Investing in PLNs

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Last week, I was challenged to ask questions in my Personal Learning Network and learn something. As I began to reach out to members in my PLN, one of them came back with a response to one of the questions I asked. At first, I was pretty skeptical about the whole PLN thing, thinking, “This will never work. How can I learn anything from people I don’t know and how can I offer them something that they don’t already know?” Little did I know that I would soon embark upon a journey that is filled with knowledge and networks that I would have otherwise been devoid of.

After asking several people the same question in my PLN (“Hey there! Wondering if you could give me a brief explanation of how and why you became a helicopter pilot? Aspiring to do the same.”), I played the waiting game. Just when I thought that this was stupid, I get a reply on a tweet from a helicopter pilot who travels the world and takes aerial photographs (“Traveling now but give me a few days and I will send you my thoughts.”). I was pumped, I was stoked. I have been following this particular pilot’s blog and seen the pictures he takes and posts online and I could not have been more excited.

Several days later, he gave replied with an answer that was simple yet let me know just how “cool” this guy is and how (excuse my language here) badass it would be to be able to do everything this pilot has done: “I was interested in the outdoors, traveling, and photography. I liked to fly planes and skydive. Helicopters were the next step.” While it would be amazing to do these things in the future, I don’t think there would be much time to raise a family (one of my greatest goals in life) with this as a career.

Besides this, I have been able to network through this pilot to other pilots and be able to branch out and learn more about the life of pilots, where to begin my piloting journey, and also just rules of thumb in chasing either course of action I plan to take in life. Despite my skepticism, I now know that PLNs really do serve a purpose which can help anyone in any subject, so long as that person makes an active effort in the amount of learning they would like to pursue.

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