? I really like imagination engineers, but I don't know.

Ryan Maruyama [00:15:36]:
The Mickey Mouse legal team, the Disney legal team, I think they've been resting on their laurels because earlier this month, Mickey Mouse, the original one, he just came into the public domain. So Mickey Mouse is alive and well, or he's free at least, and you can do whatever you want with the likeness, at least, of that original Mickey Mouse all the way back then in 31 or something like that. That one is like, you can make Mickey Mouse do whatever. You can put Mickey Mouse on Mars if you want. But, anyway, that is the first portion of that. Help me come up with an alternative to knowledge workers. Right? So go over it again. Digital professionals or digital workers, virtual workers, intangible laborers, abstraction alchemists, and then come after us Disney imagination engineers is gonna round out the top 5.

Ryan Maruyama [00:16:27]:
Let us know in the YouTube comments. Let us know in Spotify as well. Moving on so that I can get something actually useful to you this week. I have been doing a lot of work on updating our frameworks for learning new skills. When you're signing up to Go degree free, you're basically saying like, okay. I'm gonna be a lifelong learner. I am signing up for the rest of my life to continuously learn new skills as I see that I need them. We had a framework around learning skills quickly, but it really wasn't working for us when we were using it ourselves? And then when we were telling other people, this is how to learn different skills, and this could be any skill.

Ryan Maruyama [00:17:09]:
I mean, this could be from how to use a hammer to, you know, how to code. I was updating the framework for learning new skills internally. And when I was doing it, I was like, oh, you know what? This is a real super useful for other people. At least I think it is, and so I'm gonna talk about it. The 1st month of the year is pretty much over? I know a lot of people are looking for new jobs, and a lot of people that have kids in high school that are seniors, your kids are about to be graduating soon, and you're starting to think, how do I learn new skills? How does my child learn new skills? And I wanted to talk about this framework that we have because we are constantly, constantly, constantly learning new skills. You might already know Hannah's story. She learned Salesforce. She had business analysts certs, business operation skills, and she's constantly learned the new skills to level up in her career.

Ryan Maruyama [00:18:05]:
Personally, for me, I've held all different types of jobs. My entire career has been me learning new skills. And now that I'm a business owner and a business operator, I am constantly learning new skills. Like, I don't know anything, and I am constantly learning new skills. And and for those business owners listening or those that are high up in small businesses, like 1 to 5 people operations I mean, like, high up like you're 2 of 2 in your business operations? Like, it's the owner and then you. You'll know what I'm talking about. You'll know that you wear a lot of hats, and then somebody's like, I think we should do this. And you're like, well, I don't know how to do that.

Ryan Maruyama [00:18:42]:
I'm like, well, let's figure it out. And so you have to learn new skills. So I'm constantly learning new skills, this is the framework we use to think about acquiring skills fast, and it's also what we use in our personal life, and it's what we tell our clients to skill up quickly as well. Now before we get into the actual framework, I did want to say that this is just a framework to learn the skill, not how to identify which skill to learn. So to give an example, let's say that I want to get a job in marketing, running Google Ads. By the way, if this is you go back and listen to my episode with James Stewart, I'll put links in the description degreefree.c04/podcast. He walks you through exactly how to do this thing, which is getting a job in marketing, running Google Ads. This is exactly what he walks you through.

Ryan Maruyama [00:19:34]:
But let's just say that that's the skill that you want to have. You wanna learn how to do Google Ads. There are 2 things that you have to do, and this could be any skill. You have to identify the skills necessary to learn to land that Google Ads job. Right. So that's number 1. Identify the skills necessary to learn. And step number 2 is learn the skills you've identified.

Ryan Maruyama [00:19:58]:
I'm gonna be going over bullet point number 2. If you want me to do an episode on bullet point number 1, please let me know in the YouTube comments or Spotify comments. You can also go back and listen to episode 78 of the podcast? Pretty sure it's 78. I'll put in the show notes. How to find a job backwards, which is basically what I'm talking about for step 1, just how to identify it. So now that we have that cleared up and we're just talking about learning the skills you've identified, you know that you have to learn Google Ads. So how am I gonna learn them? I'll give you the whole framework now, and we'll talk about them individually. We call them the 3 s's to learn new skills.

