Why Jeff Goins Isn’t Starving and Neither Should You

I recently had the opportunity to ask Jeff Goins a few questions about business and got a little pun-y with his new book. *This post may contain affiliate links, by clicking on them you are helping to support this sweet little blog of mine (read my disclaimer policy).

Jeff Goins has built a reputation for his heartfelt and honest writing. His new book Real Artists Don’t Starve: Timeless Strategies for Thriving in the New Creative Age is a great read that truly delivers. In it, Goins examines and dispels some of the myths that exist around the notion that creatives types are all starving artists. He also takes the time to elaborate on his strategies for success. I highly recommend you do yourself a favor and grab a copy of this book.

I reached out to Jeff and asked if he’d answer a few questions for me. I was thrilled that he said yes, and that I had the opportunity to learn a bit more about the man behind the ‘pen’.

When did you get started?
In 2011, I started an online business helping writers succeed.

When did you know you were going to start your own business?
When my wife got pregnant with our first child and I needed to make some side income so she could stay home to raise our son.

How has starting your own business impacted your life?
It has allowed me to quit my job, chase my dream, and support my family. It’s also allowed me to reach millions of people with a message that matters.

What was the hardest part of starting your business initially?
Giving up most of my hobbies to work on it nights and weekends. I also had to sacrifice some time with friends and family to get it going.

What was the easiest part of starting your business when you first started?
The technology was surprisingly easy, compared to having to create a brick-and-mortar storefront. Startup costs for an online business are practically nothing these days.

What has been the biggest lesson your business has taught you?
Never get too comfortable. Never think you are invincible.

What is your best advice for those wanting to start their own business in your field?
Passion is not enough. You have to solve a real problem. Chase demand, not passion.

How did prior jobs enable you to start your own business? Are there any skills you are using now that you didn’t think were useful before?
My first real job was working in marketing at a nonprofit. That job was my apprenticeship. There, I learned practically every skill I now use in my own business. From marketing to finance to leadership, I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for that position.

What is your favorite element of your business? The one thing you wish you could focus on all the time?
I love the creative side of it.

Fun with Jeff Goins. (some of these questions have been taking from Inside the Actors Studio)


What is your favorite sound?
The sound of the ocean waves crashing.

What is your least favorite sound?
My wife crying.

What is your favorite word?

What is your least favorite word?

What is your biggest dream you have yet to accomplish?
Write a book that changes culture

What is one business failure/mistake you wish you could do over?
I wish I would have started blogging sooner.

What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
I would still love to play professional music.

What profession other than your own would you NOT like to attempt?

What would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates?
“I read your book.”

What is your favorite alcoholic beverage?
Old Fashioned

What is your favorite non-alcoholic beverage?

What one color represents your business?

Which one celebrity would you hire to work for your business?
Ashton Kutcher

Name your top three songs that motivate you.
Tracks 1, 2, and 3 from the Last of the Mohicans soundtrack.

Who is your dream collaboration partner and why?
Dr. Dre. Because everything he touches turns to gold.

So there you have it, my question and answer with Jeff Goins. I learned that he is definitely someone I could grab a drink with as we both have a love for old-fashions and sparkling water. I also, couldn’t agree more with his advice that passion is not enough, you must offer solutions regardless of what creative lifestyle you are pursuing. Check out some of these works by Jeff Goins (listed below) and do yourself a favor by signing up for his newsletter, following him on Twitter @JeffGoins or Facebook @goinswriters.


What did you learn about Jeff Goins and how will you not ‘starve’ as a creative? Leave your comment below.

About The Business Ref

Ref J is a football loving, charismatic, business enthusiast who wants to help you realize the potential of your small business. Ref J has helped several small businesses streamline their business while growing their profits. Please follow me @thebusinessref

2 comments on “Why Jeff Goins Isn’t Starving and Neither Should You

  1. The takeaway for me from the interview was “Passion is not enough. You have to solve a real problem. Chase demand, not passion.”. Every startup owner you meet today talks at length about “How they are following their passion?”. They forget that businesses need a real problem to solve which leads to revenue.

    I am glad he mentioned an important lesson for entrepreneurs.

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