9. Sell Out

“Sellout . . . I’m not crazy about that word. We’re all entrepreneurs. To me, I don’t care if you own a furniture store or whatever—the best sign you can put up is SOLD OUT.”
—Bill Withers

The word sellout is spit out by the bitterest, smallest parts of ourselves. Some awful people use the term sellout to include any artist who dares to have any ambition whatsoever. They’ll say you’re a sellout if you try to make it outside your hometown. They say you’re a sellout if you buy better equipment. They’ll say you’re a sellout if you try anything new at all.

Yet a life of creativity is all about change—moving forward, taking chances, exploring new frontiers.

So be ambitious. Keep yourself busy. Think bigger. Expand your audience. Don’t hobble yourself in the name of “keeping it real,” or “not selling out.” Try new things. If an opportunity comes along that will allow you to do more of the kind of work you want to do, say Yes. If an opportunity comes along that would mean more money, but less of the kind of work you want to do, say No.

Show Your Work!

By: Austin Kleon

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