Ryan Maruyama [00:20:37]:
The self study, structured study, and supported study. So before we get into each one individually, I did wanna take another pause here and just say, when you're actually learning skills, you have to identify skills, and then you have to learn skills. We are currently in that 2nd part, step 2. Within step 2, there are subpoints to learning the skills. To break down the actual learning of skills, there are another 2 parts. So it's 2 a and 2 b if you wanna think about it the first one is you want to curate the learning material. So you have to figure out what is it that I'm actually going to learn, and what is it that's going to teach me? You're gonna curate the learning materials that you're going to use. The second is actually learn the material that you've curated.

Ryan Maruyama [00:21:26]:
Those are 2 separate tasks, but we'll talk about those things right now. With all of these things, self study, structure study, supported study, you can't get around step number 2. The whole point is to learn the material. The only time that you're really gonna get around it and it's in quotes is if you are, like, a business owner or you have, like, a deliverable and you can pay somebody to just do that deliverable for you, but then you're not really learning skills. So I didn't wanna just talk about that briefly. Where this is differentiated is really in step number 1 in between step number 1 and step number 2. So here we go. Self study, that is using free resources to teach yourself.

Ryan Maruyama [00:22:10]:
This requires you to do both 1, curate the learning material, and 2, learn the material. Right? So some examples would be YouTube or free Udemy courses? Searching Reddit and Google for free resources is really, really, really helpful? So if you're trying to learn Google Ads or you're trying to learn whatever, what insert whatever it is? You wanna build tiny homes, and you don't know how to draw up tiny homes. You can Google tiny homes making Reddit, and you would be surprised on how much is there and listed out and itemized for you to learn and then do. So Google, Reddit, YouTube, Udemy courses, those are just some examples, but really, it doesn't really matter. That's all self study. Books also fall into this category. They're not free, but they're cheap for what you can get out of it. And it's still self study because you still have to curate that book, and most books aren't comprehensive.

Ryan Maruyama [00:23:16]:
And so while it's while it's good, it's good information when it comes to, like, implementing it and learning it, it's not gonna be super helpful. So the pros of self study is that it's the cheapest by far. Most of it's free. If not, it's a book, $30, less than $100 usually in self study. The second thing is that what's great is that you can customize exactly what you learn. So instead of just broadly talking about Google Ads, you could just learn how to test titles of Google Ads or just test copy of Google Ads or just test images of Google Ads, something like that. You could take a course or find a resource or a blog article that is just about what metrics do I need to learn first for Google Ads, something like that? So you can really customize exactly what you need to learn. So that that is a pro.

Ryan Maruyama [00:24:09]:
It just takes time, which is a con. So go moving on to the cons is that there's no accountability, there's no support, and there's no structure. Because like I said, you are responsible for building it and curating all this material yourself. I use this all the time as as I'm sure that you do this as well. But when I was first started to learn how to do photography and videography, I didn't have a lot of money. And the money that it did have, I wanted to put it towards new gear or at least new to me used gear as any photographer or videographer knows, like, especially when you're first starting out, all you want is more key here. You think that more gear will make you a better photographer and videographer, which just isn't true when you start to get into it. Like anything else, sure gear helps.

Ryan Maruyama [00:25:01]:
But the main thing is knowing how to use the gear, understanding the terms, how to use your camera, how to frame shots, how to tell stories, how to edit? That's really what matters. But I was too busy spending money on gear because I thought, oh, well, that's what I can do right now. I can buy all these fancy cameras. I can buy all these fancy lights or whatever it was, a Gimbal or whatever. But I didn't wanna spend any money on actually figuring out how to use it. So I went the self study route of teaching myself how to do all of these things. I used all kinds of free and cheap resources to learn what to do at the beginning. I watched Peter McKinnon, Parker Walbeck at the time? These are YouTubers that talk about this type of stuff.

Ryan Maruyama [00:25:43]:
I don't watch them anymore. I bought a guide for my camera, not my guide that came with the camera, but somebody wrote, like, your camera for dummies. I forget exactly what the model was, but, you know, your camera for dummies. And I was just like, yeah, sure. Sounds good. So I I read that thing and I was testing out my new skills, learning them, then I would run into the next skill that I didn't know, and then I'd go and learn that. And I would do that all through self study. So all of my experience from photography and videography.

