Have you ever discounted or tucked away an idea even though it kept showing up in your mind?
You tell yourself that it’s not important, but really the idea fascinates and inspires you, and you’re just worried that others won’t find it as interesting as you? Because of this you may keep hiding it away or telling yourself a story about how you’re “still working on it.”
Have you ever done that?
There is a particular idea that I had for two years before I decided to share it with anyone. I’d brought it up in a handful of conversations, but I never ventured (or dared) to put it out in public and develop it further with the feedback of an audience. Then one day, I picked up a book on a friend’s recommendation.
As I read the jacket copy and flipped through the pages, I was stunned to realize what the premise of the book was very similar to my idea! Not only that, but the author won a Thinkers50 Future Thinker Award for the idea! If you’re not familiar, the Thinkers50 is basically the Oscars or Grammy awards of business thought leadership.
Now, it’s not exactly the same idea and there’s still plenty for me to share about it. But the point is this: when you keep your ideas to yourself, you not only rob yourself of opportunities and the possibility of making some of your best work, but you also rob the world of what that idea might become.
Not every idea will be a hit, but it just might be (and probably is) that the one that you are hiding under a rock could make up that most critical 5% of your vision and voice.
I’m owning this as my idea now. And it just so happens that it has everything to do with how you can show up in the world as your best self, create amazing unique value for the world, and get paid really well to do it.
The Idea I Buried for Two Years
Have you ever heard of a concept called The Long Tail?
As it turns out, The Long Tail holds the secret to transitioning from having a relatively successful lifestyle business to owning a company/brand that becomes a market leader (and enjoys all the security, opportunity, and visibility of being in that position).
The Long Tail also holds the secret to making your unique mark on the world, and it’s at the core of the idea I held onto for so long. The Long Tail is basically a way of describing the niche-market economy created by the Internet.
Twenty years ago, stores had to focus on selling only the music, books, movies, and other things that were considered “hits.” They had limited physical shelf space and could only afford to stock the most popular stuff that was guaranteed to sell. Now, thanks to the Internet, digital storefronts like iTunes, Amazon, and Netflix can afford to “carry” both the hits and an effectively infinite number of other items to fit every possible niche interest- even if it something that only sells two copies a year.
These “non-hits” make up The Long Tail. The name comes from a graph that depicts a curve that illustrates the popularity of these items out on the fringes.
This diagram depicts something I came up with a couple years ago based on things I’d noticed from 12+ years of creating online brands, researching leading personal brands, and working with top Internet influencers. I call this idea The Long Tail of Influence.
When you understand what’s going on in the diagram above, you’ll have the key to rising to the top of your market, getting huge recognition for your ideas, and getting paid insanely well to be the best version of you and do work that you were meant to do.
Now that we have reached the saturation point on the Internet where we have an overabundance of marketers and “gurus” making noise in every possible market, The Long Tail of Influence is more important than ever to the survival and growth of your business.
I’ll go in depth with how to make this happen in my next blog post, so stay tuned.