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The Craftsman | DAREN SMITH

The Craftsman

Hey! You’re here! Ooh, I like you already. You’re my kind of people.

Before we go any further we should define some terms:

I’m using entrepreneur/freelancer/artist/creative all interchangeably here, but will choose to use “creative” as we go forward.

Also, though, not everyone is made to be a creative, just as not everyone is cut out to be a surgeon. Some people are meant to be firemen, or policemen, or astronauts, or lawyers, or doctors, or accountants.

I’m also not saying that those jobs and being a creative are mutually exclusive. But becoming a creative and then looking down on others isn’t cool. It’s not on a higher plane here, it’s just another option for those who seek a different life.

There is also way more risk involved with becoming a creative than in these other professions. Most people aren’t going to choose a life filled with that much risk from month to month and year to year.

As a creative, you might fail. You most likely will at some point.

Now, back to our third option…

Option 3: The Craftsman Creative

You could become what I call a Craftsman.

A craftsman works in a completely different way than a hustler. Think of it in very literal terms:

You want a chair.

A hustler is gonna go online, find the cheapest option with free shipping and have it in their house this time tomorrow. They don’t care where it was made, or how it was constructed, or how long it will last. Quick and easy, done.

The craftsman, on the other hand, understands the value they have to create something of value. They spend time researching the chair, what it will be used for, what wood would be best for that use, and put together plans.

They carefully select their materials, sharpen their tools, and prepare to craft a chair in a way only they can.

It’s not about how cheaply they can make it. It’s not about how quickly it can be finished. It’s a completely different mindset that incorporates intention and purpose and meaning.

They know that by creating this chair this way that it will have a lasting effect on those who will one day sit in it, whether it’s next week or next decade.

Their ability to create this chair has come from a lifetime of learning and experimentation and trial and error, all of which never dissuaded them from pursuing their ability to craft something of value, something beautiful.

It just feels different, doesn’t it? It’s just fun to even put those words on the page because it’s what I strive to be as a creative: Passionate, internally motivated, curious, hard-working, with integrity and skill and ability that can be immediately seen in the work I produce. Long term thinking, not short term.

If you’re reading this still, you likely care about many of these same things.

  • Making work you’re proud of while also being able to make a living.
  • Crafting work that matters to those who you are seeking to serve and create the work for.
  • Dare I say, even changing the world?

Gone are the considerations for how quick or how cheap we can get it done. It’s not about “getting it done”. It’s about becoming the kind of craftsman that can create it themselves.

Whatever it is you’re trying to do – build a business, write an album, create incredible photos, write a book, tell a story visually on stage or film or television – you care more about becoming the kind of creative that can sustainably do that for the rest of your career, rather than hustling your way to “one and done”.

Anyone can pay their way onto the NY Times bestseller list, but not everyone can write Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings. Anyone can post a picture to Instagram or a video to YouTube but not everyone can use those platforms for good and change the people that see their work.

There are your options – do nothing, hustle your way across the finish line, or skip the race altogether and become a craftsman instead.

And now it’s your turn to make a decision.

You’re at the crossroads right now with these options available to you. First, you need to know the destination you’re after. Settle, hustle, or become a Craftsman.

There are plenty of people who will tell you a few tips and tricks and hacks in exchange for a few hundred dollars and some of your time.

But where do you want to be three months, or six months, or a year or five or ten years from now? Do you want to be back here again, looking for the next trick? Or do you want to become a Craftsman?

As Steven Pressfield says in The War of Art, “You have a choice. Do it or don’t do it.”

The way forward isn’t easy. It’s not a hack or a set of tricks, it’s a ton of work.

You’ll likely fail. Multiple times, if you’re like me.

If you are looking to become a Craftsman, I can help with that. If you’re already on the path and just want some guidance, I can help with that too. If I can’t help, my promise is that I’ll tell you up front, and help point you in the right direction.

I care about creating more Craftsmen (and Craftswomen!), helping you to become one so that you can live the life you want without having to ask for permission, without being told you can’t, or you’re not ready, or you’re not capable.

You are capable of more than you know. Your potential is unlimited.

If you’re ready to start, I’m ready to join you on the journey.