I can’t help but wonder what artists, thinkers, and visionaries from the past would think of today’s world.
Would Alan Watts have a podcast?
Would Marcus Aurelius be Twitter famous?
Would Nietzsche do public speaking gigs about his New York Times bestseller?
Many people think they would “reject the world” and retire to the woods.
I would argue the exact opposite.
They would realize the raw power of the internet to spread their ideas to the world because humans have an innate drive to survive on more planes of existence than the physical.
But that’s not the main question on my mind.
I’m even more curious about today’s creators and how they will be remembered.
In a previous chat I had with Justin C Scott on our adventures in Greenville, South Carolina, he said something that stuck in my mind:
The further removed an influential figure is from their time in history, the more mythical they become.
People stop perceiving them as a person and begin to see them as something more – as the arbiter of certain ideas, concepts, and philosophies.
They no longer live in the mind as someone who lived, but as an archetypal concept that feels as if they always were.
In the time of Watts or Aurelius, their language was normal.
It probably wasn’t perceived as “deep” and “mysterious” as we often think it is.
It was just normal language.
As language evolved with culture and society, so did our perception of the teachings of old.
In 100 years from now, language will see substantial changes yet again, and today’s creators will be perceived as ancient artifacts.
Jordan Peterson, Joe Rogan, and Mr. Beast have all added their own thread to the cultural tapestry we continue to create.
But who will be in the next generation of creators?
I’ll let your imagination run wild to answer that question.
But I believe the landscape of public intellectuals will change as a whole.
Those we hold with high regard in our mind will diversify based on community and self-interest.
For every one Marcus Aurelius, there will be ten Joe Rogans.
But the Joe Rogans will all attract different types of followers based on their unique perspectives and personality.
They will all talk about the same thing via internet content, but the teachings will be vastly different due to their personal experience.
I’ve talked about the flipside of this in The Future The Creator Economy.
Every creator will distill their expertise and attract a school of students that resonate with their teaching style.
Creators will evolve and their following will evolve with them.
This eliminates saturation in the creator economy because life isn’t saturated – and we are all making the transition into the digital society.
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The Emerging Digital Society
Every single person that was remembered throughout time had one thing in common:
They were massive value creators.
They were fountainheads of knowledge, perspective, and insight.
They didn’t attempt to hold their thoughts in their finite headspace.
They wrote, spake, marketed, and sold the potent ideas that wove the web of their worldview.
This is why I recommend studying those 4 evergreen skills and pairing them with your personal interests to succeed in the new renaissance (see: The $1 Million Dollar Skill Stack).
Today’s world is different.
You have access to the internet.
The revolutionary invention that people see as normal parts of their lives.
The thing that distracts people from their potential but is the exact tool to escape surface-level living.
There is an emerging digital society.
The world wide web continues to develop in unforeseen ways and I see it as a next step in human evolution.
You’re either providing value online or you are putting it off until you are forced to for survival.
Over the past decade digital tools and aids have become such a part of our life that we didn’t even realize we are half-robot.
Of course, this comes with ramifications that the ancient masters warned about.
Mechanical and mindless living is the antagonist of a good life.
The internet must be used and it must not use you.
The power has shifted back into the hands of the individual. You have the ability to:
- Become highly skilled in any (valuable) topic you want in 3-6 months.
- Form a high-level network that feeds you opportunities. This was impossible with prior barriers of physical location.
- Attract an audience to your life’s work so you can get paid to do what you enjoy.
Humans solve problems to evolve, and I genuinely believe we have problem-solved our way into the opportunity to do what we love at almost all times of the day (if you put in the work to do so).
Start Building Your Legacy In The New World
We are smack in the middle of a second renaissance and future thought leaders are emerging left and right.
This is not to be taken lightly.
I used to think the term “thought leader” was rather cringe. But it is arguably the most important endeavor one can take on.
To become a thought leader, you must first learn to lead yourself.
By leading yourself into the unknown, you expose yourself to:
- Novel ideas and perspectives
- New potentials for your life (and others)
- Skills that you must acquire to push further
- Results you must get with those skills to maintain progress
A thought leader will not be a thought leader for long if they do not build solutions that gets results for the occupants of society.
They must expand their mind to allow for thought to have further boundaries.
True thought can only go as far as the experience you have.
Here is how you begin to build your legacy in the new world:
1) Identify What You Must Do
There are infinite roads you can take that lead to the life you want.
But the first step is identifying the life you want so you can move in the right direction.
Dance between your desired future and despised future.
As you experience life:
- Be conscious and observant of those around you.
- Take mental note of lives that you do not want to live.
- Study the habits, patterns, and ideas of successful individuals.
