I'm an Akorn user too.
First let me encourage you to hang in there and learn this...you won't regret it.
You've made the first correct step coming to this forum.
The advice above is spot on.
Here's my methods for lighting the Akorn for both slow smoking and quick grilling:
Start with lump charcoal.
If I am doing a long smoke, like for a Boston Butt, I do fill the box to the tabs.
I leave a hole down the middle big enough for me to stuff a couple of lit 91% alcohol soaked cotton balls.
I use a slender set of tongs for this.
Open the top and bottom vents all of the way.