The easiest way to grow an audience

It turns out in order to sell out Vivint Smart Home Arena, you need to fill it with 18,306 people.

Not 18,307 or a million. 18,306 people that are willing to come see your performance.

By contrast, if you wanted to fill Great Saltair, you need 4,600 fans.

The point is, that even the biggest names have a max capacity.

Because they are not for everyone, they are for someone. Including you. Which means…

Don’t worry about the size of the venue, worry about making a difference. Take the audience you have and make something for them that is worth sharing with their friends.

Much easier than trying to stand on the street corner and shout from the top of your lungs.

Makes something that brings status and that creates scarcity. Solve an interesting problem for those you seek to serve. Do it in a generous way.

Drip by drip.

Dog days of summer

The reason why we complain about the heat isn’t that we are uncomfortable, it’s because there is nothing we can do to change it.

We can’t ask the sun to turn down the temperature.

The thing is, we tend to complain about things that are out of our control. Because…

Our time, energy, attention are all finite resources. Because inconvenience and being uncomfortable brings tension that can’t be resolved.

The best answer I can give is to wear some sunscreen, find some shade and continue to do your work.

Your time isn’t being well spent complaining about things you can’t change. And with things you can, they need your attention.

Drawing a bigger box

When hearing someone else’s story it’s tempting to think how does this pertain to me?

How does this information fit my worldview?

The alternative is, we simply listen.

Take good notes, ignore the internal narrative, resist the incessant need to think of the next thing to say…

When we draw a bigger box, our ability to lead grows.

The optimist problem

As the Stockdale Paradox says:

The optimists. Oh, they were the ones who said, ‘We’re going to be out by Christmas.’ And Christmas would come, and Christmas would go. Then they’d say, ‘We’re going to be out by Easter.’ And Easter would come, and Easter would go. And then Thanksgiving, and then it would be Christmas again. And they died of a broken heart. This is a very important lesson. You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end–-which you can never afford to lose–-with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.

Sound familiar?

“If we just get to November…” or “When we get a vaccine…” or “When unemployment comes…”

Look, there are many people who are hurting right now and so many that have died from the tragedy.

I’m an optimist and I have no doubt that the generous voices of the world will eventually prevail.

And

I’m happier when I put power into the narrative that this story is not over and I know in the end I will prevail; rather than surrendering my happiness into someone else’s hands.

Information isn’t the problem

It turns out facts are not the roadblock to learning. There are plenty of facts to go around. We have more information at the tips of our fingers than anyone could ever have ever imagined 200 years ago.

Which means understanding the world is not knowing all the facts. Otherwise, no one would ever have a pulse on what is going.

The challenge then isn’t more information, it’s understanding the information we have.

Everyone thinks they are objective. Everyone thinks they are right. To change someone’s mind then requires someone to collate information in a story that will show someone a new path forward.

Difficult for sure, but also one of the greatest challenges/opportunities in our lifetime.

From outhouse to penthouse

70% of lotto winners will lose the money they won within a few years.

Why?

Because money is a story.

A story we tell ourselves.

If we view money as a an enemy, something that gets in the way, something that we’re always behind on— there is simply no amount will that’ll ever be enough. This sometimes sounds like, “If I am ever rich, then I’ll donate.”

The opposite is also true too. If money is a way you keep score, then making 13 billion dollars in a day doesn’t satisfy the itch for more.

Those who view money as a tool, however, they figure out how to save their money until they are no longer paying interest anymore.

At the end of the day…

Money amplifies character, it doesn’t change it.

Art is work

Not the work of compliance. Not the work of digging the ditch we are told to dig.

Art is the work of generosity. Making something that doesn’t exist for people that might even know that they want it.

Art is seeing people with empathy, finding a pain point and resolving that tension.

There is no map, no step-by-step set of instructions to follow. Art is going to places that others are afraid to go.

Art is the emotional work of putting yourself out there. To be seen. To be heard. And yes, it is the work of setting the stage—the impresario who receives no credit.

Art is throwing the ball in the air and hoping someone will catch it. It takes time for others to see what you do and want to participate. As an artist, we must understand that most people are going to keep walking by.

But for the few, we are here to put in the work and change you for the better.

Saying goodbye to expectations

Understanding sunk costs are one of the most important lessons anyone of us can learn.

None of our expectations of 2020 have matched the reality.

Instead of abandoning our expectations, shuffling the deck, and try again, we hold on tightly.

That is not to discredit the pain and uncertainty of this tragedy that many people are feeling. Instead, it is understanding that we won’t begin to be happy again until we accept the new reality.

Because once we get on other side of this with a vaccine, things will be different. The question is, will you?

Happiness is not getting what we want but appreciating what we have.

The price of admission

Because of how fast the world moves we expect recoveries to move just as fast too. But there are no quick fixes to big, complex problems.

Crash diets, a pill, a small monthly payment, isn’t going to fix an epidemic or inequality or an economy or climate change.

We have to ask then, what price are we willing to pay in order to live in a world we can imagine?

Sustainability

You can preserve most things by taking access away from people.

Of course, no one then gets to enjoy the resource.

There is always a push and pull when it comes to sustainability.

There is no correct answer.

But once a resource is gone, no one wins.

Cherish the memories of what it used to be.

Embrace it for it could be.