Seth Godin and I are on the same wave-length today.
People who always prefer validation that their ideas and opinions are flawless have chosen to live in an echo chamber. They thrive on hearing their messages emanating from their vocal chords to proselytizing their wisdom to their indentured followers . . . and take tremendous GLEE hearing that message again and again and again as it echoes around the chamber they have created. In their world, there is but one voice . . . theirs and only theirs. There are no other valid opinions or ideas. They are egotists! The only feedback they hear is the feedback that validates their rhetoric.
Amazingly, many of these egotists find their way to the TOP . . . High volume 1%ers who have gained POWER over others who are not “wired” to stand up to these bullies. These egotists are able to seize the advantage because, as Henry David Thoreau wrote in “Walden”: “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.”
The good news is that we (the mass of Men/Women) do NOT have to bow down to these egotists . . . nor do we have to wage war with them. We don’t have to stop them from doing what they are doing. We do not have to absorb their abusive ways in misery because we have the freedom to go elsewhere and surround ourselves with people who are constructive (vs destructive).
These people we seek are mutually supportive, and they tell the truth to themselves and others . . . even when the truth isn’t what the others want to hear. This is “Constructive Feedback” and we receive this from those people who we know, like, and trust the MOST.
The result is often Spirited, non-confrontational, dialog that leads to better solutions.
These are our minimum viable audience.
The smallest group that could possibly sustain you in your work…
If you could pick the members of this audience, who would you choose? Their dreams, their worldviews, their energy, all up to you.
If you could pick them and needed to delight them because you had no one else available, would your product or service improve? If you had no choice but to ignore the naysayers (they’re not in the group) or the people who don’t think they need you or your work, would that force you to stop compromising and start excelling?
Two things happen when you delight your minimum viable audience:
- you discover it’s a lot larger group than you expected
- they tell the others
On the other hand, if you aim for mass (another word for average), you’ll probably create something average. Which gets you not very far.