Calling All Intentional Entrepreneurs: The Amazing Truth That Sets You Free
If you are an intentional entrepreneur, a mission-minded solopreneur, or pretty much anyone trying to gain traction in the marketplace of ideas, there’s one thing, above all things, that you must grasp if you are not to become irretrievably bitter, broke, or bipolar on your journey.
You may be a man on a mission, but the marketplace is not on board.
You may be a woman with a purpose, but the world around you is set on “Overwhelm” and gets easily distracted by bipartisan polemic and baby otter GIFs.
You may be Starting with Why, but the majority of the population will see your Why, then raise you with Why Are You Preventing Me from Watching Netflix?
Bestselling author, brilliant storyteller, and maverick creativity expert Stephen Pressfield says it best with the title of his latest book, Nobody Wants to Read Your Sh*t. (The subtitle, more cheeringly, is Why That Is and What You Can Do About It. Stephen Pressfield, we heart you so hard!)
At one time, this would have been a shock to me. In my youth, I believed that the marketplace was my friend. I don’t have time and space right now to trace all the origins of this belief, but I think the progression had something to do with:
A) having lots and lots of ideas, a small percentage of which had grains of merit,
B) making friends fairly easily, some of whom were encouraging of a small percentage of my more meritorious ideas,
C) wanting to be like Einstein who said the most important question a human being can ask is if we live in a Universe that is friendly to our ideas.
D) concluding that the marketplace as part of the Universe was friendly to my visionary ideas that all my friends agreed were incredibly valuable and would both save humanity and give me the kind of lifestyle where I would become the sort of person who has yacht problems.
As you can see, there was some big stretch that happened here.
Living inside the belief that the marketplace was my friend was, for the most part, terrible – I used to get upset when my entrepreneurial overtures were ignored, rejected, or, on a better day, simply borrowed and repackaged by someone with more clout. If the marketplace was, in fact, my friend, it was the kind of friend who shows up every couple of years to tell you long stories about the really crazy dream he had last night and then wants to borrow some money for a fantastic investment opportunity.
Then some things happened that helped me grow up: a business in my early 30s that was a resounding success (although I didn’t understand why), a business in my late 30’s that was a spectacular failure (although the friends whom I’d persuaded to join me didn’t understand why), and finally, an amazing transactional class in my early 40’s where I learned that while the marketplace is not my friend, it is also not my enemy; rather, it’s an ontologically neutral space filled with people with plans for my money.
Some of these people are extremely committed to giving an incredible benefit in return. Others are equally committed to giving simply the appearance of a such a benefit without going to all the trouble of meeting that promise.
But no matter what, those with the most successful plans for our money have one thing in common, which is that they understand that while it’s true that Nobody Wants to Read Their Sh*t, somebody, a certain kind of Somebody, will pay to read it if he or she gets a very specific type of invitation to belong or call to action. This invitation/call must also be immediate, since the escalating competition for our attention has taken us to a place where new television shows can no longer include opening credits until the third episode, since obviously we can’t be expected to sit through 30 seconds of images, music, and names until we are already hooked.
If you are Supertight Brand certain kind of Somebody, our wish is that you, too, have discovered, or will discover, the delicious freedom of strolling into a ludicrously overcrowded arena, dodging the blows of almost every possible kind of fight from gladiator to pillow to cat, and eventually getting knocked to the ground by battalions of frenzied creatures whose complete indifference to your presence is made patently clear as they ignore your passionate offers of (or cries for) help. And still, some part of you can’t stop smiling, because in spite of all of it, because of all of it, you know you’re in the right place.
You know exactly where you are. And you will never again be bothered by anyone’s indifference, not really. You know for sure that absolutely nobody cares, and it’s not personal in any way, not anymore.
You are not defeated, but exhilarated. Although Nobody cares, Somebody in that melee cares so much they will cross the battlefield when they see your flag, just for the chance to read your sh*t, to hear your pitch, to join your crusade. This person is your ideal client or customer, and it for him or her that you’re creating the world of your offer, of your business, of your brand.
This is the first of three essential components of what we call The Holy Trinity of Supertight Brand: Your Avatar. If you will take the time to get to know this person, you will be able to see, with increasing clarity, the nature of the second component: The Distinct Breakdown, a need or want particular to this person that no one else has yet been able to satisfy in quite the same way that you, with the third component, A Remarkable Solution, will address with your product or service.
That is the premise and platform of Supertight Brand: get all three components so sharp, so tight, that you can step out of small, boring, uninspiring competition for scraps and step up as a powerful thought leader for your people. We’ll show you exactly how this works in our next post, and how you you can use it this triad to your advantage, time and time again, to experience an almost sinfully enjoyable advantage in the middle of the ever-intensifying insanity that is our information age.