⭐️ Playing the entrepreneurial game with cheat codes

A few years ago, the lines were clear:

You either were an entrepreneur and focused on building your business, or you went down the influencer route and focused on growing your audience.

Of course, there were always examples of people successfully wandering between these worlds.

Some influencers started their own brands instead of hyping other people’s products. And some entrepreneurs became influencers by sharing the lessons that made them successful.

These kinds of leaps only happened once someone reached the highest level of success in one of these areas.

But right now a seismic shift is happening. The wall that divides influencers and entrepreneurs comes tumbling down and a whole new spectrum between these two extremes starts to emerge.

For every ambitious person who wants to carve out their own path, the decision is no longer a binary one between the influencer game and the entrepreneurial game. Now it’s all about where exactly on this spectrum you want to play.

That’s a huge unlock.

In the old days, you either needed to be genius-level talented or get really lucky to be successful.

Unless you were able to amass millions of followers, the pure influencer game did not yield meaningful real-world returns.

The entrepreneurial game on the other hand was extremely difficult to play unless you’re a genius who’s able to dream up ideas with product-market fit (or simply got lucky to stumble upon such an idea). And you certainly didn’t have many opportunities coming your way unless you founded a unicorn.

But nowadays anyone can build a sustainable career online by leveraging elements of both games.

Anyone who’s doing that is playing the Great Online Game.

The one big secret that underpins it is that putting yourself out there is not about building an audience but all about engineering serendipity.

In the pure influencer game, you create content to build a huge audience so that you can eventually sell or shill products to them. But this obviously only really works if you have a huge audience.

Players of the Great Online Game also publish content online. But the goal is no longer to sell anything to the audience they built this way.

Instead, it’s all about bringing the right kind of people and opportunities into your life.

Even a tiny Twitter audience or email list is already a huge leg up if you want to validate new business ideas, get feedback fast, find beta testers, collaborators and partners, or need help getting the word out at zero cost.

The Great Online Game is like playing the entrepreneurial game with cheat codes.

But the Great Online Game is definitely not trivial. The most common trap is that people lean too far towards the influencer side while doing little else.

Lots of people churn out content just for the sake of it and on the business side of things launch at most a mediocre info product every now and then. Even in the best-case scenario, the outcome is usually underwhelming.

While you might be able to build a decent Twitter following by posting platitudes or rehashing old viral tweets, its quality will be low. You most likely won’t find the kind of people among your followers that could truly move your career and life forward.

So when in doubt, lean towards the entrepreneurial side. But also spend the necessary time, energy, and money to maximize your luck surface area. Think about what kind of people and opportunities you’d like to have in your life. Then put yourself out there in ways that attracts them.

This is precisely why I wrote the post you’re reading right now. So if you made it this far and what you just read resonated, I’d love to hear from you.

Jakob

Written on February 4, 2022

PS: In case we just met: Hi! My name is Jakob.

I'm on quest to explore the opportunities and challenges of permissionless entrepreneurship.