September 03, 2023

By Afzal

You need to find and go your own way, following a prescribed way might never lead to your destination.


We exist in the age of the internet, a time when the creator economy thrives. In this digital realm, creators leverage the vast power of the internet's connectivity and replication capabilities to earn a livelihood by crafting and selling their creations. It's a space where you can find a wide array of items crafted by these creators. However, what predominates among their offering are courses.

I don't have an issue with courses, in fact, I believe that courses aimed at teaching mechanical and technical expertise are essential. But what raises concerns are those courses that attempt to replicate one's success or personal journey. Sharing one's experiences and insights for inspiration is great but I'm skeptical about the idea of mimicking someone else's journey as a surefire path to success.

Kapil Gupta MD’s take on how-to’s or methods which he calls prescriptions is the OG and a must-read, and I'd like to quote him from Naval's podcast:

“Take the person who “made it” and become world-class in whatever he did. If he went back and retraced his steps and did everything again the same way, but this time he did it by mimicking himself, he would fail. What has to be understood is that where greatness comes from is a very murky affair. It is nonlinear. It is unpredictable. Perhaps nature and the universe set it up this way that you have to jump in. And once you jump in the soup and you’re being bombarded from all sides and you live in confusion and you have no idea which way is up, if the obsession is there, then what happens is through messy process you find a way. You see light at the end of the tunnel. You forge a path through the jungle. That was not done according to a “how.” You were flailing the entire time. There was no “how” to flail. When you come out of the tunnel and someone asks you how you did it, you have no idea. The thing that’s almost laughable is when you ask a great athlete, “Can you show me how you did that?” They won’t go on and say, “I have no idea.” They will provide you with some semblance of an answer, which is a non-answer.”

It just makes no sense to follow someone else’s footsteps when we are all distinct individuals leading unique lives. Educate yourself enough and go on your quest and find your way, this journey may require learning, unlearning, or relearning. I’m a nobody to talk about prescriptions please read Kapil Gupta’s original writings on it. I want to talk about this more in the context of the creator economy, how selling one’s journey has become a very profitable business. It seems very problematic when a craftsman is more focused on selling his course of how he made his craft successful than selling the craft itself. If you are a craftsman, your primary focus should be on selling your craft, not monetizing your advice. A true craftsman shares their expertise and insights generously but refrains from turning them into commodities. Let's foster a culture where we create more tangible products and artistic creations than an abundance of courses. Let's all strive to be craftsmen rather than mere coaches.

Thank you!

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