Who is Your Work For? (Episode Three of Mindset)

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Somewhere around 300 million people don’t wear shoes in the world.Of the people who wear shoes only a small portion wear athletic shoes, of those there are only a small number who wear Nike shoes. This is just fine with Nike because they know exactly who to market to.

You aren’t likely to see a Nike ad in Home Depot or Tractor Supply.

By understanding exactly who the fanatics are, Nike can eliminate doing their work for the people who don’t want it. This is the magic in knowing who your work is for, who it isn’t for. Knowing where not to be saves you time, money and effort and a ton of self-doubt. Because every person I have worked with who was doing their work for the wrong people, thought the problem was their work, when really it was their audience. Doing work for the wrong audience causes self-doubt, which creeps into your work and makes it not as good, which causes the audience to not like it so much, which causes self-doubt and a massive downward cycle starts, not because the work was bad, but because it was done for the wrong audience.

Finding the right fanatics for your work isn’t just important, its vital.

If you write a great bluegrass song my daughter won’t like it, but my son might, it depends on how much mandolin, bass and banjo are in it. Within the art of bluegrass there are countless different segments of the audience. There are banjo fans and fiddle fans yodeling fans. there are those who like newer music and there are the pureists. Allison Krauss doesn’t have the same audience that Steve Martin does, and yes that is Steve Martin the comedian, he is an excellent banjo player.

And even though you may have watched the movie Oh Brother Where Art Thou or you may have learned that Old Crow Medicine Show wrote and performed the song wagon wheel before darius rucker, you may not have known about Steve Martin. Because each of those performers have different audiences and they know it. Steve Martin is famously quoted as saying “Be so good they can’t ignore you.” I’d like to revise it to “Be so good the right fanatics can’t ignore you.” And if you find the right fanatics you will rule out a massive portion of the population to try and please.

So who are your fanatics? What subset of the subset of the group would love your work? Find your group and segment them, then segment them again. Go from sports fans to female sports fans to female golf fans to female golf fans who wear visors, then you will know your audience.

2/3 of the population of Utah are Mormons. this means they don’t drink coffee. Given this little nugget of information do you think Starbucks spends the same amount of money on advertising, development or growth in Utah as they do in California or Nevada? No. Of course there are stores there that serve the non LDS community but they won’t try to change the religion in order to sell more coffee. Not because they don’t want the business, but they know who their market is, but more importantly, who their market isn’t. Starbucks won’t grow as fast in Utah as it does in some of the neighboring states. They are fine with that. Because they know where to be. Every business, piece of art or creation has more people who don’t like it, than people who do. It is important to know who doesn’t like your work, so you can focus on the fanatics that do.

(Want to listen to the show?)

Consider this,

Haim Saban took a popular kids show from Asia to the US and tried to sell it. It was almost impossible. Despite his best efforts, no one was interested.

That is, until he found Margeret Loesch.

In 1993 she ordered 40 shows to be aired on Fox Kids Network, which in 1993 was the number one childrens network, and the just the right fanatics for the Power Rangers. Ultimately the show became a massive, massive hit, which Haim was able to sell to Disney. His share of the sale was $1.5 billion! Not because the Power Rangers was a great show, well-produced or greatly written, but it was put in front of the right audience, which changed everything. Haim didn’t just need a television network, or a cartoon network. He needed the number one childrens network in the US to believe in him, in order to become a billionaire.

(Want to find out exactly who your work is for?)

