As a young kid fronting a rock-n-roll band, I moved to Los Angeles in hopes of being discovered. In the days before the laptop and the Internet, you went to Los Angeles to play the Sunset Strip and wait for an A&R person from the record company to make you a star. You needed a gatekeeper to validate you, to give you permission to succeed.
For a host of reasons, it didn’t work out that for me. But a lot has changed. More accurately, everything has changed.
If you want to share you music, sell your music, and build a community of supporters, all you need is a little talent, a lot of ambition, a laptop, GarageBand, and a video camera. There are no gatekeepers between you and your people if you are willing to hustle.
If you want to write long form news, magazines, or editorial commentary, all you need is a way with words, a point of view, a good hosting provider, a killer WordPress theme, and the willingness to engage with the community that cares about what you want to write about. There are no longer any gatekeepers between you and the people who are passionate about what you write.
Maybe you want to write books. There isn’t any reason to send a manuscript to a big publisher. You live in a time where you will deprived of the honor of telling the story of how you were rejected by 78 publishers before someone finally believed you were good enough to be published. If you’ve got writing chops, go ahead and pound something out of your keyboard. You’ll be in Amazon in a minute.
Entrepreneur? All of the above is true for you, too. You don’t even have to go beg a bank to give you money if you have a solid idea that you can sell.
- WordPress makes you a publisher. Chris publishes a magazine.
- Amazon.com puts you on their book shelves, with or without a publisher (and their recommendation engine beats all).
- YouTube gives you your own television station.
- iTunes gives you your own radio station. And it puts you in the record store.
- Google gives your people the opportunity to find you.
The only thing you need now is the willingness to hustle, your talent, and your ambition. Stop waiting to be discovered. Stop waiting for permission to share your gift. The world is waiting for you.