Why do some people easily get hordes of comments on their blogs and quickly build a massive following, while others struggle?
It’s not because they hit the front page of Digg.
It’s not because they’re super-connected with A-listers.
It’s not even because they’re really smart.
It’s because they kill their good ideas.
And because they kill all the “good ideas,” they don’t chase the stuff that seems to have potential, but doesn’t really matter. They only do the stuff they must do: what they’re insanely passionate about and what they were born to do.
But they’re all secondary to caring. No amount of hype can make up for it. While you can certainly create an outward shell of success with publicity and marketing tricks, that success only lasts until the next marketing gimmick falls through.
Working toward something you genuinely care about is like laying your roots deep in the earth. Trying to fake it at something you don’t like is clutching at sand.
Faking your passion for a product is like dipping a salmon-flavored ice cream cone in chocolate and hoping no one can taste the fish.
The sad part
Every day, vast amounts of time, money, and energy are put into creating things that people don’t want and don’t care about.
Brochures and fliers are made by the millions, and when handed out, it’s like they’re saying “Here, you throw this away.” (Thanks, Mitch, for that one.)
Tons of graphic design, copywriting, marketing, and all kinds of finagling is done in attempt to sell people things they don’t really need, and could care less about.
Sometimes these efforts work, at least temporarily. But there’s always a sense of something false beneath the surface.
When you don’t care about the work you do, not only does your audience know you’re not excited, you’re also unmotivated. The work is slow and painful, because you are easily distracted. You have to psyche yourself out to start your day.
The awesome part
The good news is that there are vast amounts of amazing endeavors you can pursue right now. You don’t have to do boring work, trying to slap feel-good emotion on top of boring products.
The even better news is that when you actually care about the work you do, it’s easy to stay motivated about communicating your message. You’ll still have to figure out how to market it and how to get people’s attention, but once you do that, the heavy lifting is already done.
Plus, you can delete all that nauseating highlighted text and neon-orange, fear-based marketing.
Take a deep breath. Notice the lack of carcinogens? It’s called fresh air. That’s what authentic marketing tastes like.
Some cool side-effects of caring
The nice thing about caring about your work is that it leads directly to respect for your audience.
It feels good to know your doctor actually cares about your health. It’s nice to know that your mayor actually cares about pesticide-free drinking water, too.
Caring builds respect. It also builds trust. But most of all, it helps you connect.
If we care about the same things, you’ll probably listen to what I have to say. A relationship is formed. You open up the channels of trust and permission.
Character may almost be called the most effective means of persuasion. ~ Aristotle
Caring emanates character and builds trust; the most powerful method of persuasion.
Sure, you can slap as much marketing as you want on top of a hollow product that you really couldn’t care less about. And if you’re skilled enough, you can probably get a decent amount of people to take out their wallets.
But why not use marketing to back up something that lights your head on fire with passion? Then, all of your tools of building curiosity, persuasion, and conversion not only get people to take out their wallets, they will tell their friends.
Kill your good ideas. Don’t do what you think might be profitable. Don’t do what you think is “sensible.” Don’t do what you think you might be willing to live with.
Do what you can’t not do.
About the Author: Jonathan Mead is a professional ass-kicker (life coach), raw foodist, and student of Jeet Kune Do. He recently released a free ebook called The Zero Hour Workweek, aimed at helping people find freedom from the 9 to 5.