You’re a 32 year old burgeoning genius who’s living in your mom’s attic and working at the quickie mart. Late one night, something really deep comes to you, something truly edgy and profound, so you blast it out on your blog, twitter and Facebook pages.
This is going to change the world, you think as you drift off to sleep.
Next morning, you awaken and run to the computer to see just how viral your mind blowing proclamation has become…only to discover it’s been brushed off as the ramblings of someone with time on their hands by the general population.
Over the next month, you stumble upon blog posts and videos from well-known thought leaders, Chris Brogan, Seth Godin, Darren Rowse, Leo Babauta, Gretchen Rubin, Tamar Weinberg and Gary V who, totally by chance, happen to be sharing an almost identical point of view.
But when they say it, the world says “damn, that’s some profound stuff!”
Millions flock to read it, thousands comment.
Fact is, every word you say, write, sing or film and release into the world is judged against a backdrop of who you are, what you’ve said, done and achieved in the past…and what you HAVEN’T said, done and achieved. That’s why one of the first things most people do when they read an interesting post on a new blog is jump over to the “about” page to see who the writer is. They’re looking to frame the message. Because…
Context is as important as content.
So, if you’re wondering why your brilliance seems to be falling on deaf ears, maybe it’s time to step back, look at the bigger footprint you’ve been leaving and ask:
Has what I’ve said and done to date allowed people to buy into the possibility that what I say and do now and from this moment forward has substantial value?
If the answer is yes, keep on keeping on.
And, if it’s no…maybe it’s time to stop observing life and start getting enough of a life to have things that are consistently valuable to share (trust me, I’m still working on this myself, lol!).
Begin to build a mountain of “social proof” that’ll demonstrate to others it’s worth giving up their most precious asset, time, to listen to you. It may be as simple as posting phenomenal content on a regular basis. And, maybe that can be fabricated largely out of the internal machinations of your own brain and internal world.
But, I’ve found, more often than not, it requires something more.
A greater willingness to contribute to, explore and immerse yourself in the world around you, to do what others dream of doing, to risk success and failure, then share your experiences, discoveries, insights and observations…in your own voice, through the window of your own eyes.
People don’t just want to know what’s on your mind, they want to know you’ve got skin in the game.
That makes for a far more compelling story.
It’s why James Frey couldn’t sell the manuscript for A Million Little Pieces when he shopped it around as fiction, but as soon as he started pitching it as “real-life” (yeah, let’s not go there), publishers were tripping over themselves to buy it.
Same essential content, different context.
So, if you’re wondering why you still don’t have more readers, listeners, followers, fans, buyers, customers or evangelists and you’ve read this far, try this.
Step away from the screen. Live a little. Hell, live a lot.
Then come back to your blog, to twitter to your book in progress, to your podium, armchair or classroom when you have something compelling to say and you can frame it against the backdrop of your own personal experience in the world.
As always, just thinking out loud.
What do YOU think?
Talk to me…
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