Ryan Maruyama [00:26:19]:
That's was all self taught. It was all through YouTube and free courses. I know that I haven't spent any money on any YouTube courses or content creation courses or anything like that. Everything that I've done with Premiere, everything that I've done with videography, everything I've done with Photoshop, I've all learned through self study. And I've done paid gigs for photography and videography. If you have more time than money, this is usually where you're gonna start out. You're gonna start with the self study range. Like, let's go back to the Google Ads example.

Ryan Maruyama [00:26:52]:
If you don't have money for a course, you're going to pay for it in your time in figuring out and tracking down all of these resources to then learn these skills. And this is usually the course that we tell people to take 1st, take a free course, watch YouTube videos. See if you like it first, see if it's actually what you need to know. Take it. You might learn everything that you need to know right there, and you check that skill off onto the next. But you might find that, wow, this is really, really complicated. I should buy a more structured course. Right.

Ryan Maruyama [00:27:30]:
So let's say you wanted to learn how to make a short story or a short film, and you go and you look at a YouTube course of how to make a short film, and you don't know anything. They start all the way at here's how to do a story. And they're like, yeah, you shoot it from this angle, this angle, this angle. And you're like, don't even know how to turn the camera on. And so you have to go all the way to the back, and that's where you start to run into. Well, having a little bit more structure would really be helpful here. And so that goes into our 2nd part, which is structured study, and that's using a structured course to guide you through the process. The 2nd s takes care of the first part.

Ryan Maruyama [00:28:12]:
Curate your learning material. Right? This takes care of it for you. It's curating it for you. It's structuring it for you so you can focus on that 2nd step, which is actually learning the material. So some examples of this is going to be massive open online courses, Coursera, Udemy, things of that nature, and then, like, niche course providers as well. Those are some examples of structured study pros for this is well, the structure. Everything is laid out for you. You just have to focus on learning the material.

Ryan Maruyama [00:28:47]:
The good thing about this as well is they're usually pretty affordable. This is the next tier up as far as cost goes as well. And so they're still pretty affordable. You can't really put a price on it. Some courses cost 1,000 of dollars, and some courses cost $9. It just depends, but this is just structured study. And you can tell that it's just structured study because of the cons. The cons is that it has no or limited accountability and no or limited support.

Ryan Maruyama [00:29:15]:
For a lot of these massive open online courses is that you get through Udemy or some other provider. There's no accountability. There's nobody asking you. Hey. How are you doing? Are you making sure that you're staying on course and that you are watching all of and learning all of the materials at this pace. Like, they'll try to give you a calendar that says, well, most people finish this section within a week. They'll try to give you a calendar to do that, but it's on yourself to hold yourself to that standard? And then also, these structured studies, they lack support or most of them do. And the reason why is because they're affordable and support costs money.

Ryan Maruyama [00:29:55]:
When you are looking for answers to specific questions that you have. It's a lot more difficult. Called you're still going to have to go to Google. Or now you go to ChatCBT or Bard or something like that, and you can ask it the specific question that you have. And you're like, hey. I ran this Google Ad and it did this, or I don't understand this term and this, this, this. What can I do? So you're still gonna have to do the legwork over there. This one brings it about even.

Ryan Maruyama [00:30:24]:
You are paying less of your time because you don't have to curate the material. Right, that first step that whole first step is completely done for you. Curate the materials. That's out the door. You paid to get your time back. This is exactly what you need to learn. Perfect. Awesome.

Ryan Maruyama [00:30:40]:
Now I just need to do step 2, which I need to learn the material. So you lower your time commitment and then but you increase the amount you pay. So this is similar to the job change accelerator for those that know what that is. Hannah and I created a course to help job seekers and career changers change their life by changing their work. Right? And it didn't come with support because it was always in the $99 or $250 range. And for that amount of money, we couldn't offer support to everyone that bought it. We just couldn't do it because like I said, support is expensive. But with that, if you followed it to the tee, you would change jobs.

Ryan Maruyama [00:31:15]:
It was all laid out in front of you. You just had to learn the skills of being a good job seeker. We curated all the materials for you and packaged it up I gave it to you. You just had to do it. But then there was no or limited accountability, and there was no or limited support, but structure, everything that you need. 2, it was very affordable. Then you just implement those skills. You learn whatever it is, and you implement those skills.

