What is Newbie to Expert About?
Survive. Grow. Thrive.
Sounds simple, right? All you have to do is first study hard, then work hard, and success will flow out from your efforts.
At least, that’s what I believed in. As I progressed in my career and life, I discovered a lot of what I was doing wasn’t working anymore. Maybe it was because I had more responsibilities, a slower brain, an older body, mid-life crisis. Who knows?
All I knew was that I was still ambitious but impatient and insecure more than ever before. I wanted more out of life but was running out of time and energy. Sure, I wanted more financial security, more freedom, more time to do fun stuff, but frankly didn’t know how. My old ways were failing me. They were not sustainable, scalable, nor truly enjoyable.
But being trained as a problem solver and researcher, I figured folks brighter than me must have figured out how to be better, faster, and smarter. So to find answers, I jumped into the world of self-improvement.
Or I should say the chaotic maelstrom that is self-improvement. The good news was there were answers. The bad news was there were a lot of solutions and just as many contradictions. Just a sampling below:
- Goals are great. No, systems are the way forward.
- You need passion. No, focus on building career capital.
- Go with willpower. No, that will lead you astray.
- Focus on big hairy audacious goals to be successful. No, target small goals over time to move ahead.
Seriously? It’s one thing if these methods were extensions of each other, but chaos if “experts” are advocating opposing tactics. And science was not helping since they supported both arguments.
Now, I’m one of those people big on grit. So I can invest a massive amount of time, energy, and resource into something if I think it’s going to work. But, what I don’t want is to spend months (and I’ve done years) on something only to have it not deliver. So, I needed to figure this paradox out.
I created Newbie to Expert to find answers and share my discoveries with others.
Newbie to Expert Perspective
To help my quest, I listed a set of must-haves based on my failures with previous approaches. And that was whatever the answer, it needed to be sustainable, enjoyable, and scalable. If something takes 20-hour days to pull enough, no one is going to last. If you hate what you’re doing, you’re going to quit or burn out. And finally, if you start making progress and success, you will want to do more, but there are limits to what a single person can do.
Based on the above, I use the following design principles when evaluating solutions. I summarize them below:
- There is no one size fits all solution. I wish there were. But the reason why so many answers exist is because what you need as a Newbie is different from that of an Expert. Coaches factor in the expertise level of their clients, but most books, classes, and posts don’t address that. You need to know what to do when. It comes to using the right tools for the right stage if you want to make progress.
- Ideally, seek evidence-based solutions that are battle-tested. Science is pretty good at providing proof, but practitioners know how it works under real-world conditions. You want something that both scientists and practitioners agree on. The last thing you want is wasting time on something that works for one “expert” but not for you.
- There are no “perfect” timeless answers. Do not try to be “perfect” in setting goals or performing tasks. There are always exceptions to the rules. The keys to success have often involved flexibility and adaptability since change and uncertainty are always present.
- If what the experts or science say doesn’t work for you, that’s ok. It’s essential to experiment a bit since every person and situation is different. Reality is a distribution- not a single data point.
With the above in mind, my goal is to find frameworks that make it easier for people to go from a Newbie to an Expert in acquiring the knowledge and skills they need to achieve their dreams.
Who am I?
My name is Roy Kamimura. I’m a dad, a recovering perfectionist, but most importantly, a dreamer who wants to have a house by the beach where he can play video games with his kids all day.
In terms of my past lives, I’m academically a chemical engineering Ph.D. but never spent a day in a refinery. Instead, I’ve held jobs as a biochemical engineer, computational biologist, computer scientist/data scientist, business director, and project manager (chief herder of cats).
A common theme in my professional life is “change.” That wasn’t part of my original game plan. I wanted security and stability – basically, a life-long position at one company. But things didn’t work out that way. As a result, when opportunities popped up, I’ve had to pick up new knowledge and skills as soon as possible. So, I’ve gone from Newbie to Expert over and over again. And I can tell you there are smart and dumb ways to do it as I’ve had my share.
I’ve also worked in diverse environments from academia to government to industry and from solopreneur to startups to large established companies. Each one has different rules and expectations in play.
So, why am I telling you all this?
Because I’ve been there and done that. I know how to do research, translate theory to practice, build systems, figure out if something is worth investing in, all under various environments. And while I was hoping someone had figured it all out, so I could do what they said and make progress on my goals, I have been found wanting.
As they say, “Necessity is the mother of invention.” Hence, I decided if I’m going to find answers, I want to share them with others, so we can spend our limited time achieving our dreams. I do the research, so you don’t have to.
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