Sheer ignorance!


I subscribe to Austin Kleon’s weekly blog.

Recently, he shared this: “When Orson Welles was asked how he made Citizen Kane, he replied, ‘Ignorance! Sheer ignorance! There’s no confidence to equal it.’ He said he didn’t know enough to know what was impossible.

My cousin, David Jones, founded Extendicare, which became Humana. He was a great man. At the family gathering following the funeral of his mother, I found myself alone with him in her kitchen.

I asked him how he had managed to do all he had already done with his life.

He said, “Doug, if I’d had any idea how much I didn’t know that I would need to know, I would’ve never even begun. I wanted to supplement my income as a young attorney, so a friend and I bought a nursing home, because we thought we could run it better than it was being run. We did most of the physical repairs and upkeep ourselves because we couldn’t afford to hire the job out.”

That one nursing home became, over time, one of the largest medical insurance companies in the world.

Ignorance is underrated.

If you didn’t know any ‘rules’ about Radio, how would that change your content?

If you were simply talking to one close personal friend, not thinking about ratings or format or how you might be chastised by your superiors, how would that change your content?

Sometimes, we just have to take that first step, with faith that everything will work out.

We have to be willing to fail in order to succeed at the highest level.

We have to be willing to reveal parts of ourselves, to risk judgment and be comfortable with that vulnerability, to create the strongest bonds.

The hardest part is unlearning what you’ve already been taught.

Do you have faith in your talent?

Because believing in your talent enough to break ‘rules’ designed to constrain you requires courage too.

Ignorance might be the very thing that makes you a legend.

Imagine that.