BOTW #2: Real Artists Don’t Starve By Jeff Goins

For this weeks Read This: Book of the Week, I share with you a book that has such a huge impact on me and my creative pursuits. Jeff Goins’s best-selling boo, Real Artists Don’t Starve, is one of those books that is more like a text-book that I keep coming back to than a once and done.

In this HIGHLY practical treatise on how us creatives can thrive in the new creators economy, one of the biggest nuggets I took from this book is that Identity precedes Strategy.

Identity Precedes Strategy

If what we do as creators isn’t rooted in who we are as creators, it’s so easy to lose our way or never get it off the ground.

As a writer who also makes rap music, and has worked with independent artists and musicians as a personal branding expert, it’s an up-hill battle getting creatives thinking less about what to do and how to do it to turn inward.

In Real Artists Don’t Starve, Jeff Goins shares the importance of identity in describing Michaelangelo’s experience as a painter during the renaissance. During the renaissance, it wasn’t like it is today, being a painter/artist was more like a trade where success depended on gaining the attention of an affluent politician and working for them.

Michaelangelo’s “Nobility”

Coming from afluent/noble heritage himself, Michaelangelo didn’t feel inferior in rubbing elbows with high-profile politicians and statesman. This gave him an advantage over other artists. Here’s the kicker, though… while Michaelangelo believed himself to be from noble heritage, it wasn’t true!

History proves that Michaelangelo’s belief that he was a descendant of affluent businessman and statesman was false. It was only true to him.

This is what I mean when I say that Identity precedes strategy. Our accomplishments are only limited by our ability to conceive of ourselves as someone noble enough to embody what we want to acheive.

It comes down to… am I enough? Am I worth it? Do I deserve this? Do I have what it takes?

As Goins proves in Real Artists Don’t Starve, our what to do’s and how to’s are limited, stunted, and stiffled by our I am’s.

If you’d like to receive a FREE copy of Real Artist Don’t Starve, subscribe and comment below. Once we have 10 commentors that have subscribe, I will randomly choose one luck winner.

I love to hear from you! If you want to say hi, have questions, or want to make content recommendations/share constructive feedback, feel free to reach out to me at

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