I’ve been following Josh Kaufman and his “Personal MBA” journey for a few years now (since before he quit his day job) and was recently reminded of an insightful blog post titled the Craftsman’s Creed published just before the launch of his book.
To me the term craftsman is not merely a adjective to describe someone in a blue collar trade, but a mindset that can apply to any task or profession. It speaks to a level of quality and an attention to detail that many people choose not to exhibit. A term reserved for those demonstrating an elegance for how things get accomplished, who take pride in the finished product and their efforts. I like to think of myself as a craftsman…but I’ll leave that for others to decide for themselves.
The Craftsman’s Creed
I am a craftsman. I am dedicated to perfecting the art and science of my craft, which I have chosen freely.
I am constantly, relentlessly searching for ways to improve my craft. I am dedicated to learning from the masters who have preceded me in every way I am able.
I create valuable things that other people want or need. I generously offer my work as a gift when it is wise, but my purpose is to help those who value my work enough to pay for what I have to offer. No one has an unlimited claim on my craft, knowledge, or the fruits of my effort. I work for people who value and support me.
I honestly promote what I have to offer, consistently and to the limit of my capabilities. I make no apologies for promoting my craft. I am proud of my work, and it is my duty and responsibility to reach people who may benefit from my craft. I can help them no other way.
I do my best to ensure that every single person who trusts me with their time, attention, or money is happy with their investment. If they are not, I will do whatever is in my power to do right by them without delay.
Skills are a craftsman’s credentials. I care more about a person’s character, what they know, and what they can do than where they grew up, where they went to school, or how many letters they have after their name. I choose to work with other craftsmen: people who are skilled, not simply schooled.
I respect other craftsmen, and I generously assist them however I’m able. I have no respect for the fool who searches for a way to enjoy the fruits of labor without effort, or the scoundrel who seeks to enrich himself by deluding others. Value, not wealth or fame, is the true measure of every craftsman.
I take good care of myself. My mind and body are the tools I use to advance my craft, so I take care of them. Rest and recovery are essential to my life: a worn-down tool is of no use at all.
I never stop pushing my limits. I am constantly testing and experimenting with new ways to expand my capabilities. It is my way of life.
I refuse to waste precious time and energy on trivial matters, trivial problems, and trivial people. I choose to focus only on the most important of demands: those that help me advance my craft or take care of the people who depend on me.
The world is an uncertain place, which I can not fully predict or control. Regardless, I will do everything in my power to prepare for every challenge and weather every storm. Nothing in this world is powerful enough to stop me from continuing to practice my craft.
Anything that I can do to improve my craft, I will do. This will keep me busy until the end of my days: a challenge I gladly accept. I am a craftsman, and always shall be.