“Military professionals lead their emails with a short, staccato statement known as the BLUF (Bottom Line Up Front). It declares the purpose of the email and action required.”
The next time you face a tough decision, here’s something to keep in mind.
Pessimism influences our decisions more than optimism.
That’s because pessimism — in the form of fear, insecurity, and doubt— often colors our perception of choices and leads us to make bad decisions.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
“I am who I am because of the ideas I was exposed to, the people I met, and the skills that I learned — not in real life, but in a world that has landmarks but no physical location.”
“It is easy to see why the right-wing narrative is so compelling — it offers formidable enemies (government and unions) and an economic vision that corporations will create new jobs if those enemies are defeated. In that narrative, white working class people will have opportunity again. The left offers no such clear enemy.”
“The thing that I had spent my whole life thinking was the kindest option for others was in fact putting all the work on them.”
“Move replacement habits on to the home screen of your phone.”
There are two types of people in the world — the Interested and the Uninterested.
Your talent is unique, but your struggles are not.
That’s why I know I can help you.
After years of helping creators— including comedians, actors, writers, filmmakers, artists, musicians, and entrepreneurs — I’ve learned they all struggle with the same issues.
Focus. Clarity. Process. The ability to generate opportunities, identify and grow your audience. These are the keys to your success — and they can be learned.
Below, you’ll find a bit more about each of these topics and why they’re so vital to your success.
If you struggle with any of them, I’d love to help you figure it out. Email me.
“One reason so few of us achieve what we truly want is that we never direct our focus; we never concentrate our power.” — Tony Robbins
Creators rarely have a shortage of things they want to create.
However, that overflowing creative drive can make it difficult to focus your output in a way that serves you best. You wind up drifting from project to project, jumping at each new bit of inspiration, only to leave a trail of abandoned projects in your wake.
Or, maybe you spread yourself so thin with so many ambitious creations they all suffer— none given the individual attention it needs to live up to your true capabilities.
The ability to wrangle your own creativity and focus your effort is vital to the development of your creative career. Doing so allows you to maximize the benefit you get from the blood, sweat, and tears you put into your work.
2. Clarify who you are and what you do.
“With clarity comes conviction and true originality.” — Conan O’Brien
Every creator believes they’re unique, but few can explain why.
To separate yourself from the crowd, you must be able to clearly explain who you are, what you do, and why people should care.
In order to this, you need a vision for your work and a destination where you hope it leads people. You must develop your voice.
This self-awareness and thoughtfulness will ultimately inform everything from your work approach to the promotion of it.
It’s the foundation of your career and it can’t be shaky.
3. Develop your process.
“Excellence is a continuous process and not an accident.” — A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
You can’t wait around for inspiration to strike if you want your art to become your career.
While it’s important to give yourself space for the ebb and flow of your muse, you also need to develop processes to ensure you’re as productive as you are creative.
Every creator’s process is unique and you must find one that fits your work style. But make no mistake — process is a big part of being a creator and you need to develop one.
A process is what separates a professional from a hobbyist and it’s what allows you to consistently advance your work and and avoid the too-often erratic nature of a creative life.
4. Create opportunities.
“To hell with circumstances; I create opportunities.” — Bruce Lee
There’s a good chance you pursued a creative career at least in part because you had zero interest in the business world.
That’s fine, but you won’t have a successful creative career unless you recognize business is an important component of it.
Learning to create and recognize opportunities to monetize your work is not an optional part of a creative career — it’s a core skill you need to develop.
But the good news is there are more ways to earn a living through your creations than you realize.
Monetizing your creative work can (and should) be done in ways that don’t go against your core creative principles and don’t remotely feel like “selling out.”
It’s on you to find those ways. Put as much creativity and imagination into your business strategy as you do into your art and you’ll discover them.
And, while you’re at it, get over your fear of self-promotion.
5. Identify and grow your audience.
“I never underestimate the audience’s ability to feel me.” — Erykah Badu
Most creators have no idea who their audience is.
Your audience is not everybody. If you’re a comedian, it’s not “comedy fans” and if you’re a musician, it’s not “music fans.”
Your audience, the audience you will need to find and connect with in order to build a successful career, are your fans.
They’re a unique blend of people specifically interested in the unique things you create. You need to identify them, find them, and connect with them.
Don’t assume somebody else will serve them up to you — it doesn’t work like that. It’s on you to make it happen.
Audience building — the ability to identify, find, and connect with the people most likely to enjoy your work — is the biggest key to a successful creative career.
It’s also the thing creators struggle most with.
Since every creator’s audience is going to be unique, it’s tough for me to give you any specific tips in this post about how to find yours.
But, if you’d like some suggestions about your situation, email me and I’ll be happy to help.
This isn’t a pep talk.
You want to do something in your life, but convinced yourself you can’t for one (or more) of these reasons:
You’re scared. You’re worried. You’re insecure. You’re clueless.
But you’re wrong.
You don’t need a pep talk to overcome these issues, you need the truth about your excuses.
If you ask me for social media strategy advice, I’ll ask you four simple questions.
And they’ll have nothing to do with social platforms.
Because the clarity of your goals, audience, and value are a bigger determinant of social media success than any follower, engagement, or algorithm strategies.
Your answers to these questions form the foundation of a meaningful social media strategy.
1. What do you want to accomplish?
Forget social media. What’s your actual goal?
To sell a product? Create an opportunity? Build a movement?
Your answer to this question reveals your success metric.
Success is based on the accomplishment of your goal and that goal is always bigger than social media.
It’s not a follower count. Not engagement. Not views. Those are a means to an end.
Don’t let social media stats distract you from your actual goal and don’t be fooled by the hype of social media metrics.
Social media is a tool you use to accomplish a goal. If the goal isn’t achieved, there is no social media success.
2. Who do you need to reach to accomplish your goal?
Who will buy your product? Who can grant the opportunities you seek? Who will join your movement?
Your answer to this question reveals your target audience.
These are the only people that matter. The ones you need to reach. The masses are meaningless.
Your social strategy needs to reach them where they live.
Focus your efforts on the platforms they like, not the ones you like.
3. What’s unique about you?
Why should someone choose your product over the competition? What separates you from the crowd? Why support your movement ?
Your answer to this question reveals your content strategy.
Play up what’s unique about you. Don’t post anything similar to what your competition does.
Provide more value to your followers than you do for yourself in your posts.
Never forget: It’s easy for people to unfollow you. Treat every post as an audition.
4. If I could guarantee your product or content would be seen by any 500 non-famous people in the world right now, who would you choose?
Are they young or old? Married or single? Rich or poor?
Are they college-educated? Where do they work? What do they read, watch or listen to?
Who do they love? What do they hate? How do they spend their time?
If your answer to this question doesn’t match your answer to Question #2, your strategy will fail.
This question was a test — did you pass?
If you didn’t choose people who match your target audience, then you’re already off track.
If you did and your answers match, then go find where those people are on social media and establish yourself there.
Provide them with compelling, valuable content that reflects what’s unique about you and leads them to take the action you need to accomplish your goal.
If you do, your social media strategy will succeed.
And if you don’t know how?
Email me — I can help.