Where to Find Your Audience (Episode Two of Mindset)

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Abraham Lincoln said, “Be sure to put your feet in the right place, then stand firm.” Sounds great doesn’t it? Until you try to do it. Then we all have the same question which is, “what is the right place?

It is important that you spend your energy doing your work for the people who appreciate it. You would never make cheeseburgers for vegetarians, (I might, because I think that sort of thing is funny, but I’m sure you never would) so why would you make your work for people who don’t want it, and how can you find the people who do?

Great creations usually make small improvements on fanatics obsessions. As I mentioned in the last episode, there are very few completely original ideas.

My books are not original.

They aren’t plagiarized but writing a book, sharing ideas and the heres journey aren’t original ideas. So your idea does not have to be original, in fact it probably won’t be, which is good, because most of the best ideas just improve upon existing obsessions. Despite what people think, Jeff Bezos did not re-invent shopping when he created Amazon. Product placement, advertising, remote sales people were then and are now still part of the shopping culture. Packaging, design and marketing are all still part of the business. What he did was make shopping easier for the people who love shopping. He made their obsession a little more convenient, and the rest of us followed suit.

(Want to listen to this episode?)

 

Starbucks made coffee a little better. Actually, when Howard Shultz bought Starbucks, the store didn’t even sell coffee, it sold great coffee beans. Once they began to make coffee out of the great beans, they made coffee, just a little better for the fanatics. A cup of Starbucks coffee isn’t 75 times better than a normal cup of coffee and the idea of variations on your cup of coffee certainly isn’t an original idea.

Starbucks just made it a little better.

Then they made the experience of drinking coffee a little better for the fanatics by making the place between home and work that wasn’t a bar. Then they made the whole place a little more convenient to find, but all of this started with improving the experience of a cup of coffee, for the fanatic. Your work will work if you can find the fanatics and give them just a little more.

Alexa Meade, doing a little more. For a lesson on doing more, visit http://www.alexameade.com

Almost never means the same thing, for less money. In fact, because of our psychology, cheaper to us, usually means less. More doesn’t always mean better.

More can mean different.

Alexa Meade does not make paintings that look just like people. There are a million artists out there who can make a painting or drawing that looks just like the model. Alexa takes real people and turns them into crude oil paintings, literally. And I don’t mean the literally that people say when they actually mean figuratively, like when people say, “I literally died at that restaurant.” I really mean she actually paints on people, and it’s amazing! A picture of her art looks like a mediocre painting, but in person as you walk closer and realize the painting is done on real people, real walls, real chairs and real flowers you see that she has taken a person, who starts out looking exactly like a real person and she turns them into a painting that doesn’t look exactly like a person. What she does is incredible work, new, interesting and better, even though her “paintings” aren’t really higher quality, they’re still different, which makes them better. Her version of more isn’t higher quality, or more convenient, and it certainly isn’t cheaper. Her perspective is awesome, beautiful and backwards and that is what people love.

And that is why you are the right person to do this work, because of your point of view.

The fanatics are looking for the new, or the easier, the more in-depth and the problem most creators have is they try to do it like someone else. They try to sound like their instructor, or build like their mentor, but the fanatics have already evaluated those people, and either accepted their work, or turned it down. But replicating work that has already been done, successfully or not, is not doing your unique work, which is what makes it so valuable.

So, in finding a place for your work, look at the current offerings from the fanatics point of view and figure out how your interpretation will improve, or change or make more convenient their obsession. How can you give them a new perspective or a better experience?

(Want to know how to mine yourself for killer ideas?)

 

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When Alli Webb started Drybar her vision was a mobile shop where she could style, not cut or color, just style women hair. She envisioned owning her side job, where she could throw her blow dryer and a few brushes in her car and just do what she loved, which was strictly blow drying and styling hair.

But the fanatics spoke, because the women who spent an incredible amount of money on a hair cut, had no one that would show up at their house to blow dry it two weeks later before a dinner party or night out. Alli thought she was building a side job, she did not set out to create the $20 million business she owns today. She started out doing what was inside of her, that made the fanatics lives a little better. If you don’t have any ideas, there are a few things you can do, right now to get your wheels turning.

Type your thing into google followed by “is hard because” or “I need help with” your topic.

