I visited Powell's Books over the weekend, which is one of the greatest bookstores on the planet. It was amazing to see all the people that were in there. It goes to show that bookstores are not dead and print is still alive and doing well!
But I had another observation. I love food and culture so I decided to check out the section on cookbooks from well-known restaurants. Some of these Michelin 3-star restaurants had 1,000-page cookbooks! Basically divulging every little thing they do that makes their restaurants world-class. From the techniques, they use to where they source their ingredients to their mission, vision, and values. They were all contained in these massive books. They might as well have been called "How to Open and Operate a Michelin 3-Star Restaurant."
Why do the best restaurants in the world give away all their recipes and secrets? Aren't they worried others will copy them? The restaurant industry turns over quickly. Not to mention the level of competition. One would think to harbor that kind of information rather than publishing it would be the one thing that helps the great restaurants stay in business.
As I continued to read, however, it became clear what these amazing chefs were actually doing. They were sharing their gift and passion for the culinary arts with the world. After I finished thumbing through the pages of these beautiful books, I didn't have the desire to go copy what they were doing, but rather visit their restaurants and see first hand the artists in action. I have a new level of respect for chefs now. Thanks to my time at the bookstore learning about what makes the greatest chefs in the world masters of their crafts, I now have a better understanding of what it takes for me to become a world-class writer and entrepreneur.
Study other crafts, industries, and leaders. There are lessons to be learned in all areas of life and cultures around the world.
Share your ideas freely. You will gain the respect and permission of those in your circle. More and more people will come back to you because they know you are a person who is full of ideas and a master at what you do.