The Only Real Strategy If You Want To Be A Successful Entrepreneur

In fact, creating more work is one of the most effective marketing techniques of all. Bestselling of the 48 Laws of Power Robert Greene saw his sales really begin to grow after his third book.

The point is: Making stuff that stands the test of time will take time. But you don’t just sit there and wait. That’s now how work becomes a perennial seller. You have to build to that. You have to keep going.

The idea that good work compounds itself is not just anecdotal. A study done by economists Alan Sorensen and Ken Hendricks explore this phenomenon in music. It turns out that with each new album, the sales of a band’s previous albums will increase. As the researchers wrote, "Various patterns in the data suggest the source of the spillover is information: a new release causes some uninformed consumers to discover the artist and purchase the artist’s past albums." In fact, sales of non-debut albums increase by an average of 25 percent because of this additional discovery and exposure.

Nor does this phenomenon necessarily limit itself to art. Apple didn’t market the iPod or iPhone and then stop. It has made new and improved versions of those products almost on a yearly basis for more than a decade now.

This was an explicit part of Steve Jobs’s business strategy as well as his personal strategy. As he said, "If you do something and it turns out pretty good, then you should go do something else wonderful, not dwell on it for too long. Just figure out what’s next."

Think about Woody Allen - he does a movie nearly every year, and has for decades. He explained that he goes for "quantity" as a way to get to quality. "If you make a lot of films," he said, "occasionally a great one comes out. Films never come out in the end how you expect them to at the start."

Obviously there are exceptions to this - there are plenty of brilliant creators who have made only one thing. They are still entrepreneurs just as Harper Lee is clearly an author.

But wouldn’t the world be a better place if Ralph Ellison had written another book?

Hopefully Mark Zuckerberg will start another company someday. Why should anyone’s first product or project be the end of it?

It’s not enough to make one great work. You should try to make a lot of it. Very few of us can afford to abandon our gift after our first attempt, convinced that our legacy is secured.

Nor should we.

We should prove to the world and to ourselves that we can do it again… and again.



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