(If you want to do it now, go for it! If you leave my site to chase your dream, then I have done my job!)

You will start to see the pain points of the public around your expertise. Most times we don’t give ourselves the credit we deserve around out talent, because it’s easy for us. We think that what we do is too basic. We assign difficulty to an issue based on how difficult it is for us. It isn’t until you see someone struggle with what you consider simple that you realize your own talent. There are pages and pages of YouTube videos on how to tie shoes. It sound funny, but a quick look at the views reveals that there is an audience for this. There are hundreds of videos with over 100k views many over 1 million and one with almost 56 million views.

Still think your work is too basic?

Another thing you can do is find fanatics in your field and ask them what the worst thing about their favorite thing is. Now go fix it.Find forums on the topic and look for complaints. Is there a common problem you can solve?

Read 1-2 star reviews of work like yours. Are these real issues with the thing or are they just people looking to vent. If you notice a common complaint coming up over and over, that you can solve, do it today!

Or, if there is something you love to do, do that in an incredible and unique way. If you do that well, the fanatics will love it.

But there is one place your work definitely does not belong, which is in a place that tries to pound more and more productivity from you.

An experiment done by William Muir from Purdue University explains so much.

Muir’s goal was to try and create the most productive flocks of chickens. He set one normal flock of chickens aside and let them be normal chickens for six generations to measure their productiveness by counting how many eggs they laid. Then he hand-selected chickens that were incredibly productive and created a super-group of chickens. Like the bands Bizzard of Oz, The Highwaymen, Temple of the Dog, Audioslave or the Pistol Annies, this group was hand picked and stuck together to make incredible, top 40, chart busting eggs!

So, Muir measured the productiveness of the supergroup after six generations and the difference was easy to see. The regular flock was very healthy, and pretty productive.

But the super group of chickens was a much different story.

Like so many musicians, too many of the chickens had died. In fact, they had all died except for three. The stress, competition and non-stop productivity was more than the group could handle. Getting in to the “best” jobs usually doesn’t get the best out of you. It doesn’t usually reward you as an individual, but making your thing, acting on your inspiration and launching your thing always does. Sometimes it pays less and sometimes it pays more but it always gives you more of an opportunity to be in the right place, and away from all of the chickens.

So there are ways to check and verify that your thing will work. You can do the research and double-check the market and read the Harvard Business Review, but one of the best ways to try your idea out, is to try your idea out.

So I’d like to introduce you to Alberto Perez. He was a dancer in Cali Columbia. A place where graffiti decorated the streets and violence dotted the landscape. But amongst the unrest, Alberto found a love of dancing. To make money he would teach aerobics during the day and dance at night.

One day, on the way to teach aerobics he realized that he forgot his music. The only music he had with him was the music he loved, the music he danced to at night. Rather than tell the class that he made a mistake he thought, “If I love this, they might love it too.

So he told the class he wanted to try something new. So he plugged his cassette tape into the boom box because Steve Jobs hadn’t put MP3 players in everyones pockets yet, and Alberto began to play his personal Salsa, Latin mix tape.

He was right.

The fanatics loved what he was doing and the classes went really well. So well, in fact that Alberto brought his passion to America. He  landed an audition in a gym. He started his audition for the owner of the gym with Oi Como Va by Tito Puente. But there was a problem with the audition. Because as Alberto was auditioning for the owner, the fanatics heard him and they couldn’t resist coming in and joining!

By the time Alberto was done, his 15 minute interview had turned into a 1 hour class, and he had 24 people, who had showed up to run on the treadmills, ride the stationary bikes or lean on the equipment and flirt with each other taking his class!

Alberto had found a place to do his work.

Eventually All he would need was someone to help him with the business, and maybe to learn a little English. And so, to make the names in this story simple, Alberto Perez met Alberto Perlman. With Albertos help, Alberto was connected with a group who could change everything for him. The group loved the videos they saw of Alberto, but they had one concern. They asked Alberto, if Alberto could speak English. because they wanted him to film an infomercial. Alberto said, “absolutely,” even though Alberto couldn’t speak any English. They were determined to teach Alberto english before the personal meeting and they thought they could do it, especially with the help of their new partner, Alberto Agillon (Thanks guys for making the names so simple to keep track of!)

