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How Creatives Can Survive in the 21st Century

Van Gogh. Everybody has heard his name and seen at least one photo of his paintings online. They probably even know about the yellow paint and the ear thing.

But all of that aside, the genius of Van Gogh was that he was a true artist. He painted the world as he saw it and let the viewer experience it too.Sadly, he wasn’t very good at business. In fact, from what I can tell he was bad at it.

It’s reported that he only sold one painting in his entire life. That sucks, but the truth is we probably all know someone like that, or we are someone like that. Talented but lacking the confidence to sell our work and not have to eat ramen every night (or Kraft Dinner if you’re Canadian). If it makes you feel any better, I found myself in that exact situation.

I like writing and I want to make a living from it. I should be out there tapping the keys until someone showers me with cash, right? Instead, I was working every other job you could think of. I was running away from my true calling. That’s how I found myself spending a Tuesday afternoon in a Zoom meeting watching Chris Do teach a group of people how to scale from zero.

I was surprised to see over 700 people, all of whom ran their own business or wanted to start. The advice shared during the hour was practical and immediately applicable. The takeaway? Most creatives don’t think like business owners, and they need to start. Obviously, there are artists, creatives, writers, and designers who have all found a way to get paid the big bucks for their work. Just look at Jeff Koons or Yayoi Kusama who have both sold millions of dollars worth of art and worked with huge brands like Louis Vuitton.

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Louis Vuitton Jeff Koons Yayoi Kusama

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