It was a number 1 airplay record in several European countries.
We were shocked. You see, no one expected the song to be a hit. It was the first single off the 2nd album.
We were aiming for a soft launch.
We knew it would do well. But we were convinced the 2nd single was the real hit.
Turns out it was a flop.
The second single peaked in the top 40 charts at # 37 and was immediately pulled off the radio playlists and that was that.
It was a complete and utter stiff!
Everyone was gutted!
We went from the biggest possible emotional high to crashing to utter despair.
Welcome to creativity.
This is an extreme example.
But every content creator experiences the highs and lows of creating content.
We have a piece of content that resonates deeply. We think we’ve cracked the code.
And then our next piece of content flops and we think it’s all over.
It happens all the time. The trouble is we don’t know what content is a hit or a miss.
The truth? Content, creative businesses and personal branding are not linear journeys.
The equal odds rule
In the late 70’s, Keith Simonton a Harvard-educated psychologist developed a theory.
He called it the equal odds rule.
“The Equal Odds Rule says that the average publication of any particular scientist does not have any statistically different chance of having more of an impact than any other scientist’s average publication.”
In other words, you can’t predict your own success. Scientists, artists, producers, content creators are equally likely to create a flop as they are to create content that resonates.
All we can do is keep showing up. Time after time.
It’s a numbers game. Even for musics greatest ever icons. Some material resonated, most didn’t. Knowing this sets realistic expectations.
If you stay on the pitch long enough you will eventually score a goal — Darcus Beese OBE, former President of Island Records
After content flops and especially after a series of flops. Self doubt kicks in.
“Maybe I’m not good enough”
It’s hard, almost impossible not to feel like this at times. It’s human nature but you have to shake yourself out of it.
Feelings are created by our thoughts. Change your thoughts and you will change your feelings.
It’s only when we get fixated on an emotion that it completely consumes our waking thoughts.
You are not your thoughts. Do some thought stopping to hack your creative confidence
Do some square breathing to calm your body and mind.
The truth is creating content is a numbers game.
People that only strive for quality will lose. It’s creating quantity that will give you the quality.
The more times you swing the bat, the more balls you will hit out of the park.
You have to keep swinging.
Creativity is not about success, it’s about failure.
Stop chasing the hits. Follow the flops and the hits will follow.
It took me years to have my first hit. My boss used to call me “nearly Jake’ because I nearly signed so and so artists who became successful.
This was a regular occurrence. I remember feeling the overwhelming waves of self-doubt drown my enthusiasm.
My problem as a young manager? I was focusing entirely on hits. It doesn’t work like that.
With this mindset you’re going to be disappointed. You may get discouraged and quit.
The trick is to chase failure. Accept it as part of the process.
There is no creative genius in history who has experienced more success than failure.
David Bowie released 400 songs. How many do you know?
Thomas Edison held over 1093 patents. How many of his inventions do you know?
Picasso is thought to have produced over 50,000 artworks in his lifetime. How many do you know?
Get used to failure. Lean into it. Remind yourself of your successful content.
You will never experience the highs without the lows.
Interested in 1-2-1 Creative Business/ Personal Branding Strategy?
I help creators and solopreneurs become famous in their niches. I specialise in:
Creative business strategy
Personal branding strategy
Standing out in saturated markets
Overcoming creative blocks that are holding you back