So for two months Alberto and Alberto tried to teach Alberto english for the most important meeting ever, and they fail miserably. So Alberto tells Alberto and Alberto, “Tell me how to say, “Mucho gusto. Perdon, me tengo que ir,” in English. Alberto said, “Thats, nice to meet you. I’m sorry, I have to go.” Which were the first and only words Alberto spoke during the meeting as he shook hands with each person and left the room, pretending he was to busy to stay!

With Albertos passion, Albertos help and Albertos connections, Zumba became a household name and a company worth hundreds of millions of dollars, if not a billion and Alberto, the dancer has a net worth reported at over $30 million.

There is a place for what you do. The reason you haven’t found it yet is that you aren’t doing it, or you aren’t doing it for the fanatics, or you aren’t doing it loud enough but there is somewhere for your work.

The world is waiting for you to put your work out there.

Time to get started!

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Have You Ever Done Anything Stupid?

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Have you ever done anything stupid?

Have you ever done anything, stupid?

Do you notice the difference between the two questions? Actually that is a rhetorical question because, as a population, not only do we notice the difference between the two questions, we live the difference between the two questions. I know that you know the difference because I have worked with so many people who were living out the difference.

It’s the comma.

The comma seems like such a small thing, but it changes everything about the sentence. It changes the sentence from something you did to something you are. Just like I wrote in the post, You Are a Failure, we aren’t the results of our work. But adding the comma changes that sentence. The comma changes it from the truth about a mistake, “Have you ever done anything stupid?” into how we feel about a mistake, “Have you ever done anything, stupid?

But I have worked with, sat with, talked too and am related to people who add the comma to everything.

Every mistake, every job, every project that didn’t work out was not a result of their work, it was a reflection of who they were. And this kills the confidence of the person doing the work.

But we need the person doing the work, and they need to do the work. If it weren’t for people who removed the comma from the sentence we wouldn’t have any books from Andy Andrews, Macy’s stores, Van Gogh paintings, or Charlie Brown. (To learn about these people, click here.)

I have done many stupid things. I have also done many great things. So have you, in both cases. But I am not the result of my work. Neither are you. Take out the comma and keep working through mistakes.

That is where success lives.

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A Day Off

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Today, as I write this, I have the day off.

I have the option to do whatever I want, when I want and there is no one who needs time from me, to whom I am committed or who has me on their schedule.

And after I spend time with my family, and take care of myself, I find the thing I want to do is this. I want to write, to you. I want to explain that what I am doing is what I like, so much that I am doing it even when I don’t have to .

That this website, my podcast, and my books excite me. That my consulting, my speaking and helping others grow their business is what I do, when I have the option to do anything. And that is how I know I’m on the right track.

What are the things you like to do on your day off?

Whatever it is, you should do more of it.

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Getting Your Ducks In a Row

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Are you waiting to get your ducks in a row before you start your thing?

Then you need to watch this. It’s a video of a duck, “getting her ducks in a row.

The baby ducks trying to get up the stairs stumble, they fall, they try different ways. Some get ahead of others, some fall behind, and it’s messy. But if you notice, ducks don’t even get their ducks in a row.

If you are waiting to “get your ducks in a row,” you are wasting time. You are trying to make this seamless, easy and comfortable, and it isn’t. Comfortable is the enemy, ducks don’t get in a row and your work is too important to wait.

Ready, set, go!

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Comfortable is the Enemy

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If you are comfortable, you aren’t growing.

This is true in running, art, yoga and your work. Muscles, business, artwork and people don’t grow or improve by being comfortable. They all grow and get better by stretching, doing something they have never done before and breaking out of their normal routine.

What are you avoiding because it’s uncomfortable?

That is the thing you need to do, today.

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535 West Garden Ln.

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Don’t Believe Everything You Think

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I used to think that cyclists were dumb. I couldn’t understand why anyone would use and inferior machine, on a great piece of technology like sound proofed roads, to get around. I thought they were idiots.

Now, I am one.

I have a very nice bike that I ride for miles and miles, even to different towns.

I started out riding my bike for exercise, but now I really enjoy it. I understand now what all those people I was laughing at previously were getting from riding their bikes.

I was wrong. I was wrong about them, but more importantly, I was wrong about me.

