Great artists steal

“Good artists copy, great artists steal”

I first heard this Picasso quote through Steve Jobs. I didn’t fully understand it until a year or two ago. When I finally did “get it” the world became my oyster. Still, I did not know how to channel my energy and I think only now after nearly 10 years in business I fully understand how to incorporate “Great artists steal” into my life.

When I was in Florence in April 2010 my sister and I saw the David in the Accademia. It’s one of the few times that art has moved me. (The other was in the Galleria Borghese in Rome). At the pedestal that afternoon were 2 young students sketching the David. I didn’t understand at the time why students go to museums and sketch. I realized later that it was because “great artists steal”.

In order to become great, you have to study the masters. Michelangelo¬†and Ramit Sethi. I know nothing about art so I am going to focus on one of today’s masters that I am “stealing” from.

What am I stealing from Ramit at this moment? I am trying to understand how he does what he does. I have zero interest in teaching personal finance or his consumer focused courses but I am fascinated on how he is able to connect to me and my friends. I’m fascinated on how he uses sophisticated marketing strategies and executes his tactics so that he is not guessing. Honestly, there is no reason why I could not employ the same strategies and tactics. And – I have found no material that will teach you from step 1 how to do it. If I figure it out, I may teach what I learned in a course of my own.

But first I need to learn this for myself.

How am I stealing? By taking a lot of time out of my day to listen. And I’m also taking copious notes. I’m buying the books he recommends and am studying the greats who he also studied from. This is the only way to steal. Anything else would be copying.

The rabbit hole is vast but I know that through his teachings I’ll be able to discover wonderland for myself. I’m using this blog to help organize my thoughts on what I am learning and hope that others who wish to become self taught soon-to-be sophisticated marketers, will find my posts helpful.

-N

4 thoughts on “Great artists steal

  1. Dude Naveen, I am so impressed with your commitment and intensity. You deserve all the greatest success!

  2. Thanks this quote is going to be my new life mantra. Especially enjoy how you pointed out the difference between copying and stealing I definitely had a mini epiphany because of it.

  3. “This is the only way to steal. Anything else would be copying.” – this line & the set up on that paragraph tied up the entire post for me. I was sitting on the edge of my seat wondering, ‘what does he mean good artists steal?’ Now I get it. Great post!