If you’re someone who wants to have an impact in this world, you need to have a platform. You need to have an audience to speak to and spread your message. What’s the best way to do this? It’s not by obsessively checking Twitter and Facebook—it’s by being of value and exemplifying the principles of your work. It’s a quieter strategy, and it takes longer, but it’s ultimately the only respectable path.
The great Stoic Marcus Aurelius once admonished himself to be a “boxer, not a fencer.” A fencer, he said, has to bend down to pick up his weapon. A boxer’s weapon is a part of him—“all he has to do is clench his fist.” A hustler has to drum up an audience each time. A marketer has to pick up the tools of their trade to get attention. The whore has to say or do whatever it takes to get on TV or spur outrage.
That’s not who you want to be. Bind yourself to your work and you will bind your audience to you. One fan, one follower, one loyal customer at a time.
[If you’re specifically interested in those larger lessons for the creative or artistic fields, check out Ryan’s new book Perennial Seller, from which today’s email was adapted.]
P.S. Sign up today for the Daily Stoic’s email and get our popular free 7-day course on Stoicism.