Be a Renaissance Person and Find Your Patrons

Chick Corea

“I call myself a teacher because they want me to call myself a teacher, but actually, what I'm doing is I'm studying.” – Chick Corea, Born Jun. 12, 1941.

Back in Renaissance times, artists and musicians used to strive to get patronage. That's when some rich dude basically pays you to do nothing but pursue your craft, in exchange for exclusive ownership your work.

For the wealthy Italian mercantile class, it was just a way to show off their opulent wealth. But it subsidized the revolutionary creative and innovative period that changed the course of western civilization.

The internet basically allows you to democratize patronage and distribute over large numbers of people. You can do this figuratively by simply building an audience for your work and selling them sufficient stuff to support you. Or you can even do it literally now, with sites like Patreon.

But most people struggle to do it.

They agonize over getting the right idea. Or building the right brand. Perpetually plotting. They live by the illusion that if one plans sufficiently, you can create a career consisting of nothing but perfectly placed steps.

But that's bullshit. You're going to trip. You're going to fall in the mud. You're going to fuck up and break stuff and it's going to hurt.

But that shouldn't be avoided. It should be pursued with haste.

Because making mistakes, and dealing with them – solving the problems that thwart and vex you – that's how you create NEW and VALUABLE information for your followers.

That is how you add to the body of knowledge – a unique solution and exclusive point of view on whatever your chosen niche or genre is.

Then, become a teacher of whatever it is you're learning. Turn the results of your study into lessons for others as fast as you can. Publish them. Share them.

As your audience grows, you continue to improve. You make a living teaching what it is you're learning.

You've acquired your own patronage setup. Your audience pays you to study, so long as you teach them what you're learning. And you're worth the money because you keep getting better and better since improving is your full time job.

1 thought on “Be a Renaissance Person and Find Your Patrons”

  1. Dear Sir
    Thanks for the fantastic advice of Learning via Teaching.
    It’s so true 👌
    And almost always worked for me since my early school days.
    Sounds odd?
    Can a primary year student teach?
    Why not… And I did it.

    Yes, I was able to deliver VALUE by tutoring students higher in ages and grades. How come? Here is my short story…

    I was born and raised in a remote village where my father was a Head Teacher in the only primary school. He was a gold medalist and wanted me to emulate him. Our village had no electricity and we often had classes in open… under the shady trees sitting on jute mats.

    Cocuuricular activities like speech contests, poetry slams, dialogues etc were the routine chores. He would ask me for demo to the class what he taught me back home last night. As I recalled the lesson, I started memorizing it. Seeing me nosing out, he would then task me to read it aloud to class and they would read back as a group even louder…in a chorus..After tasking me,
    he would leave to attend the other class as there were only 3 teachers for 5 classes in the school. Repeating it over and over again was surely a rote learning…
    But it worked for us in a resource-scarce setting…

    More so for me as it miraculously sharpened my mind and skills as a monitor of my class. As I was now smarter of the lot, I was their partial mentor as well.

    I am not a fan of rote-earning but repitive practice has an apt place in learning the knowledge-based skills. This became crystal clear to me decades later when I became an aircrew. Spending hours in a static cockpit or simulator, repeating the same drills, at times with dark glasses on, are designed on purpose. These are meant to grill down procedures for safe flying especially during emergencies. Repetitive learning has enormous value in learning Life-saving Skills.

    Coming back to my early tasks as teacher… my father was a great proponent of informal learning. Going by the the village ways, he taught me Persian and Arabic at home. At 10, I became fairly proficient in Persian. So much so that when my father tasked me to teach it to a Grade 10 female student for exam, I did a commendable job for a month or so. But… for every lesson, I sought my father’s help a day in advance. I just passed the Grade 5 while I helped a Grade 10 to pass her one subject. That’s how teaching can help one to grow… in confidence and stature.

    Once again, thanks for rekindling my memory via this email. I can endorse that the RECIPE ie cycle of ” Learn – Practice – Teach -Repeat ” is proven, as is it life-changing.


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