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_code admin_label=”Code” saved_tabs=”all”]<!– Begin MailChimp Signup Form –><!– [et_pb_line_break_holder] –><div id="mc_embed_signup"><!– [et_pb_line_break_holder] –><form action="//johnhenderson.us15.list-manage.com/subscribe/post?u=9639288bdd98660e10dbd0307&id=25f52b049e" method="post" id="mc-embedded-subscribe-form" name="mc-embedded-subscribe-form" class="validate" target="_blank" novalidate><!– [et_pb_line_break_holder] –> <div id="mc_embed_signup_scroll"><!– [et_pb_line_break_holder] –> <h1></h1><!– [et_pb_line_break_holder] –><div class="mc-field-group"><!– [et_pb_line_break_holder] –> <input type="email" value="EMAIL" name="EMAIL" class="required email" id="mce-EMAIL"><!– [et_pb_line_break_holder] –></div><!– [et_pb_line_break_holder] –><div class="mc-field-group"><!– [et_pb_line_break_holder] –> <input type="text" value="FIRST NAME" name="FNAME" class="" id="mce-FNAME"><!– [et_pb_line_break_holder] –></div><!– [et_pb_line_break_holder] –> <div id="mce-responses" class="clear"><!– [et_pb_line_break_holder] –> <div class="response" id="mce-error-response" style="display:none"></div><!– [et_pb_line_break_holder] –> <div class="response" id="mce-success-response" style="display:none"></div><!– [et_pb_line_break_holder] –> </div> <!– real people should not fill this in and expect good things – do not remove this or risk form bot signups–><!– [et_pb_line_break_holder] –> <div style="position: absolute; left: -5000px;" aria-hidden="true"><input type="text" name="b_9639288bdd98660e10dbd0307_25f52b049e" tabindex="-1" value=""></div><!– [et_pb_line_break_holder] –> <div class="clear"><input type="submit" value="YES" name="subscribe" id="mc-embedded-subscribe" class="button"></div><!– [et_pb_line_break_holder] –> </div><!– [et_pb_line_break_holder] –></form><!– [et_pb_line_break_holder] –></div><!– [et_pb_line_break_holder] –><!– [et_pb_line_break_holder] –><!–End mc_embed_signup–>[/et_pb_code][et_pb_text admin_label=”Text” background_layout=”light” text_orientation=”left” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid”]

The movies you like are not the same as the movies your neighbor likes. Cowboy hats in the US are different than cowboy hats in Australia, and donuts in Hawaii are not the same as donuts on the mainland, (look up malasadas when you get a chance, unless you’re trying to diet!)

What does all this mean?

Nothing is for everyone. You have to lose the mindset that, “everyone needs this,” or, “this will change everything for everyone,” because it won’t. Your job is to make the work that is inside of you, and find the people who will appreciate it. If you never find who your thing is for, it is a hobby, which is fine, but my guess is you don’t want a hobby.

You want to make a difference.

So it is imperative that you define who it is for, before you try pushing it out to the majority of the world who don’t care. That’s right, most of the people in the world, in your state and even in your community, won’t care about what you do, at least at first. If you were making something everyone liked it wouldn’t be special, interesting or rewarding. It would be air, or water the only two things that everyone needs, but then again, there are people who can’t exist in our ambient air without filters and Fiji and Arrowhead have even talked us into buying different bottles to wrap our water in, (which is really the main difference) so today, even air and water isn’t for everybody.

After the people who don’t care, come the people who hate you, disagree with you or are jealous of you.

When you start on this, there will be outspoken critics, there will be people who think your thing sucks, isn’t good enough, is fraudulent or ineffective. The problem with these people is that they tap into every bit of self-doubt we have. They know exactly how to trigger our self-doubt because they are speaking from their own, or worse,

because they are right.

They either think that you don’t have the right to do what you are doing, because they feel like they don’t have the right, and you are no better than them. Or they understand your short comings and they are right.

You aren’t good at this, and here’s why.

All innovation comes with incompetence, because it’s new. Competence is practicing something that works over and over until you have repeated it so many times you have filed off all the rough edges. New creations can’t be practiced, because they are new. No one has done your business, your art, your book or your song, so you, (and everybody else that does new work) are completely incompetent. The critic is only pointing out the obvious.

But here is what you don’t know, there are almost none of those people. As Justin and I discussed in the last episode, the vast majority of people will either like you or ignore you. Think about it, the crowd of haters in your head only have a few voices don’t they? You will not become hated by a crowd of people. There are so few people who will actively dislike you that I have already spent too much time on them, so lets move on.

The magic in finding the proper group, or the fanatics is that you become a specialist. You become the expert, the sought out advisor or the person with the answers.

I had lunch with Bob on Maui one day. Bob had owned the most profitable speakers bureau of his time. And I thought he was going to tell me a secret about becoming a profitable speaker, like where to find work, where to advertise or what to charge. His big secret, find a niche.

That was it!

He started his career with the post office by standing in line and buying a stamp, then getting back in line and buying another stamp, all the while taking notes on what they could do differntly until they kicked him out of the post office, then he would go the the next one and on and on until he became an expert on how they could do better. Now, he is a multi millionaire.

Find the group who loves what you do and stop trying to change the minds of people who don’t care. You’ll save huge amounts of money, and time and begin to make a difference!

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