NEVER STOP LEARNING
THE MINDSET OF GREAT LEADERS
LEARN SOMETHING NEW EVERYDAY & SHARE IT WITH THE WORLD
Before making my way out of the house and down to the art studio today I was watching CBS This Morning… Somebody from LinkedIn was on the show, and the topic was hybrid jobs, and how people with multiple skill sets, and those who strive to be forward learners and thinkers are paid on average 40% more. It was an interesting story, and one that we can relate to as leaders in our industry. As modern artists and entrepreneurs we are forever taking the time to learn something new that is outside the realm of what we do to make a living. That mindset has served us incredibly well, and in numerous ways throughout our journey as individuals who make our sole living on creativity. This is something I preach myself when I am out on the road giving speeches and workshops. That is to “go above and beyond that which you are expected to in your work, and someday when you least expect it you’ll see the rewards.”
However, I will say that artists in particular don’t see the simple reward of a bigger paycheck like an employee of a company would. That’s because most often when the universe rewards an artist financially, they generally reinvest that money back into their work or their education in hopes of taking their vision to the next level. You see, real artists don’t do it for the money, but those that constantly reinvest in their craft and knowledge consistently tend to grow against all odds. It can feel like a vicious cycle sometimes, but again, at some point bigger rewards follow when you use that upswing to better yourself. So, I find it odd when I see news stories of those who went to college and got a degree, then got a job, and just stopped learning all together. That is a bizarre concept to me, because learning is everything to the artist. Learning new skills, and bettering yourself is the one of the best things in life. Learning something new is what what makes me wake up at 3am somedays and go out and simply starting “doing the work.” Learning is joy, and this is something every parent should be teaching their kids about from a very early age because if their work excites them it will drive them.
Then there is something else to all of this though, and that is sharing what you have learned. Since the year 2001 when we won the Grand Awards at the International Photography Competition (WPPI) for the very first time, we have been giving back and inspiring others through tech talks, workshops, keynote speeches, and our YouTube channel as well. I can’t express how many times we have been rewarded for for these efforts. Too many people hoard their information, and while that may work for them in the short term, it does very little for them in the long tail of things. Reward sometimes come in the form of a referral from a fellow photographer or artist for a big assignment, and other times it comes in the form of somebody stopping us on the street or at a conference and telling us how our workshop changed their lives. Either way, the rewards of helping others rise will benefit you over and over throughout your journey.
So, the point of this is two fold… Take time to learn something new everyday regardless of your position in the world, and build upon your skillset. Second, find ways to give back what you learn and enlighten others. This is the mindset of a good leader, and whether you are a lone wolf artist trying to find your way as an artist or entrepreneur, or you have a job with a big company, this is the concept that will drive your career upwards.
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