No Alarms Club

You Aren't Born An Artist

Episode Summary

It's okay to reinvent who we are. In this episode, Garrett discusses Chapter 1 of Real Artists Don't Starve, by Jeff Goins, titled You Aren't Born an Artist.

Episode Notes

Key Take-Aways from this episode:

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Boss vs Leader Image via Ikonik (not affiliated w/ this podcast).

Episode Transcription


[00:00:00] Hello. My name is Garrett. You're listening to the No Alarms Club podcast. This is a podcast about lifestyle design. I am working on building a lifestyle where I don't have to wake up to an alarm every day. Basically self-employed working when and where I want. 

[00:00:18]Kind of like Tim Ferriss's Four Hour Workweek, but maybe even less hours. Maybe a few more. I actually do like to work a little bit. 

[00:00:27]Currently in the podcast, this is episode two and we are going through the book, Real Artists Don't Starve by Jeff Goins. 

[00:00:37]And while this is episode two of the podcast, we are starting chapter one, which is titled You Aren't Born An Artist. 

[00:00:45] This book is also split into three sections, and the first section of the book is about mindset. And so that's which section we are starting right now. 

[00:00:55]This chapter starts off with a story about a major league baseball player, Adrian Cardinez who played for the Phillies, and then the Chicago Cubs. 

[00:01:04] I don't really know much about baseball. I'm not a big baseball fan, but the story is interesting nonetheless. 

[00:01:10]He was really good at baseball as a kid and a teenager and was drafted right out of high school. When he signed to the Cubs, he had a great player salary and a signing bonus of almost a million dollars, but he was not happy. He found that he wasn't like the other players. 

[00:01:31]For example, while his fellow players were out partying, he was reading Tolstoy and playing piano for his friends in small intimate settings. 

[00:01:40]Within a year of being signed to the major league, he left to pursue a career in writing. A form of art that he truly loved. 

[00:01:51]So far, this chapter is really speaking to me. 

[00:01:54] It's okay to reinvent who we are. 

[00:01:57] I spent over the last decade working in internet marketing through various industries. And I don't really want to do it anymore.

[00:02:07] I don't mind working on marketing my own stuff, and I don't mind helping other people learn to do their own marketing, but I don't want to do marketing for other people or other companies anymore. I just don't find joy in that anymore. 

[00:02:24]To help with that, I created a website Online Business ONE, which is at The word one spelled out O N E. 

[00:02:35]Basically what it is, is, a repository of all of my marketing knowledge and experience. 

[00:02:41] I've put all of it into one website, I'm updating it as I think of new things to add. 

[00:02:47]There's already over 12 hours of video and some extra written content. I'm about to add some checklists, step-by-step stuff, so that you can just kind of follow the list. 

[00:02:59] It truly is all of my knowledge and experience put into one repository and I will work on it as long as it takes for me to get everything out of my head and written down for others to be able to use. 

[00:03:11]I also believe that it is my ticket to a No Alarms Club lifestyle. 

[00:03:17]But eventually I'd like to have someone else handling that and be able to just sit back and create art of various kinds. 

[00:03:26] In the last episode, I talk about how in chapter 11 we are going to be discussing creating art through many different mediums. 

[00:03:34]And that is something that I really look forward to spending my time doing. 

[00:03:39]But that's quite a few episodes away. 

[00:03:41]And in this chapter Goins says, we aren't born an artist. We become one. He calls this the Rule of Re-Creation. 

[00:03:51] Goins says it's okay for us to quote, "change the script," end quote, that we are living and pursue something else. 

[00:04:00]That's where I'm at right now. 

[00:04:01]I currently have a day job. I work for a nonprofit trade association called the American Institute of Building Design. 

[00:04:09] I do enjoy the job. I like all of the people that I work with, I like interacting with our members and I like going to the events and especially our new online events. I have a lot of fun with that. 

[00:04:24]But I'm ready for something new. And, again, that's what this podcast is all about. 

[00:04:31]The next part of this chapter talks about becoming an artist. 

[00:04:35] People believe we are either born with artistic talent or not. 

[00:04:39] Some people seem to be. But the truth is any of us can learn it.

[00:04:43] I also mentioned this in the last episode. 

[00:04:45]I had a friend in elementary school named Charles who was really fantastic at drawing and still to this day, I believe he was born with some level of artistic talent. But I also know that he practiced a lot. 

[00:04:58]Then in high school, a good friend of mine named Adam is fantastic at music and he also seemed to be born with it, but I know that he practiced a lot as well. 

[00:05:11] It takes hard work and dedication for most of us to become good at something. 

[00:05:16]I was not born with any particular artistic talent. Other than a drive to create. 

[00:05:24]I enjoyed writing and drawing a lot as a kid, as well as music. 

[00:05:29] But because I was taught and myself believed the myth of the starving artist, I didn't pursue any artistic trades. 

[00:05:39]For the most part, my family and everyone else I knew told me that it was near impossible to succeed as any type of artist. 

[00:05:46] I ended up going into internet marketing for the next more than a decade of my adult life, which is where I'm at now. 