Ryan Maruyama [00:31:44]:
We actually don't sell that course anymore, so don't go and look for it or anything like that? It's not up for everybody that bought it still. I mean, you could still go and access it, obviously, but we're not selling any new ones of them. We might in the future, but I just wanted to use that as an example of, like, structured study. Right? You wanna learn the skills of being a good job seeker. Here it is for you. Just gotta learn it. The last s is going to be supported study. And the defining characteristic of supported study is the support.

Ryan Maruyama [00:32:15]:
You get everything you get with structured study, but you also get accountability and support. So examples could be boot camps, 1 on 1 coaching, cohort and group coaching. Those are all examples of supported study. The pros of this is that, well, you have the accountability, you have the support, and you have the structure. You have everything that you need to succeed. The con is that it's the most expensive. Because like we said, support is expensive. And I wanted to pause here and kinda think about it.

Ryan Maruyama [00:32:50]:
Usually when learning new skills, we suggest kind of working your way up the ladder unless you have more money than time. And so what I mean by working up the ladder is start with the self study, then move on to the structured study. Then if you need it, go to the supported study, especially if you have more time than money. If you don't have a lot of money, do it that way? Let's just say that you make $60,000 a year right now, but you only spend $30,000 a year. So every year, you have a $30,000 surplus. So and you're like, well, I could go the self study structure study supported study and figure out that way. Maybe I'll knock out of the park with a self study at first, boom, maybe it's done, but then you're like, well, I would rather just pay somebody because I know my own learning habits? And and I know that I just I would rather show up and have somebody tell me to show up, have somebody support me throughout it, and all those things. And so if you have more money than time, you know, supported study is the way to go, or it's like it's probably the best way to go because then you can at least ask questions along the way? At boot camps, 1 on 1 coachings, cohort, group coaching, those are really good examples of supported study.

Ryan Maruyama [00:34:09]:
You still have the structure. They still do all of number 1 for you. They still curate the learning materials. You still have to do number 2, which has learned the skills? But while you are doing number 2, you have somebody there to bolster what it is that you are learning and then check your comprehension? So throughout these boot camps, you have somebody usually that you can ask, like, hey. Am I doing this right? Is this the right thing I'm doing, or should I be doing this differently? Things of that nature. This is more similar to what we're doing now with the degree free launch program. We haven't talked about it too much. I'll wait to talk about it when Hannah's here because that's of the reasons why she's not here right now? But just to kinda use an example, like, we're teaching people the skill to create custom career road maps to get the work they want to fulfill their life goals.

Ryan Maruyama [00:35:02]:
Right? We're mostly working with younger people ages 16 to 20 years old. We we take all applicants, but it has everything. Because it's 1 on 1. It has accountability. It has support. It has structure. But it's the most expensive thing that we've done by far because it has all of those things from a business perspective, from somebody that's providing these types of services and these types of study. I mean, we couldn't do 1 on 1 at a $250 price point.

Ryan Maruyama [00:35:29]:
We couldn't even do it at an $1100 price point. Now with this being the most expensive that we've ever done, it is the most expensive, but it's also the high white glove service, which is what you get in supported study. For those that want to check it out, degree free.c04/launch. Like I said, we're not really talking about it right now, but we'll talk about it, I'm sure, probably next week now that I'm talking about it. But those are the 3 s's of learning a new skill. I wanted to go over the 2 most common pitfalls that I have had with learning new skills and that other people have had that I have helped learn new skills with. The first one is going to be never committing to your learning materials. Right? It's getting stuck between step 1 and step 2.

Ryan Maruyama [00:36:12]:
Right? So to rewind before the three s's, what does it take to learn a skill? It takes the curation of learning materials, and then you have to learn those materials. One of the biggest problems that I have and that people have that I've worked with in learning new skills is not committing to the thing that you're learning right now. Those 2 things, the reason why I put them into 2 steps is because they are 2 distinct tasks. Once you curate your learning materials, you have curated them. You have selected them. Stop selecting. Learn it now. You've moved on.

Ryan Maruyama [00:36:48]:
You've moved on from that skill, and you just have to learn that material, learn that skill. And then when you're done, you can go back and learn something else or whatever. For this, an example would be but let's just say that we are trying to make a wooden box, maybe something like a Kleenex or a tissue box holder, something like that? I don't even know if people use tissue boxes anymore, but like a tissue box holder. And you go and you say, this is the blueprint that I'm gonna learn to do this. You should just go and do that. Learn that skill once you have selected it. There's, like, 5 options in front of you for the different ways to make a Kleenex box holder, pick 1, learn that the worst thing that we can do is that we can pick 1 halfway learn it, and then we go back and we go, like, maybe I should have picked 1 of these other 4. You know what? Grab this one.