- Add brush strokes to the vision of your ideal future over time.
It won’t be absolutely clear at first, and that’s okay. You have time.
2) Solidify A Vessel For Actualizing That Reality
This is where most people go wrong.
They dream and dream about doing incredible things but let it remain a dream. Why?
Because they don’t have a clear and certain path for making it work.
They don’t realize that nothing certain is worth having, and that the future is uncertain no matter what you do (this should be obvious).
You need skills and interests that you can practice and apply for life.
It truly doesn’t matter what skills or interests you choose.
If you are conscious of the problems that stand in the way of executing on your plan, the next step should be obvious. Don’t hide from it.
If starting a business is the path to the life you want, but you “don’t know how,” then learn how with the endless information online.
Ya… it will take some time.
If you realize that you need money to start that business you choose, but don’t have any, then you either have to start with a lower cost business model or get a higher-paying job (or experiment with budgeting techniques).
If you realize you can’t get a better job or don’t have the skill to start the low-cost business… answer the question yourself.
Too many people avoid doing what they “don’t want” even when it is standing in the way of what they want.
Change your perspective.
If it’s standing in the way of what you want, then you should want to do it.
Don’t get distracted.
Learn and apply the skills or interests that intrigue you most in alignment with your desired future.
When problems pop up, acquire the skills and interests necessary to overcome them.
No self-help prescription required.
You have a self-corrective compass called a mind.
3) A Powerful Habit Formation Heuristic
If you don’t know why you are doing something, why are you doing it?
Most people are unconscious as to why they are making 99% of the choices that they make.
Start questioning everything you do.
If there is no conscious intention behind the action, stop doing it.
Why are you going out to drink and party?
I’m not telling you to stop. I’m telling you to have a reason.
I love the occasional party and can attribute much of my success to the conversations and people that I’ve met during those times.
But it’s usually used as a tactical reset after a period of extended intensity. It is a forced low that balances out the forced highs.
Back to questioning:
Why are you shoveling hot and spicy McChickens down your throat?
Again, I’m not telling you to stop.
I love a good ol’ Mcdonald’s trip, but it still does not derail me completely from my mental, physical, and financial health goals.
Why are you laying in bed instead of going to the gym?
Why are you going to work after complaining about how you hate it?
Because you have to?
Is that not wage slavery?
Do you even care?
Are you lying to yourself that it’s for another reason?
Are you going to do anything about it?
Or are you just going to keep doing the same things until the day you die?
When will you allow yourself to become fully conscious of the situation you’ve built yourself into?
The answers to these questions may shock you (if you’re honest with yourself).
There are no wrong actions, there are only actions without intention.
Lead. Your. Thoughts.
4) Personal Distribution
Building an audience, readership, or distribution isn’t only for online businesses.
It is the new way of life.
Building personal distribution is how you:
- Get a job without a job board
- Sell a book without a publisher
- Make music without a record label
Be you, learn to persuade, and you get to skip ahead of those that rely on others for their success.
I’m in the process of self-publishing my book, The Art Of Focus, that has new plans to launch sooner than expected…
The average self-published book sells 250 copies (Googled statistic).
They make less than $1,000 a year.
I’ve almost guaranteed my book to be a best-seller simply because I’ve built an audience over the past 3-4 years.
And all of the ideas are validated through my newsletters and social media engagement. I already know that people will love it because they’ve already shown that.
Same goes for any product I built that has a slight relation to what I talk about.
Since I’ve built distribution, I can build whatever I want.
I can start a gym, supplement line, apparel store, or even start producing music and get on a big stage when most producers will never see an audience of more than 100 people.
Fair? Maybe, maybe not.
Or it’s just the reality that people don’t learn the game before they try to win.
5) Focus On Perspective Development
The biggest “shift” for me was realizing that audience building isn’t about the latest hacks and tactics.
It’s about novel perspectives – something that AI tools will never be able to do under the name of a human.
I don’t see how AI could take something like Ken Wilbers’ theory of everything, connect it to the creator economy, and distill “stages of creator development” from a place of experience like I did here.
I’m assuming that AI can’t have insight and connect abstract patterns to its skills or interests.
There is a progression to this game, but you want to get to the point of contagious ideas that spread without your personal effort.
The creator economy is a game of mental warfare.
The more ideas you spread that form the identity and worldview of other individuals the more success will come to you.
If this doesn’t make sense to you, it won’t until you actually start building.
Good luck on your path, fellow Creator.
P.S. Alright last one so I can close enrollment and not worry about promotion over the next few days.
Solopreneur Sprints starts in 2 days and Digital Economics price doubles on that date. Check it out here if you want to turn yourself into a fulfilling modern business.