Almost famous

Dad and I were recently discussing the phenomenon of Jordan Peterson and his rise to fame. Dad asked me how you go about getting famous as a thought leader.

I told him you don’t. Or at least you can’t engineer it. And if you try reverse engineering how a Simon Sinick or Marie Forleo or Jordan Peterson became household names it won’t work. For each of those people who got lucky there are another 10,000 doing similar work in relative obscurity.

I also think that that’s the wrong game to play. Rather than getting known by the world, get known by a very narrow community that you want to serve. I love this because it’s a winnable game. And it’s in your control.

Seth Godin talks about this as your smallest viable market. You’re never going to be Oprah Winfrey-famous. And trying to be the Australian Oprah is a mistake. But you could get known amongst CFOs of mid-tier mining companies, or tennis coaches, or bookkeepers … or whoever it is you serve.

And if you’re playing the practice game and aiming for $500k to $1.5M a year, that’s all you need.

Maybe the stars will align, and you’ll tap into some zeitgeist meme at just the right time and hit it big. But don’t aim for that, and definitely don’t rely on it.