The other week I was hanging out at a bar with a few friends and someone asked me about a project.
Basically the idea was this– how to build a community around a filmmaker so that they could thereafter fund a film project if they thought it had merit. (A little bit like Kickstarter does now.)
I explained that this was what Chris was (and is) able to do. That’s the power of the platform– to direct attention wherever you’d like it to be, compounding the chances of success for each of your successive projects.
Anyway, my friend was unconvinced. But another was like “Have you ever read his book?” (Like most good friends, almost no one there had.) 🙂 But then Eric, the one that had read it, said something in such a clear way that it’s changed the way I think about it myself. He said:
“Listen, imagine all of your friends get phones. What are you going to do, sit around waiting for a letter all day? Or are you going to get a phone?”
I’ve now totally internalized this idea– and told Eric that I was grateful he wasn’t on the web a lot, or he would have my job. 😉
The way I think about it is this– when people think of a project they want to do, they go out and try to rouse interest and meet people that are doing it. I mean, it’s only natural, right? Go find people that can help.
The only thing is, it doesn’t work.
What does work is to build something with a large network early, before you need it. Meet all kinds of people, no matter who they are. Be generous all the time, before you ever need anything. Go where the people are beforehand, and you’ll know them well if the time comes where you’re in need.
All of this relates extremely well to careers, btw.
Think about it another way. When you go to a house party, do you just go to the fridge and grab a bunch of beer? Or do you bring your own to the party? How you’re seen will depend on what kind of person you are. Decide accordingly.