The stronger you get, the sooner they will find you. Publishers, agents, journalists, editors, scouts, investors, producers, managers and recruiters all have the same job. Go out there and find the creators and entrepreneurs and business leaders who are making a big difference. Connect with them. Evaluate the commercial potential of their brand. Acquire and develop their talent to be marketed profitably. It’s the same in all industries. The job titles might differ from company to company, and the product certainly varies, but for the most part, that’s how those people spend a large part of their day. Looking for you. Now, it’s true that many of the gatekeepers have left their gates. Those people don’t have nearly as much leverage as they use to. Thanks to the massive democratization of the internet, the days of waiting for a gatekeeper to say yes for a creator to practice their craft are over. However, that doesn’t mean there isn’t value in making yourself attractive to them. Because you never know. The audience you can’t see yet is watching.
ORBITING — Treating your entire body of work would as a standing sales pitch to imaginary benefactors
This tool requires a combination of discipline and patience. Discipline, which means executional volume, velocity and value. Challenging yourself to continually produce as much as you can, as often as you can, as well as you can. And patience, which means getting good at not going away, rather than picking up your toys and going home just because your work isn’t heralded as the next great whatever. Think of it like a gravitational orbit. The stronger you get, the sooner they will find you. Not because you need them to feel complete as a creator, but because it’s always smart to keep that door open.
Henson, the famous puppet master, was also a master at letting the gatekeepers find him. He knew that the royal road to being seen, being cherished and ultimately being sponsored as an artist, was volume. That’s why he put out as much work he possibly could. Even if the applause wasn’t there, even if the commercial interest wasn’t there, he still executed his vision, trusting that his entire body of work would become the standing sales pitch to his imaginary benefactor. It was only a matter of time before somebody pulled the trigger. You can do the same.
To paraphrase my favorite scripture, fear not to entertain strangers, for by so doing you have entertained angel investors unaware. What sponsorship opportunity might be out there waiting for you?
Use obscurity to gain leverage
Make yourself attractive to future audiences
Increase the commercial viability of your work
Use a bias towards output to set you up for future success