Why do stars flame out and die?
We are all familiar with the one hit wonders. Those people that seemingly come from nowhere, appear in the collective conscious for a short period of time and then seemingly disappear from whence they came.
People that stay in the public eye, people that maintain an ability to consistently deliver value over the long term are a rarity. And that in itself makes them valuable.
Looking beyond the superstars of popular culture and instead looking at your business or industry you will no doubt also be able to list off various ‘gurus’ or authorities that made an impact upon peoples awareness before quickly falling off the radar.
And then at an even more granular level we have you and I, business owners.
We know we should be out there, pitching our ideas, sharing our knowledge through content in publications, speaking at industry events etc. But we’re just so ‘busy’. Busy managing staff, serving clients, talking to investors etc. etc. it never ends.
Although occasionally there is a break. A little downtime, and in that downtime we maybe pen an article, come up with an idea for a new product, speak at a conference. In that downtime we find a way to create value for our clients, our prospects, the communities we serve.
And the moment we do that we once again shine a little brighter. But when we shine a little brighter often it can have a destabilising effect. Like moths, the brighter we shine, the more work is attracted to us. Prospects who have questions, clients that have needs, staff who would help you — if only you had the time to train them. The brighter you shine, the more people want a piece of you.
So what is the answer?
How do you continue to shine brightly when the minute you do more people demand your time? Having seen this countless times amongst the business owners I work with, the answer seems to come down to this one question.
Will this help me serve more people?
And yet the right answer is often not the easy answer. The author who turns down a lucrative speaking gig in another country because they will be addressing 200 delegates as opposed to the thousands they could help if they stayed at home and worked on their craft. The business owner who turns down the prestige client because there is no one else on the team who could handle them.
Each of these decisions can be painful in the short term. Focusing on serving more people, on serving an entire community or industry by it’s very nature means that you will have to say no to people. To turn down the ‘smaller’ opportunities.
As you look at your task list for the rest of the week, ask yourself that question”Will this help me serve more people”. A star is only useful while it is illuminating the path for others. What article could you write that would help more? What product or service could you offer that would create a solution for others. How could you raise your profile so that more people could benefit from your knowledge?
In the words of Pink Floyd:
Shine On You Crazy Diamond
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For a copy of my new book “Progressive Partnerships — The Future of Business” you can go to Amazon: http://goo.gl/FYQUIM or download a free synopsis from CallumLaing.com/Future