Make happy those who are near, and those who are far will come. – Chinese Proverb
The only way for most of us to build an audience — unless you happen to be the lucky one whose career starts on the Oprah Show, or a feature on the latest Beyoncé album — is to start small, and have it grow.
Some audiences grow like humans: a little bit more every day; steady, clear progress that’s obvious over time. Constant positive feedback that your work is working.
Other audiences grow like bamboo trees: long periods of nothingness followed by sudden, explosive growth.
Others move the way the waves of the ocean turn rocks to sand: constant effort that seems to not be doing much in the short term; it’s only impressive when looked at from the 1,000 foot (or ten-year) view.
The strange thing is that neophyte creators, 99% of whom have to grow the hard way, get embarrassed about the size of their audience, lack of views, likes or followers… and they stop creating.
Their crowd isn’t growing fast enough, they reason.
Two problems with this mentality.
1) Your audience, followers, subscribers, list, tribe, etc isn’t an audience. They’re a collection of individual people.
No one in your audience sees themselves as an “audience member.” They’re each an individual, who has their own personal experience of you. Treat them like one.
2) Given that you understand #1, when you think your audience — your collection of individuals —is insufficient, you’re not respecting the people who’ve identified as wanting more from you.
And if you can’t serve X number of people, what qualifies you to serve 10X people?
If you’ve announced a show, your job is to serve whoever shows up.
Yes — even if the crowd is only 1% of what you expected.
For that 1%, they’re expecting 100% of what they signed up for. They’re not concerned with those who aren’t there, and — at least while you’re in the process of delivering — you shouldn’t be either.
That’s the discipline.
By the way — a physical copy of my book The Mirror Of Motivation: The Self-Guide To Self-Discipline, can be had for free for a limited time.
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