“Good artists copy, great artists steal.” – Pablo Picasso
I’ve been thinking about the notion of stealing a LOT lately, thanks to this article.
The bits that hit me hardest were these two:
“We steal time and sanity from ourselves by DIYing for too long – way past the point when we could afford to hire a professional to do it quicker, easier and better.”
Going without what you’d love, because you’re working too hard for too little.
In this way, we steal from our family and friends. Our self-consciousness to market ourselves, to say ‘no’, to ask for the sale, to up-sell and cross-sell means we’re feeding our egos and our fears, and not our families. We dress it up in all kinds of language, but we’re too fearful to do business, and so we steal from ourselves by allowing our ego, baggage and fear to sabotage our success.
In this way, we steal.
I am guilty of the DIY thing. Because I have a lot of technical skills, and some visual skill for design, I feel like I should do ALL the heavy lifting in the web-design arena of my business, under the guise of “saving money”. What I have consistently failed to acknowledge is the opportunity cost of spending so much of my time on something like web design and development, where I’m clearly not as skilled at as a professional. Instead, I could be doing other work that generated income or furthered other projects.
Read the article above, and see what you think of it.
And as for Picasso’s quote this morning, I think it’s relevant, but interestingly, in the other direction; while the article above encourages us NOT to steal for reasons of practicality and personal joy, Picasso encourages us to be brazen, confident, and forthright in stealing like an artist.
Perhaps the lesson is to be confident, brazen and forthright.
That lesson actually echoes the sentiments of the second excerpt above: we allow ourselves to be held back by fear, ego and baggage – sabotaging our potential successes, because we’re too afraid to simply put our heads-down and GO FOR IT.
Instead, perhaps we should steal like an artist, go for the limelight, and put ourselves out into the world with reckless abandon.
What’s the worst that could happen?