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30 Days Of Genius Blog: Neil Strauss

When you meet someone at a different level in their perspective, it is best to take notice. Neil Strauss has seen a lot, lived a lot, paid attention, and learned. His wisdom on life and creativity pour out in this interview. Limiting it to an hour is a shame. Good thing he is an introspective, share the dirt kind of an author, so we can delve as deep in to his knowledge as we want through his books. A fascinating guy.

I have taken his interview on 30 Days of Genius with Chase Jarvis, extracted the information, and used it to answer common questions by readers just like you, who are looking to take their lives to the next level, or at least a different level than the one they are on.

Please enjoy.

Forget Zero To One As A Business, How Do I Go Zero To One As An Artist?

If you are struggling even getting started there is a reason. You are allowing your limiting beliefs to keep you at the starting line. I consider “one” being the day you share your art. There are artists that don’t create because they are waiting for everything to be perfect, and there are artists that create, and adjust, and wait, and change, and end up sitting on the project without ever releasing it. If you are in either of those situations, you are allowing your limiting beliefs to get the better of you.

You need to embrace your fears, accept them, and do them anyways.

I think it is extremely important to recognize exactly what your limiting beliefs are, recognize that they are not true and not your voice, accept them, and either deal with them or reprogram yourself to get passed them. That will be vital for you to get to “one.”

Let me address the two different types of “zeros.” I think there is a true zero, an artist that hasn’t really created anything, and there is a 0.9, an artist that just hasn’t shared.

For the true zeros, just create. I love projects where I only know the beginning. Where it goes from there? Who knows? That’s the art. That is creativity. Don’t question it. Whenever you do, you are dampening the actual creativity. Don’t focus on the outcome. Don’t focus on anything outside of the actual creating. Not knowing how something will turn out feels good. It gives you a chance to explore. If you knew the outcome, why would you do it? Give yourself the chance to surprise yourself. Start exploring, go with the path and see where it leads you. Don’t resist where the propulsion is leading you either. You can’t realistically plan out where your art is going to be, who it is going to please, how successful it will be, so don’t focus on it. Everything that takes away from your focus on the creativity is taking away from the creativity.

Now for the 0.9 artists I have a quote, “When you throw a pebble in to the culture you have no idea where the ripples will go.”

Just share.


When you take too long to release a project you change. When you change, your view on the art changes. It should be a moment in time. It will never be perfect. Do your best, and let it go, see what happens, and start working on the next project.

Your inner critic is a monster, telling you it’s not good enough. Are you strong enough to silence that voice and produce anyways? Don’t fear judgement and criticizing. Do your best and be comfortable with that.

Placing yourself in uncertainty is a very confident place to be.

Once you silence the inner dialogue, give yourself a deadline. Nothing crazy, not tomorrow, but a reasonable deadline, and stick with it.

Having that deadline is huge for a creative. You could sit on something for years without one, and how much better would it be? I’ve had stories that I had to write in 2 weeks that were better than stories I had years to write. It pushes you, streamlines your thinking, and will build up your creativity.

Listen, notice, pay attention, and then share.

Don’t plan too much, don’t focus on this style or that style too much. Don’t limit your creativity at all. Just create. Just explore. Then share.

You can spend your whole life trying to get everything just right.

But honestly? What is just right anyways?

Let it go.

Get going.


I’m always thinking about the next thing, not where I’ve been.

Storytelling is teaching through metaphor.

The first question in an interview sets the tone: you know something, you are connected, but not too connected.

Honesty equals a book.

Everything is creative.

If you could just take a helicopter to the top it wouldn’t be as special.

Neil Strauss Links

Chase Jarvis Links

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