This post is dedicated to the talented yogi, Nina Yau, who writes Castles in the Air with beautiful truth like The Last Post You Will Ever Need to Read (A Letter to the Soul). You can read that post, and then never read my blog again. I won’t mind. I believe Nina’s voice to be an important one, far greater than the ‘marketable’ content that I’m normally accustomed to. Her philosophical, thought provoking writing is one that I feel the blogosphere needs more of, especially in these times of transition and change. She is the inspiration for my thought, in blurbs of 140 characters or less:
In a world full of blogs pushing the boundaries of professionalism and “the new economy”, priming you for their sales funnel like hamsters on the wheel, I have to wonder if the art of philosophy is but a spec of dust. Either start making infoproducts or get off the digital space!
Don’t get me wrong. I loved that post and found the information to be valuable, especially for someone getting into the digital space to market my talents, and build my ‘brand’. There is an art and a science to this that can be beautiful and extremely rewarding. But there’s another side too.
The more one focuses on their sales funnel, and thinks of their readers as nothing but money bags, the more ones content turns to crap. I remember a time when some of my favorite blogs had much more inspiring and qualitative content than most do of late. The writing seems shallow and forced. Formulaic. Kind of a one night stand.
Don’t get me wrong. Money is good, and I want more of it. Much more. But how do I do so in the most authentic way? Where marketing doesn’t make me cringe and I don’t feel like I’m selling out.
I remember the 90s and how people would get mad when their favorite bands “sold out”. It’s the same patterns and struggles. And behind it all, I have to laugh. How amusing it is to see how money drives people and how people react. Either out of jealousy, inadequacy, or their own fears. I observe the way I react over money. How happy I am when I have it and how low energy I get when I don’t. But money is just money.
I’m all in. There is no other way but through. I’m reading business books and reconciling my love/hate for marketing. How do I let my entire core of being shine through in a way that also sustains me? This is my struggle. This is my inevitable triumph. I am getting crystal clear on my work and calling, but I have yet to get crystal clear on how it will make me money. I am worried that it isn’t marketable. But my challenge is to make it so. I just have to take the leap.
The reality is that everything can be marketable. You just have to position it in a good way.
Wherever you are, remember that your core mission and authentic work must shine through beneath the bullshit of sales funnels and marketing. You must love what you do and believe in it so much that sharing it to others only makes sense and comes naturally. Make it as effortless as possible. Do what drives you. Be who you are. Money is only a tool, an exchange of energy that we use to value that thing that we do. So do it well. Build a strong foundation, a crystal clear mission, and the rest should come eventually. It is like the chi. The energy force of all things. Block your authentic self and the material, the money, will be blocked too. The clearer you are about your core mission, value and purpose that you can contribute, and pair that with action and implementation, the more money will flow.
Dive deep into who you are. It cannot be ignored on this path. You’ll have to face your truths. And never deny it. BELIEVE in all your being that you have something important to contribute to the world. Because you do.
Something personal has haunted me for two years that I can’t let go of, and I am about to take a big leap, in efforts to answer questions and innovate solutions.
I was at an overcharged $20 film showing for The End of Poverty, which is ironic, because I’m pretty sure charging $20 to see a documentary that you can watch for free on youtube won’t end poverty, and probably just contributes to it.
The scene was upper-middle class old people, and staunch liberals that had an air of entitlement and better than. After the end of the film, a short Q and A was conducted by a popular liberal radio personality. People were outraged why more young people didn’t care about the issues and why they weren’t represented that evening, failing to realize that the $20 ticket had something to do with it.
I was outraged that they didn’t get it. Young people do care. They just do it differently. It’s not about writing to our local congressmen. It’s grittier than that. It’s raw. It’s grassroots.
The organizers of the event mentioned that most cities turned them down and wouldn’t let them show it because the topic just wasn’t “sexy enough”. Marketing speak for something that appeals to a market, something that sells.
Indeed most cities had a weak turn out, but in the heart of liberal, “weird”, Portland, Oregon, the show sold out.
Why would something like this not be “sexy enough”? Did people not care about poverty? That it exists? The comment has bothered me to this day.
How can I make poverty sexy? What does it take to get people to notice and care? How can I make a difference?