1,000 True Fans

It's possible you'll create the next blockbuster that gets seen by millions and grosses ten figures at the box office.

But if you define your success by those metrics, you're likely setting yourself up for a high chance of failure. Very few people create work that finds acclaim on that level.

It's OK if you want to play that game, but you should walk into it with eyes open.

Alternatively, you can define what success looks like on a smaller scale, and Kevin Kelly has a famous suggestion for finding it if you're a creator: 1,000 true fans.

The math is straightforward. If you can get 1,000 people every year to pay you $100, you'll make $100,000 – a comfortable living by most standards.

Of course, the numbers themselves don't matter much. You could just as easily decide that $50,000 per year is your goal and focus on getting 1,000 people to pay you $50.

But Kelly's point remains the same: If you can consistently get a relatively small number of people to pay you a modest amount of money, you can find success as a creator.

And when you consider how the internet enables finding your long tail audience, you'll find that making a living sharing your unique talents with the world has never been easier.


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