• James Walton

The Bottom of Learning Curve

The bottom of a learning curve is one of my favorite places to be. 

It means I'm encountering content I haven't learned before. 

It means I'm gaining skills I haven't practiced before.

It means I'm apprenticing myself to thought leaders I haven't encountered before.

Here's a few things to keep in mind the next time you find yourself needing to climb a learning curve.

  • Embrace the suck. Recognize the first step to becoming good at something is being bad at something. There's always an interim period where you suck. It's okay to suck in the pursuit of new knowledge and skills.

  • Ask for help. I sent this note to a colleague recently when inquiring about a matter where I knew very little: "Let's pretend that I'm ignorant regarding all of this and any insight, no matter how rudimentary, will be helpful to me." Acknowledging your ignorance is the first step to moving past it.

  • Take copious notes. You're a student. You're best tools at this juncture are an honest question and a sharp pencil.

The period of apprenticeship is a necessary one while you climb a learning curve.


Applying these attitudes and behaviors will help accelerate your growth.

When's the last time you felt like you were at the bottom of learning curve?

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