Hearty Confession: Poor Bastard to Online Triumph

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"Steal Like an Artist" (Austin Kleon) – Yay or Nay?


The video you see up there is Austin Kleon’s talk “Steal Like An Artist” – a creative manifesto based on 10 things he wish he’d heard when he was starting out . . . (maybe something you wish you’d watched 10 years ago lol)

He starts by telling you the story of composer Igor Stravinsky, and how Igor composed a “ballet” from borrowing bass lines, and melodies  from famous works – and adding his own elements to them

While watching this video, I immediately associated the core of his talk with:

The concept of ” business creativity”

In this blog post, I’d like to relate Austin’s talk in that context – business . . .

. . . and I hope that by the end of this article, I’ve helped relieve some weight off your shoulder

At 2:03 – he mentions what he believes is the best way to collect ideas

The reason I mentioned about “collecting ideas” here is because you and I need ideas to run a business — product idea, marketing campaign idea, corporate event idea, logo idea, article idea, etc…

Name it, everything must start from an idea

Now, here’s where the problem lies

A lot of people think they’re not creative enough to come up with an idea . . .

. . . much more, the “killer unique game-changing idea” to turn your business around

Here’s where the importance of this video sits:

At around 4:20, he starts to build this concept about why there’s really “no completely original idea” out there

If you go thru the video, you’ll find why this makes sense .  . .

. . . and why this is liberating for hustlin’ biz people like you and me

You don’t have to pressure yourself about being that “creative” and all

You can simply build upon existing ideas – make them better

Put your story

Include your context

Whether you’re creating a product, or thinking of an article

You can “steal like an artist”

At 7:22, he starts talking about why you are greater than the sum of your mother and father

Again, this ties in to why you could build upon things (or even reduce things down). . .

. . . and make something that’s better — and that’s yours

If this sounds weird to you, I’m thinking you have not watched the video yet ;P

At 8:37 – he show’s a clip of Steve Jobs talking about the subject (this is inspiring)

What does Pablo Picasso think?

How about David Bowie?

It’s all the video. . . and they’re all interesting

Here’s a great example of how this works out in the real business world

There was this mother daughter tandem and they had this “slightly modified” version of a particular exercise machine

They’re these circle exercise thingie you put on the floor, stand upon, and you twist your hips

You’ve probably seen one just like it before – they’re pretty common

So common, in fact, that when they offered it for display on stores, they were rejected because the people in charge thought they were not original enough

(the tandem’s version just have some variations in angle of some sort)

Here’s where the fun part of the story comes

The tandem took the product on a TV show

Turns out, that “slight angle variation” made a lot of difference of the consumers

And the rest is history, as they say

Now, to give my input on the subject, let me leave you:

Three things to boost your newfound totally unoriginal genius

1. Think like a child and let your imagination run wild
2. Screw logic a bit and think beyond your limits
3. Think about your dreams… always

I’d curse hard to motivate you even more… but I guess I’ll just reserve my angst for my newsletter subscribers lol

Hope you enjoyed the video and this sharing

Peace and  much love



P.S. If you’re worried about stealing ( if legalities freak you out and all) – here’s a better alternative

You could buy rights to other people’s works, and use them for your business

But like anything out there, some items would be shit – but some items would be golden for you business

For example, you can check out these Private Label Rights materials I’ve seen as high quality ones.