On learning by doing

Authors Seth Godin and Simon Sinek hosted a Facebook Live chat recently in which they were asked the question, “What qualities are missing from today’s college graduates going into marketing [as a career]?” I loved Seth’s response:

“You know how you learn marketing? By doing marketing. You don’t learn marketing by getting an internship, you don’t learn marketing by working for a big company doing filing. You learn marketing by going down the street, finding somebody who’s got a bunch of stuff in their garage, and saying, ‘If I can sell this stuff in your garage, do you want to split the money?’ You learn marketing by going to a non-profit you care about and saying, ‘I think I can go raise a thousand dollars for you. Can I?’ The act of marketing is telling a story to other people that causes them to change their behavior. If you learn to do that in real life, not by manipulating some algorithm on Google, but in real life, you will be 20 years ahead of the 40-year-olds that you are ultimately competing with.”

To future (and current) college students, I’d pose two questions:

1. What’s the version of the above answer for a career that interests you?
2. How can you use your time in college to expose yourself to as many opportunities as possible to practice doing what you want to do?

The best learning comes from doing. For more on this, see my past post, “What can you actually DO?