Last month, I turned 35, and I spent some time reflecting on the best resources I came across last year.

And I know without a doubt that I wouldn’t have a fulfilling career—or be able to I wake up excited every day about work—without making time to read and learn from others.

If you’re pretty creative and not sure how to turn that into a career, this one’s for you.

One of the best resources I found for dealing with a creative career is: 

Real Artists Don’t Starve: Timeless Strategies for Thriving in the New Creative Age by Jeff Goins

This book is for you if you’re rather creative but struggling to figure out how to incorporate that creativity into your career.

Goins highlights 12 limiting ideas that starving artists believe that, in turn, hold them back and contrasts them to the ideas that thriving artists use to propel their careers. For example, Goins says:

“The starving artist believes you must be born an artist. The thriving artist knows you must become one.”

Of the three areas that Goins covers—mindset, market and money—I found the mindset section to be the most relevant.

So often, I get stuck just trying to get started with a creative idea.

Here’s what Goins writes about that:

"Most significant change begins with a simple step, not a giant leap. You don’t need to see the whole path to know what your next move is; you just need to take the next, right risk. Small changes over time can lead to massive transformation."

I don’t know about you, but I find traditional advice super limiting, with its emphasis on having a plan before taking action.

This is something I hear from my clients all the time and I remind them that they just need to take the next step. They don’t need to know to know everything they are going to do.

I get it: plans are great.

But the need to always have a plan can also be really paralyzing. Instead, taking Goins' advice and focusing on the next few steps is much, much easier.

This is what career development (and life in general) is all about: Continually taking a few small steps and then reflecting on them.

Even if you never check out this book but you apply just this one quote, I think you could change your entire life.



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