In his new book Show Your Work (the follow up to Steal like an Artist, hence the title of this post), Austin Kleon argues that most great thinkers did not do their thinking alone. It is impossible to be creative by yourself, you need other thinkers to talk things out with. That’s the scenius Kleon writes about.
Most of my life I have been surrounded by people to bounce ideas off of. I have two parents who were highly educated and willing to debate and offer advice, I have an older sister who has three (yes, three) Masters degrees. I have a husband who is always willing to sit down with me and hash things out, and I have a number of friends with similar experiences and different ones who can offer perspective. I have also been blessed to work with people who have been willing and able to offer my advice, and people I consider mentors.
Since starting my own business it has become more important to grow that scenius. I have visited various networking groups to learn from those who have blazed this path before. Learning from people who have been there, dealt with that, not that long before you is a major boost.
I don’t believe in the old adage that great minds think alike, and that’s precisely why what Kleon is saying here makes absolute sense. When you’re trying to think creatively you cannot get trapped in your own head.
Who belongs in your scenius?