Lou Reed: Lessons on doing from one of rock’s lifelong mavericks

“I always believed that I have something important to say and I said it.”  —Lou Reed

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Lou Reed
(photo courtesy Michael Ochs Archives, via dailymail.co.uk)

Last week, punks everywhere mourned the loss of Lou Reed, the iconic singer-songwriter from New York City whose signature toughness, honesty, and dark romantic sensibility have influenced rock music for the past 40-plus years.

But Reed wasn’t known only for his musical contributions; he was a figure to be reckoned with.

Clad in black leather in the age of hippie cotton and beads, notoriously deadpan in interviews, and collaborating with artists ranging from John Cale to wife Laurie Anderson to Metallica, Reed was always his own man, doing the things he wanted to.

We can all take a lesson. Read this Fast Company writeup—“Lou Reed on how to be as creative, dynamic, and difficult as Lou Reed”—to see how he illustrated many of the cornerstone principles of turning your ideas into reality—learning from the best, working hard, keeping it simple, and more.

Who inspires you to do the things you want to?

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