[00:05:55]I started a company a couple years ago called Approaching Utopia and the idea behind it is to be a full fledged media production company. 

[00:06:05] Obviously I can't do all the different types of media myself, and that's fine. I don't need to. 

[00:06:11] But starting out, I need at least something to offer. So I'm starting with podcasting services. 

[00:06:17] I've been working on a couple podcasts for over a year now, and I've worked on several other podcasts in the past, which no longer exist. 

[00:06:26] I still have quite a bit to learn about podcasting, but that's kind of the nature of any artistic endeavor. There's always going to be something new to learn and something to improve. 

[00:06:36]Also, I just love podcasting. 

[00:06:38]Throughout my adult life I've also picked up books and online courses about web design and development, branding, UX, and UI, graphic design, photography, video work. 

[00:06:51]I don't need to be an expert nor even really that good at all of these, but if I'm running a media company, it's important to me that I know enough that when I do hire someone to handle each of those services, that I understand what they're doing, why they're doing it, what they're saying when describing things to me, and so on. 

[00:07:13]It's very important to me to not be that CEO that doesn't know what the heck my hired creatives are talking about and doing. 

[00:07:22]I also want to be able to contribute if a project needs it. 

[00:07:27]There's a picture online that I like. I'll post it at for episode two. 

[00:07:35]And to describe it basically there's two parts. There is a picture of a bunch of people pulling a desk with a guy sitting on top of the desk with a whip. That one is captioned "boss". 

[00:07:51]Underneath that is a picture of all of those same people pulling the desk. But instead of the guy on top of the desk, he's in front pulling with them and that one is captioned "leader". 

[00:08:04] That's who I want to be. I want to be able to sit down when necessary and help any of my creatives finish projects for our clients. 

[00:08:15]Goins tells a story in this chapter that is really relatable for me. It's very familiar. 

[00:08:23] He says he was working as marketing director for a nonprofit, which is pretty much what I'm doing right now, when he decided he didn't want to work in marketing anymore, which is exactly what I'm doing right now. 

[00:08:37] He says he started calling himself a writer, which was the next path he wanted to take with his life. 

[00:08:43] So, what do I call myself? What is the next path that I want to take? I need to figure this out. 

[00:08:50]But again, that's what this podcast is all about. Right? It's going to get me there. 

[00:08:54]Next Goins tells a story about John Grisham, who is a well known legal thriller author. 

[00:09:00] I think I've read at least one of his books. 

[00:09:02] He wrote his first book one page per day before starting his day job. 

[00:09:07] He had a wife and a newborn child. It would have been reckless to just quit his day job and start writing. 

[00:09:15]So he wrote in the mornings before he went to work. 

[00:09:18]There is an online entrepreneur. Sometimes I refer to him as a friend. I hope he feels the same way about me. His name's Sean McCabe. He wrote this awesome book called Overlap. 

[00:09:29]Which is the next book we're gonna read after I finish Real Artists Don't Starve. 

[00:09:34]And this is something he calls Overlapping, which is when you have a day job, but you are working on what what he calls your Overlap, with a goal of moving into that professionally. 

[00:09:46] Back to Real Artists Don't Starve, Goins says, and I quote, "we don't fake it til we make it. We believe it until we become it" end quote. 

[00:09:57]Working on something little bits every day may seem small and insignificant, but it really does add up. 

[00:10:04] And it's better to spend a few minutes here and there then to wait for time to sit down and do, for example, a whole hour. 

[00:10:12]A study at the University of Wisconsin found that entrepreneurs who kept their day jobs and overlapped we're more successful. And ones that quit their jobs to go all in were 33% more likely to fail. 

[00:10:26] I don't want to fail. I don't think most people want to fail. 

[00:10:29]  I'd like to get any little bit of help that I can because all of that help adds up. So if people who Overlap are more successful, then, I'm going to Overlap. 

[00:10:39]The next story in this chapter talks about a guy who worked at Hallmark, the greeting cards company, and he sort of created his own department and job title doing exactly what he wanted to do rather than necessarily what he was hired to do. 

[00:10:56]I've been sort of doing this slowly at my day job.

[00:10:59] My current title is Communications Director, but with my desire to work more on media, especially in podcasts and online courses, a more apt title would be Education Director. 

[00:11:11]I do have responsibilities in communications. Most of what I work on these days is videos and audio podcasts and stuff like that. Particularly our online education. 

[00:11:23]This is giving me an opportunity to do more of what I enjoy while at my day job and it's also giving me an opportunity to get paid to learn and practice and improve my skills that will be important for my media company Approaching Utopia. 

[00:11:41]That's the end of this chapter, so I'd like to thank you for listening. 

[00:11:46]If you enjoy this podcast, I would greatly appreciate a review in whatever your favorite podcast player is. 

[00:11:55]And of course, if you could share this with your friends and family, anybody you think that would be interested, I would also greatly appreciate that. 

[00:12:05] If you are posting on your social media about living a No Alarms Club lifestyle, please use the hashtag #NoAlarmsClub so that we can find each other. 

[00:12:16]My name is Garrett. Thank you for listening and I will see you in the next episode.