Writing for *Longevity*
One of the great virtues of possessing longevity as an Influencer is:
You don’t have to re-do everything month after month and year after year.
Mark Twain only had to write The Adventures of Tom Sawyer once. Shakespeare only had to write Romeo and Juliet once. Moses only had to write Genesis once. Heck, people are still arguing about it 3500 years later.
Cosmopolitan magazine hasn’t produced a single original idea in 20 years, but they still have to re-shuffle their headlines and supermodels every 30 days.
How do you get off the Cosmo merry-go-round and create something that lasts 10 or 20 years or even a century?
There’s a clue in the very first thing I ever produced, “Guerilla Marketing for Hi-Tech Sales People.” I recorded that CD 12 years ago. I still sell it and it’s just as current now as it was the week I recorded it.
The answer’s just 2 minutes in:
“It’s very important to recognize the difference between a principle and a technique. A technique is a “trick” that you use to get something done, something that works in a very specific situation.
A principle, however, is something that’s universally true, something that transcends any particular company or circumstance. Today we’re going to talk about principles, not techniques.
That means that not only does this information apply to my business, it applies to your business, and every other business. Secondly, that means this information will be just as true 20 years from now as it is today. Businesses are failing today because they are ignoring principles and trying to replace them with techniques.”
Now… there is a problem with this. The problem is:
Selling principles instead of techniques is like selling vegetables when everyone else is selling chocolate cake.
People pay top dollar for techniques all day long. In fact they’ll spend a few billion dollars just to kick the sequester can six weeks down the street. The more temporary the technique is, the more people will pay for them.
That’s why Cosmo is the #1 magazine on the rack. It’s also why if you take their tawdry relationship advice, you’ll STILL be hunting for a new boyfriend every six moths when you’re 57.
Compared to Cosmo, principles seem so BORING.
So what do you do about that?
I’ll do a deep dive on this at the Influential Writing Retreat. But for today, know this:
* Even though 80% of the people in the world only want a quick band-aid fix, 20% are sick and tired of being sick and tired. They’re crying for a REAL solution, one that doesn’t unravel after a few months. When you deliver that real solution – one with substance and meat behind it, one that’s not just smoke and mirrors – they’ll trust you at a level they’ve never trusted anyone else. *
That’s why people post blog comments like this one from Stewart Turton in the UK:
“80% of my success is down to the stuff I’ve learnt from you. (I initially signed up to a million and one email newsletters, the vast majority of which turned out to be complete garbage compared to your material. So I unsubscribed from all of them apart from yours a few others.) You’ve helped me become my own boss and for that I extremely grateful. It’s weird that you are the nearest thing I have to a mentor and I’ve not so much as emailed you before, let alone have we spoken or met!”
Imagine the person you’ll be in five years. The you that will be walking around 5 years from now. Picture yourself in the future – the person you’ll be.
Do you love that future person?
Do you care about that future person?
What would it be like if, 5 years from now, you looked back on the YOU of TODAY and you said, “I am so glad I didn’t build myself a house on the sand. I am thrilled that I built and enduring legacy. I’m so glad I CARED ABOUT MYSELF enough to escape the world of band-aid fixes.”
If you love the Future You who looks back and thanks you for caring about yourself, apply to come to my Influential Writing Retreat May 7-9: