Show your work is a book from Austin Kleon. The book is short but it has plenty of great ideas (it has a very high highlight to content ratio). The main message of the book is to help you to build an audience, relationships and potentially work by showing your work, your progress and by teaching others.
Where can I find the book? Austin Kleon’s website.
Key takeaways of Show your work
The book is suitable for: anyone, but is focused more on creative independent professionals.
- Be good & be valuable – give first, get later. Be a good citizen of your ecosystem. Help others.
- Be findable – you must share to be seen. Keep a steady flow of new contents. Have a website. Have social networks.
- Find your scenius – map who are people around you, who are potential vendors, clients, peers, colleagues, friends? What do people do? What’s inspiring? Scenius is your ecosystem. All people who are inputs for you, or you are input for them, are your scenius.
- Meet people – be in touch with your community
- Don’t wait, start – you can always get better. But first, you must do it. You must do your work, you must document your work, you must edit it, publish it, nurture relationships. It’s not a problem not to be good. You will get better when doing it.
- Keep a work journal – have a place where you can save things you do.
- Publish daily – pick 1 thing a day. A thing, that’s interesting or valuable. A thing, you can share without fear it will get to the wrong people. Don’t spend more than 30 minutes on it.
- Teach – learn and teach. It’s all about being good and valuable. Teaching is a natural way to be good and valuable.
- Make a pitch – learn how to make your pitch. Very simple (1-2 sentences), to the point, honest and 100% true.
- Nurture relationships, not just online – meet people, keep in touch with them. Go to meetups. meet people in real life when traveling.
- Turn it into a story – read stories, study their structure, tell stories, learn to see your projects, your work as stories.
- Buy and read the book – really, go and buy it. It’s so valuable!
Supporting tools for Show your work
- Work journal – Bear, OneNote, Evernote, Obsidian.md, Drafts, Day One
- Editing software – Final Cut Pro, Pixelmator
- Website – WebFlow, Hugo, WordPress
- E-mail list – MailChimp
- Contact lists – Excel, Numbers, Google Contacts
- Meetups – MeetUp
- Teaching solutions – Zoom.us , Cisco Webex Meetings , jitsi (free, self hosted, privacy-friendly, somehow limited)
Downloads for Show your work:
We recommend using the Anki app for opening Anki cards.
Show Your Work!: 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered, Austin Kleon, Workman Publishing, 2014