Tuesday, May 10, 2016

As many radars as there are planes to blip on them

Every artist is afraid of dropping off the radar. Because that means they no longer exist. Their work is forgotten. Vanished into obscurity. Consigned to howling vacuum of anonymity. Cycled out of public consciousness. Commissioned to the howling vacuum of anonymity. 

Lefsetz’s essay on current the music business put it perfectly:

Stardom is about continuity. Audiences are impressed when you make it, and continue to make it. But momentary blips are not stars, they’re comets. And if you don’t last, especially in today’s overloaded and evanescent world, you’re irrelevant. 

That’s why there’s a whole world out there where people fight to be relevant everyday. Because everybody wants to do something important. To create work that matters. To avoid becoming paralyzed by the threat of insignificance. 

That’s the heaviest human burden. Having nothing to carry. 

I have a client who admits that he refuses to perform less than fifty times a year. He claims that if he doesn’t keep doing what he does at the frequency that he does it, someday, he may not get to do it anymore. 

It’s understandable fear. In fact, when channeled properly, that mindset can help an artist stay hungry and continue growing and keep the brand alive. 

But consider this. Thanks to the fragmentation of popular culture, people’s interests have splintered across millions of different niches and markets and micro communities and user bases and customer pools. 

Meaning, maybe you do drop off the radar. But there are a lot of different radars now. Unlike the world of air traffic controllers, where there’s one master screen to monitor every passenger jet on a transoceanic flight, now, there are as many radars as there are planes to blip on them. It’s simply a matter of flight path. 

And so, just because you drop off the radar doesn’t necessarily mean you’re not successful. Or not happy. It just means you’re flying somewhere else right now.

Are you still circling in a holding pattern until the radar’s all seeing eye finds you?
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Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.  

Never the same speech twice. Customized for your audience. Impossible to walk away uninspired.

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