Our Attention

I lay back on the couch with my feet up, my phone glowing as the sun is finally setting.

8:23. Santa Monica.
——–

Reviewing my email, I begin to see that I am entirely uninterested in about 95% of the email that’s in my inbox.

Gmail has even created a tab for them.

“Promotions”

…..

In all of the emails I receive, in hundreds of messages, maybe 2 or 3 total are of great interest or value.

Maybe a few from friends.

Maybe a new opportunity.

Maybe one or two newsletters that truly speak to my heart.

Why is this?

What is it about our ability to create a massive amount of information, targeting whomever we please continues to leave us uninspired?

Where we even have the term for “junk” mail?

Yes, some of these same messages which do not inspire me, inspire and resonate deeply with someone else.

And It’s true that I have signed up for the majority of these messages myself! (Leaving my email with them and then letting the subscription continue.)

Is this your experience too?

And if this is your experience, how would that change your view of what it is that you create?

I believe 95% of people can create life-changing, entirely unique art, that deeply impacts the people they share it with if they simply create without interference.

Without trying to tactically make something occur with those they share their work with.

By being themselves instead of trying to be something else.

But this is not the route that people take. They go after more people, more clicks, more convincing, and in that process, ultimately they create something that is surface level.

And so 95% of communications are ignored.

What is the common email open rate at this point?

The marketing ratchet always ratchets.

Have you noticed how many robo-calls you receive today?

It started with one.

Then 10.

Now dozens and the marketing ratchet for attention grows…

So what we learn here is this: your market is smaller than you think.

(As we’ve seen, even we only truly enjoy a few select communications, so why blame your audience for feeling the same way?)

Your ability to impact someone emotionally, viscerally, humanely, is your greatest strength and your most overlooked ability.

We’re entirely inundated with how-to content about funnels, clicks, copy hacks, headline subjects… all of which we click on from compulsion rather than substance.

We listen to authorities on marketing and business because we feel we’re not wise enough to go forward own our own, trusting our own intuition or value. Our own human-ness.

(I doubt Picasso or David Bowie had business coaches that told them how to make their art)

And I don’t have a method for you to follow that will get you the results you want.

I do have some context I believe in that will help you see better for yourself how to build your own path.

And how those telling you the path to take for attention is often ineffective.

But rarely…

Very occasionally…

Almost by luck or chance…

We find someone or something that lights us up.

That makes us feel connected.

That inspires us to find our own paths, our own truths.

That makes us feel uniquely human, empowered, capable, like change is possible.

I’m forever grateful for these lanterns – these visionaries, those taking the risk to put themselves out there on a limb. Making and sharing something that shifts my perspective with something new and something real. Luckily the world is big, and so there are many out there and it’s easier to find them than ever.

Those whose courage is contagious.

Because in them we see ourselves, who we want to be.

And this can be you, too.

You can light a new path that inspires, connects, gives permission and is valued by those you speak with or serve. Thanks to technology it’s cheaper and easier to do this than ever.

But it won’t be for everyone.

And this will only happen if created from you.

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1 Comment

  • Alina says:

    To be honest, David, yours and Lenny Letter are the only newsletters I read. And I’m pretty sure I know why – it’s the straight up tell it like it is stuff. There’s very little getting in the way of reading a story that I’m pretty sure will resonate, as they have before. I’ve been wondering if my ‘Unroll.me’ list is the only one that gets mostly ignored. I never section away time to spend on reading newsletters, so it’s always stolen moments I give them. And then when I do look, so begins the usual temptation into distraction, and I pull away. There are usually too many things vying for my attention.

    I like yours though. And it’s inspiring me to come up with ideas for the business I work for. I feel suspicious of automated free gift newsletter sign up sales funnels thingos. I know that listening to that suspicion will lead to the gutsier story telling. Thanks for the validation.

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