Whose business are you minding?

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Industries have rules. Rules and benefits. Hollywood requires agents, casting calls, big budgets and content aimed at a certain part of a certain market. If you follow enough of the rules, the thinking goes, you get a multi-million dollar budget and the red carpet. Broadway requires a certain length…

Industries have rules. Rules and benefits.

Hollywood requires agents, casting calls, big budgets and content aimed at a certain part of a certain market. If you follow enough of the rules, the thinking goes, you get a multi-million dollar budget and the red carpet.

Broadway requires a certain length, certain compromises, certain deals. This creates scalpers and hangers on and small audiences filling small theaters. And, if you follow just enough of the rules, you might end up with Hamilton. Perhaps one in 10,000 pull this off.

Publishing requires a fealty to the book and to the bookstore, alliances with the right cultural forces and a willingness to create scarcity. If you're persistent and very, very good, you can get picked by the New Yorker and you get picked by Little, Brown and you end up with The Tipping Point. Perhaps one in 100,000 pull this off.

Outsiders who want in, who want to make their mark in movies or investment banking or in politics often decide that minding the business of their industry is the way to reach their goals. After all, it's the insiders that win the awards and get the benefits that go to people who are by and for their industry.

But what if instead of focusing on the industry, you focused on the change you seek to make? On the audience you seek to serve. On doing your customers' business, not the industry's...

It's not in any of the manuals, but the door is wide open, the path is far wider and you can start today.


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