Austin Kleon’s books Steal Like An Artist and Show Your Workare like snack food for the creative mind. Once you start reading, it’s impossible to stop.
This week I read Show Your Work in one sitting, and it gave me several new ideas to act on, and offered up a bunch more that are still simmering on the back burner. No matter what your line of work, if you want to have impact it’s critical that you understand how to get your ideas out into the wide world.
Here are three especially poignant ideas I took from the book:
1. Small Things Add Up To Big Things
I know it sounds obvious, but we often forget this simple principle and become overwhelmed by all that’s left to do. The reality is that no one launches a business, writes a book, or changes a company culture. All of these things are the result of a lot of little choices to start anew every day. Small acts add up to big results.
What small thing can you do every day that will accumulate over time into big results for you, your work, and your business?
2. There’s a Big Difference Between Attention and Impact
It’s easy to become convinced that scale equals success, but it all depends on what you’re scaling. In the end, you want to measure impact not just exposure. Is what you’re doing helping you accomplish the outcome you’re committed to, or is it just attracting eyeballs?
What key activity can you focus on this week that will help you achieve greater levels of intimacy with the audience you serve?
3. No One Is Going To Be As Excited About Your Work As You
The idea that doing great work will always spread, and that cream always rises to the top is false. Sure, doing remarkable work is important, but it’s just the starting point. If you believe in it, you must be willing to share it with the world.
What small thing can you do each day to help spread the world about your important work?
All in all, I found Austin’s new book to be enjoyable and provocative in all the right ways. If you struggle with getting your work in front of people, I’d recommend picking up a copy.
Last modified: December 3, 2022