Being an artist

You don’t have to be a painter, a musician, a photographer or an actor to be an artist. Even if most people associate these activities with artists, the fact is that anyone can be an artist. Art means taking an activity to a level beyond what normal people can do, it means to master it, to be creative, to create something out of the ordinary and to be memorable, no matter what you do.

Messi is an artist. Anthony Robbins is also an artist. Even Margaret Thatcher is an artist. These are all people who took what they did at a level that is not accessible to everyone else and changed the game and became memorable. They are the ones who have courage to go beyond what everyone else is doing, they assume responsibility and put in the hard work.

Doing the hard things, facing and overcoming fear creates value. In a world where most people strive to be normal, to fit the norms and just be like everyone else, the ones getting rewarded are artists. They get the best jobs, the best projects, the biggest pay check, fame, attention, notoriety.

Artists are all about passion, focusing on their talent, exploiting their advantages, facing fear and making a change.

Education and learning

The current educational system is broken. It was designed back in the time of factories when its purpose was to educate people to become perfect employees for the system. While the economy is quickly adjusting after the economical crisis and the changes the system has suffered, education is still to keep up.

People rely too much on formal, systematic, mass education systems. Many people consider that mass education is enough to help you get a job and have a decent lifestyle. While this has been true in the past, now it’s not so much the case anymore. Think about the ’50; if you had a university degree, you had access to the best possible jobs. That’s because very few people had a university degree. Now it’s estimated that one third of the  people will have a university degree.

Education does not offer skills. It only creates a base for skills to be developed, increased, refined, but it does not substitute them. Having a degree or having followed a few training courses is only a step in mastering something. I have come across people who claimed that they knew how to do “anything non-technical” purely by graduating from a university.

On the other hand, the opposite is true as well. Experience is not enough. Some people rely only on their experience and on how they have done things until the present moment. As the world evolves and technology influences a lot more profoundly the world we live in, new models, ways of acting and new means become available. Refining your knowledge offers you access to all of these. Continuous learning will help you keep up with the latest technology and practices.

Education is not the same thing as learning. You can learn from doing, from reading a book, from attending a training, from having a conversation with someone, from seeing someone do something. Education offers you a degree, a lot of information that you might not need and if done right, a part of the skills you will need to refine afterwards.

Learning offers you what you need, only faster and without a degree.

Straight forward

It’s the simplest way to do it, no matter what. When exposing an idea, doing a project, asking for funding, asking for a collaboration, going to an interview, launching a new product – it works the same for all.

Going around the problem or the subject is only going to make you lose time and precious resources. When everyone is under pressure from deadlines and tight budgets, most people will appreciate a direct approach. Save yourself and others the time and get to the point.

When thinking about a new product, idea or project, most times it helps to be the first on the market. It will offer you a nice advantage over the competition and an empty market to take advantage of. It will also offer you a lot of time to get feedback and improve before your competition arrives.

Also, when being in an interview take advantage of every second. Most recruiters have a lot of candidates to choose from, so keep it simple, straight forward and to the point. You have a few minutes, maybe, to capture attention and make a good impression. Stop wasting time with useless information and focus on what makes you stand out, what differentiates you from the rest.