In 2019, I’m going to finish 50 books. This is number 1 (Tribe by Sebastian Junger).


I’m going to write a post this week about it. But for now, this:


“Amateur” is a French word. It means ‘lover’ or ‘enthusiast.’

Somewhere along the way, we changed that meaning to ‘beginner.’

And that’s kind of a shame.

Because the amateurs pursue the work in the spirit of love. And like anyone in love, they don’t hesitate to do things that other people think are silly or stupid.

They don’t have anything to lose, so they’ll try whatever. They take chances and experiment and mess up.

And they share their work.

They share their painting 🖼 (the noun) and their painting 🎨 (the verb).

They learn out loud, and take us along for the ride. They might only be mediocre, but you can move from mediocre to good. At least you’re on the spectrum.

The gap isn’t from bad to good. The gap is from doing nothing to doing something.

There’s a real advantage when you don’t know what you don’t know.

Most of the people who contribute the most aren’t the geniuses - they’re the regular people who spend more time and pay closer attention to that one thing than anyone else. Then they talk about what they see and what they find.

And when you love it, it’s compelling. Raw enthusiasm is contagious.

Experts don’t innovate. They’re too good at what they do already - too set in their ways. It’s the amateurs, the enthusiasts, the lovers.

That’s who can change things.

The best way to get started is to decide what you want to learn and then make a commitment to learn it out loud, learn it in public, learn it in front of people.

Forget about how you’ll make money off of it, how you’ll go pro, it doesn’t matter.

Wear your amateurism (your love) on your sleeve. Share it, and the people who love the same things will find you.