This week, my first ghostwriting project, The Successful Speaker, comes out. This was a collaboration with Grant Baldwin, the leading expert on what it takes to build a successful speaking business. It was a lot of fun, but what I didn’t expect was how much it would make me a better speaker.
“Why do we need art?” In a world that seems to more and more focused on “work works,” is there still a place for beauty? Do artists matter anymore? I think they do.
I’m calling it a rule, but really it’s an idea: What would your life look like if you could only have an impact on a handful of people? What would you do differently in your work if you couldn’t help everyone? This next year, I’m answering that question and challenge you to do the same.
The best marketing you can do for your work is not to build an empire, but to find a few friends who care. We all want to reach the masses and see our work get into the mainstream. We want to have an “impact.” But the only way to reach the many is to first reach the few.
This is all marketing is: Finding a handful of misfits who appreciate your work before anyone else does, then giving those people the tools to help spread the message. The way we get a Harry Potter, Apple Computer, or Amanda Palmer is not by trying to reach everyone all at once. Quite the opposite in fact.
What I’ve learned since leaving the nonprofit world and starting a business, which included becoming an author, speaker, and digital entrepreneur, is that you can do a lot of good through business. I now believe that the best way for me to help people is through business. I don’t think that’s true for everyone, but it’s been true for me and for many of my friends. I know a lot of people who come from a ministry or a nonprofit background who are now doing more good in terms of the number of people they are able to help through for-profit enterprises.