Ryan Maruyama [00:37:41]:
Let's do this. And then you start all over, and then you do that, and then you never finish the thing that you're working on. That is the number one thing that I have done wrong in this? And I and I still struggle with this till today. Because how do you know if you're choosing the right thing? That's why you have to curate it and then learn it. So just commit once you've curated it. The second thing with learning new skills is learning 2 skills at once. So it's similar but different. What I mean by this is this so let's go back to our Kleenex box example.

Ryan Maruyama [00:38:12]:
What we did just then is we got 2 different instructions or 2 different learning materials to do the same thing, to learn the same skill, to get the same outcome. Come. That is not committing to your learning materials. What I'm talking about in the second one is saying, oh, well, I wanna make a tissue box holder here, and then I also wanna make a birdhouse here. And so I'm going to pick the learning materials to do the Kleenex box? And then I'm going to halfway do that. Okay. While I'm doing that, I'm also going to figure out which learning materials I need to build the birdhouse, and then I'm going to start on that. I'm gonna build them concurrently.

Ryan Maruyama [00:38:54]:
I'm gonna build them at the same time. So my Kleenex box is getting built, and my birdhouse is getting built. That is terrible. That is terrible. We wanna do one thing at a time. Get your birdhouse built. Get your Kleenex box built, whichever one's first, and then go do the other one. You're gonna find that it is much quicker to single task.

Ryan Maruyama [00:39:18]:
One thing, learn it, knock that domino down and then learn the next thing. Also what you might find is that when you learn that first skill, it might be enough to get you to wherever it is that you want to go. So let's just say that you wanted to get a job, and you did the how to find a job backwards methodology, and you were looking at all these skills, and you have, like, 1 skill, 2 skill, 3 skill that you have to learn. You might find that if you just learn that 1 skill and you start applying to jobs, you might get the job. And so you don't really have to learn 2 and 3 or at least you don't have to learn it right now because the whole reason that you're learning the skill is to get the job. So for people that are looking to learn skills specifically to job hunt, I'm talking to you, especially with this learning 2 skills at one time. Learn one skill, don't lose sight of the goal, which is to get a job. The goal isn't actually to learn the skill.

Ryan Maruyama [00:40:16]:
It's to learn the skill to get a job and learn that one Gil put on your resume and then start applying the jobs. For those people that are just trying to learn the skill to learn the skill, let's say, like, you need to learn this skill, whatever it is. You know? You need to learn how to hold your breath underwater. Yeah. You gotta learn it, and then you gotta learn the rest of it as well. The other part of that is that you might find that that 1st skill is good enough and can stand in for that second one. So let's just say this is a bad example, but I can't think of anything else right now. But let's just say that that Kleenex box can also function as a birdhouse.

Ryan Maruyama [00:40:51]:
But you would have never gotten to that point. Had you learned both skills at the same time, you would not have had that clarity that you have now. And you're like, yeah. Well, this Kleenex box absolutely can function in as a birdhouse here. Well, they just put it up in the tree. Boom. We're done. Half the year, it's a birdhouse, and then half the year, it's clean Xbox.

Ryan Maruyama [00:41:07]:
And so that is pretty much it for this week? Before you go, make sure if you have any questions, go to ask.degreefree.co forward slash question. And please leave a video. That'd be best. I wanna see your face as usual, before you go, let me know how you like this in the comments, YouTube, Spotify. So you can just tell me how you liked it if you go to ask.degreefree.c0forward/question, if you wanna do that there. Show notes degree free.c04/podcast, and that is pretty much it for this week, guys. Let me know how you liked it. Until next week,

Join the Degree Free! Receive exclusive tips, tools, and resources so you can crush it no degree needed:
Newsletter Sign Up - Email Only

Teach Youself. Get Work. Make Money.

We'll show you how in our Degree Free Launch Program
Check out the program
Degree Free Logo White

Are You Ready to Join the Degree Free?

Yes! Sign Me Up!
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram