John Irving, the bestseller fiction author once said that everybody is equal in front of the white page.
The moment you sit down to write, the page doesn’t know (or care) about your earlier successes or failures.
You can not rest on your laurels. But also, if the critics tore you to shreds- you’re always given the chance of a fresh start.
This holds true for the online world as well, with even more far reaching consequences!
A Story of Zeros and Ones
If you’re a total “zero” in the eyes of society without any status or fame – if you start building your online reputation or business you start out at square one, just like everyone else – from private persons to corporations. Yes! The most powerful tools in the online world are completely free. So money is not an excuse. (If you got funding, there may be advertisement money and marketing employees acting in your favor – but that is not a substitute for value.)
Now here’s the funny thing.
Even if you’re a “number one” in sports, arts or politics rubbing shoulders with other celebrities – if you go online and start getting in touch directly with your audience – like with the white page – you will be put to the test regardless of your past success!
It’s true that if you are a well-known figure from newspapers or magazines, you will have more “followers” – because people know the “brand” that is you. But this is just a trust paid in advance. You still have to prove yourself as contributing value to the public. And if you actually do the talking directly (instead of running it through a PR department) people will find out in 24 hours if you’re a jerk.
Also the opposite is true of course, as in: “Hey that celebrity XYZ, I always thought he was an arrogant douche-bag but he personally replied to my question yesterday and I changed my opinion about him!”
Excuses & Laziness
Let’s take the example of a young artist: He is a talented musician and lives for the music. But: He maintains a soul-crushing day-job to pay the rent, swallowing huge amounts of time that he could devote to his music. If you ask him why he doesn’t “go for it” full-time you might hear one or more of the following excuses:
– Music cannot pay the rent. I need a real job!
– Nobody will discover me! Hey, at least I’m realistic!
– I don’t want to become the lap-dog of a record label
and so on and so forth..
People who speak like this are still riding the “old world” model. On the one hand they intuit that there won’t be a place for them in this “establishment” (because in fact: it’s almost dead!) – on the other hand they still cling to it, believing that this is the way to go.
But if you re-consider the principle of the “white-page” – you pull the rug from under those lazy excuses and procrastinations.
It all boils down to one thing, then: Do you really want to go for it? Or is it just wishful thinking?
This applies to everyone, from businessman to artist. If you really want to do it, then do it. If not, stop daydreaming. It’s simple.
Many excuses, one fear
What scares many people is that the moment you start promoting your “brand” (could be a person, band, product or service) online there is no one right way to do it. There are multiple ways. But also now it’s your responsibility! If what you do doesn’t work right from the beginning you can’t blame an army of marketers or the close-mindedness of your record label.
You actually have to become very creative in finding ways how to communicate to your audience and it will make you grow, not just in your area of expertise but also in a larger sense! You will learn from successes and failures and come up with better and better ways.
All excuses not to get started thus can be summarized as one, namely: “the fear of being rejected”
But if you really want to “go for it” what is there to lose?
Or, put differently: What is worse: To fail many times before you get it right (that’s how it goes) or a life of silent desperation, wishing that you would have done what you really wanted but never even did?