When I saw someone pedaling up a hill I thought, “how miserable.” When I saw someone riding a bike to work I thought, “they must be too poor to buy a car.” But more importantly I thought that what I thought was right.

It turns out that what I thought wasn’t right about them, and it wasn’t even right about me. What I thought was keeping me from doing something that I really enjoy, something that is good for me and something that has brought a ton of value into my life.

Which leads me to wonder, what else am I thinking that is holding me back?

What other opinions do I have that seem accurate, that need re-evaluated?

What thinking is holding me back?

I try not to trust everything that I think.

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Copyright 2017. John Henderson.org

535 West Garden Ln.

Snowflake Az 83937

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Why You? (Episode One of Mindset)

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Who do you think you are? What right do you have? You are a nobody.

These are all the reasons you shouldn’t reach your potential. These are the comments made by the people closest to you. These are the thoughts running through your mind just seconds before you hit publish, record, put the paint on the canvas or hit the first note. These are the things that keep people in check, living out life the way everyone else does, and the reason the number one regret of the dying chronicled by Bronnie Ware is, “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life everyone expected of me.”

And the problem is they are all right.  (Want to listen to this episode?)

Who you think you are…

…is precisely why you should take a chance. Of course everyone thinks of Isaac Newton, Oprah Winfrey and Steven King as successful and elite today, but before they were the icons we think of, they were just screw ups who saw something in themselves that those around them didn’t. They were a horrible farmer, a pregnant teenager and a failed writer whose wife had to dig his manuscript for a movie named Carrie, from the trash after over 30 rejections. Andy Andrews first book was turned down over 50 times before is was published and is now a New York Times Bestseller. Some of the most successful people you know were just screw ups to the rest of the world, until they made their work.

(Want a list of 10 screw ups who made it big?)

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Still think you have made to many mistakes, don’t have the right background or didn’t get the right degree? Factretriever.com reports that  half of all millionaires are self-employed or own a business. They took an inspiration they had and turned it into a fortune, but not without some mistakes. This same average millionaire has gone bankrupt 3.5 times. And as far as degrees go, only 18% of millionaires have Master’s degrees, 8% percent have law degrees, 6% have medical degrees, and 6% have PhDs.

But who says you have to have a million dollars to reach your potential, do a big thing or act on your inspiration? Money is only one way to measure success, it’s the easiest way, but not the best way. Perhaps the best way to measure success is doing the most you can with the talents you’ve been given.

What right do you have…

…to take the talents, inspiration and abilities you have been given, and squander them on being just like your neighbor? Andy Andrews has said, “The best book ever written is probably sitting in someones desk because they didn’t believe in it enough to move forward.” You have been given an incredible idea, the ability to act on it, and a life during one of the most exciting times in history. If your great grandparents had lived today, what would they be able to do with what you have? What right do you have to waste that gift? Now is the best time, and you are the right person to start. But that isn’t the story you’ve been telling yourself, and the story we tell, is everything.

I wrote a post called How Much are You Worth. In it I described a painting that was scrutinized after WWII. The painting was at one point worth millions of pre-war dollars. Then, in an instant became worthless. And, just as fast as it had become trash, became the thing that saved a human life. The only thing that changed about the painting was the story behind it. The story was the value in the painting, not the painting itself. So what is your story? What are you telling yourself about your abilities, your place in history and what you could do? What are you doing, everyday to build up or break down that story?

You are a nobody…

…which is exactly the person we need to hear from. Once you reach Bill Gates, Barrack Obama or Steven Tyler status, we know what you are about. Your story isn’t new, exciting or noteworthy. Your message blends into the background like the first layer on a Bob Ross painting. You, on the other hand can inspire us. You are someone we relate to. You could be my neighbor, friend or sister. You are someone I would root for, I would love to hear your story, read your book, buy your music or hire your business, because it is so much like mine.

Who do you think you are? What right do you have? You are a nobody, all great reasons to do something big.

This post is called Why You, because of marketing. People think and connect with and believe the phrase Why Me. But that was just marketing. Now that your hooked, I’ll tell you the real name of this episode. It is Why not you? Why wouldn’t your song be great, your book get read, your business be successful or your art get sold? If all the stories from my list of 10 Screw Ups Who Made It Big are true, then having a few rejections is a prerequisite to success. Of course some people aren’t going to like your thing, of course some people will think something else is better and of course there will be people who ignore it.

