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Why You Must Steal

I have a terrible secret to confess.

I’m a thief.

The newsletters I’ve written.

The videos we’ve made.

The things we’ve said.

All stolen.

From other authors.




You name it.

But I don’t feel guilty about it.

Imitation comes with being human.

From the day we’re born, we mimic.

The way we talk.



It all comes from observing those around us.

It’s why 1 year-olds smile when you smile.

It’s why we have accents from where we’re from.

It’s why laughing is so contagious.

And as a creator, stealing may be the most essential thing you do.

It’s how you learn.

Imitate those you idolize.

Study them.

Steal what you love.

Especially when you start out.

Over time your work will take on a life of its own.

Because you have a different perspective.

Your work will be similar yet unique.

Even The Beatles stole.

As John Lennon said, “Nothing really affected me until I heard Elvis. If there hadn’t been Elvis, there would not have been the Beatles.”

David Bowie was unapologetic about it too, “The only art I’ll ever study is stuff that I can steal from.”

Don’t be ashamed.

In fact, this very newsletter was stolen.

It was inspired by Steal Like An Artist by Austin Kleon.

A great book that actively promotes stealing.

So if you like our content.

If you want to make something similar.

Do it.  


It’s the exchange that comes with being human.

With being a creator.

It’s the price we all pay for our collective evolution.



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  • As I am working on this next edit, I find myself here, reading the lovely words of Mr. Matt Dajer.
    Lately, I have been feeling quite lost when it comes to being creative… Being creative is a lonely ride for sure as I try and figure out my path and where I fit in. People are constantly voicing their opinions and dissecting every move I make. I have been told that I am not original, I am not good enough, and my message isn’t clear enough… The list goes on.
    Honestly, I am unable to block them out, I spend hours thinking about what others think of what I am doing. My question to you Matt is; when did you stop caring about what others think? How did you get to that point of courage where you know that what you are doing is right, even though it’s crazy at the time.

    B on
  • Hi Matt,
    This is exactly what I´m doing: steling your message of seeking discomfort!!
    I want to spread your word, so will find a way to meet you and the yes theory team :-) and if I can´t find it, I´ll make it!

    Manuel Garófano on

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