I don’t fall in love quickly. If a really fantastic thinker crosses my path, I might follow her videos and blog for a year before really falling in love. A great speaker might cross my radar, but I won’t giggle like a besotted teenager until I’ve figured out if the rest of his stuff is as good as that speech.
But once it’s on, baby, it’s on. I’ll go to the show, buy tickets to the lecture, pass out copies of the book, and evangelize to anyone who will listen about this fantastic thinker who will change the way you perceive strength training, or corporate culture, or quantity surveying, or whatever the issue du jour may be.
Attention and approval are necessary to gaining an audience that truly values your work. Getting people’s attention and winning their approval takes time, energy, and a lot of generosity. This is the generosity that drives you to create high-quality presentations delivered pro bono at special interest events in your city, or exceptional book launch offers for early adopters, or the best damn blog/vlog/podcast available for free online. It requires that you don’t hold back ideas out of fear of rejection or theft.
It necessitates that the talk you are delivering for free at a local Rotary club contains content with quality rivalling the speech you are getting paid big bucks to deliver at the chamber of commerce gala. Remember, this is courtship. Courtship takes time. It requires giving gifts to our sweethearts. I like gifts filled with words and big ideas. Your people might like gifts of little product samples, or free songs, or beautiful images. These are all roses given to prospective devotees; so choose beautiful roses and give them freely and generously and honestly.
And because people can smell self-serving actions from a mile away, you must genuinely want to give it for free and that you do so joyously. Your reward in the moment is helping someone improve, or make them smile, or bring a bit of sparkle to their day. For now, that’s reward enough – the financial reward will come later. Be truthful in your generosity, and the people you’ve served will be generous to you in return.