March 23, 2011
Authors, speakers, bloggers: Don't get caught up in the Triple Threat Conundrum.
If you can speak, soon, you are asked to write a book. If you write a business or advice book and it sells, you'll be asked to speak. If you do either, you'll be expected to blog well, terrifically Tweet and master Facebook and/or LinkedIn. Whew.
Comedian Mitch Hedberg once lamented that agents would approach him with: "You are really good at telling jokes, can you act? He said, "That's like saying to a great chef - wow, you can cook, but can you farm.?" His point, just do the one thing well and don't sweat the product or career extensions.
I've met several authors that aren't really very good a speaking, but they do it anyway (poor audiences). I've met several great speakers that write awful books (poor readers). And many of the author/speakers I know slave away over social media, wondering why their blog isn't as big as Seth Godin's or their Twitter following isn't swelling like Gary Vaynerchuk's. To them I say, relax: Just do your thing really well and you'll find a way to make a living - and a difference.
We cannot fall prey to the Triple Threat challenge (sing, act and produce) that entertainers deal with. Blogging has it's own special skill set - just ask Chris Brogan. If you are a great writer, find a way to make your money selling books and don't think that you have to hit the lecture circuit. If you get exponentially better at one thing, like Gladwell's done with writing or Tony Robbins has done with speaking - you'll be just fine.