5 Traits of Makers According to Barnone

You probably know someone – an artist, craftsman or perhaps maker – who learned a skill by teaching him or herself. Many, if not all, of the makers that are slated to set up shop in Barnone are self-taught.


It’s true, there are some who were formally trained at colleges, art schools and the like, but even those people have pushed the boundaries of their curriculum to reach a unique level of mastery.


Looking at the makers in Barnone, it seems an intrinsic desire to learn pays off in the long term. Here are a few characteristics these makers share that have contributed to their overall success:


Passion. During his 2005 Stanford commencement speech, Steve Jobs said, “have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become.” Each of the makers at Barnone is driven by an intrinsic love for what they do. The thing you enjoy will always be the thing you put the most effort into.


Discipline. Once, a fledgling comic named Brad Isaac snagged a quick conversation with Jerry Seinfeld after attending one of his shows. He asked for advice, and this is what he got:


“The way to be a better comic was to create better jokes, and the way to create better jokes was to write every day. He told me to get a big wall calendar that has a whole year on one page and hang it on a prominent wall. The next step was to get a big red magic marker. He said for each day that I do my task of writing, I get to put a big red X over that day.


After a few days you’ll have a chain. Just keep at it and the chain will grow longer every day. You’ll like seeing that chain, especially when you get a few weeks under your belt. Your only job is to not break the chain.”


That is discipline. Each Barnone tenant sets aside time each day to hone his or her craft. It’s hard work, but hard work pays off. Try to figure out the time of day when your mind is most suited to focus on your work.


Knowledge. The trick with knowledge is not to over-pursue it. While knowledge can be useful for streamlining the learning process, there is a lot of knowledge that isn’t helpful for reaching your goals. At some point, each of these makers had to put their books down and get to work.


Community. We couldn’t leave community off this list. Creating something on your own isn’t easy, and often the opinions of others go a long way in strengthening your ideas. In our case, the Barnone community allows for these makers to exchange useful feedback, collaborate on new ventures and rapidly circulate ideas.


Curiosity. When was the last time you found yourself wondering how something works? Skillshare, an online learning platform, recently made a video with the tagline, “the future belongs to the curious.” Today, that is more true than ever. Many of the makers at Barnone began their craft with a childlike fascination. Let curiosity be your fuel.


These are just a few of the traits that have allowed Barnone’s makers to rise to mastery. What craft will you set out to master?


By guest writer

Robbie Bernal