I recently wrote about the quickest way to find career clarity. To summarize, I suggested that instead of asking “what have people paid me money to do?” you should answer “what activities (whether I’ve been paid for them or not) have energized me the most?”
In my experience, this exercise has helped me hone in on the activities that energize me the most, the primary economic principle being, maximizing energy will maximize efficiency, which is key to surviving, and thriving, in a free market economy.
All that is fine and well. And I don’t mean to detract from it with this post. However, in the tryptophan fueled aftermath of Thanksgiving, I realized, with equal clarity, that I left out the very thing I’ve been working on since starting my own business in 2004, namely, creating my very own long tail.
Technically, I don’t even think this was a thing yet in 2004, as the book on the subject came out in 2008 (and, yes, that’s a Barnes and Noble link, as I haven’t purchased anything on Amazon in 14 months, primarily, to fight Bezos’s growing monopoly, and, secondarily, because I refuse to fund his political bullhorn (aka the WaPo) with my American consumerism). But, since I’ve never been accused of being a late adopter, I suppose my family and friends are not surprised that I set out to pursue something, prior to it officially being “a thing”.
Regardless, all the stuff I said in the previous post about being energized by complexity is absolutely true. And it is why I’ve so greatly enjoyed the start, stop, go, reverse, correct, modify, improve, go again process of building a long tail over the last 14 years.
The concept of the long tail is so important to me (I’ve dedicated almost a 3rd of my life to it for crying out loud), that I’ve spent time in several of the Muthonomics podcast episodes exploring various facets of it, none more specifically than Muthonomics #3 – Creative Entrepreneurs Often Fail Because They Do Not Apply This Rule.
So as a postscript to the previous post, complexity most definitely energizes me, and I am drawn to the complexity of building a long tail, like a moth to a flame (or a bug to a bug zapper) (or a bee to a flower) (or Dwight Howard to a…well, nevermind).
Now excuse me while I go update by Twitter bio to “building a long tail since 2004.”