But there will be people who love it as well.

We don’t all agree on 21 Pilots, Game of Thrones or Jackson Pollock.

If you do your best work, there will be people who see it, who connect with it and who feel what you put in it. They will like what you make, they might love what you make, their lives might change because of what you make.

But right now, you aren’t making it for the people who like it, because of the people who won’t.

The naysayers and critics are stealing your work from the people who need it, because you are focused on the non-believers, not the people who care. You are worried that it won’t be good enough for the people for whom nothing is good enough. The person in your head who doesn’t like what you do hasn’t liked a lot of things, have they? They complain about the new band, technology and talk back to the news don’t they?

Your thing isn’t for them because, almost nothing is.

And what if you make the wrong thing? What if your work heads in a direction that doesn’t work out? What if you start and make a few mistakes and the news-yeller can say, “I told you so!”

Then you would be just like Logan.

Logan and his business parter named John, got their business all wrong. They started a website during the recession. The website was dedicated to changing the behavior of the population to ease the burden on our increasing failing infrastructure. A noble cause indeed.

It was a place for people to connect and develop a shared transit system. Like a carpool, where a rider could find a driver that was going the same place and hitch ride. The site was called Zimride

And it was wrong.

It was all wrong because it was inconvenient for people to schedule these rides from their dorm, wasn’t easily used because people were increasingly getting away from computers and using smartphones and the drivers were not benefiting the way the riders were because it wasn’t really legal to pay them like a cab driver.

And even though Logan and John built the wrong business, it worked, sort of. But in 2012 when they stepped back from Zimride to develop the right business they changed the world. Because the second version of Zimride was an app called Lyft. The business that invented ride sharing, changed the world and is valued at over $5 billion.

Fortunately they started the wrong business, which led them to start the right business, that never would have existed if Logan and John hadn’t put their work out there. They didn’t build it for the news yeller who still hates ride-sharing. They built it in spite of him.

Tomorrow you will look back on this moment, and you will either be excited about the choice you made, moved by the air of something new surrounding you and alive at the thought of what might be.

Or you will be exactly the same as you are now.

Right now, which tomorrow will you choose?

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Reality or The Real World

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Most people don’t think there is a difference between reality and the real world.

But I do.

The real world is black and white, there is only what happens and what doesn’t happen. There are sandwiches, pine trees, politics and amusement parks.

But reality is a different story.

Reality is how we perceive these things. Reality to me is that Cuban sandwiches are delicious, pine trees make sap, and politicians shouldn’t speak in amusement parks. That is my reality. But it isn’t everyone’s reality.

Some people hate sandwiches, plant pine trees and take their politicians to the amusement park.

That is there reality. So when you are speaking, writing or selling to someone, you have to understand their reality, or at least that their reality is not the same as yours. It’s real, it exists and you can agree or  disagree, but it is a reality…

at least to them.

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Perfect Attendance

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I never received a perfect attendance award and now, I’m glad.

At the time, I thought that people who showed up, everyday and did what they were supposed to were complete, happy and successful people.

But now I’m not so sure.

Now I’m certain that showing up everyday to the same thing is the least important measurement to assess. I’m not saying that showing up isn’t important. It is what professionals do.

They show up and do the work. They work when the weather is bad, when they feel sick, when there is something else they’d rather do and when the rewards are small. They show up.

But they don’t show up of the sake of showing up.

They show up to do the thing. They show up to produce results and the rewards they get don’t come from showing up. They come from results of what they do when they show up.

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535 West Garden Ln.

Snowflake Az 83937

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What Might Happen

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So, you are worried that your idea might not work. It may have implications that were unforeseeable and you just aren’t sure that what you make will be well-received, benefit everyone and be good for society.

Never forget that the Wright Brothers invented the plane crash, when they flew at Kitty-hawk and invented flight.

What people do with your work is out of your hands. Your job is to make it. What you have is so important and valuable and needed. It may have issues but imagine our world today if the Wright Brothers hadn’t invented human flight.

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Copyright 2017. John Henderson.org

535 West Garden Ln.

Snowflake Az 83937

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