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How I met my heroes
Making an Impression vs. Monetizing an Impression
Welcome back to Greg Isenberg’s weekly newsletter where I give you high-quality insights on building businesses powered by community. Free ideas that get you thinking.
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New podcast is live with Michael Girdley. We talked about how I turned down $30m and building holding companies.
Now let’s dive into this week’s post
How I met my heroes
X/Twitter is paying creators for impressions now. YouTube has been doing this for years so this impression-based social media compensation is now the new normal.
A whole new generation of accounts are now going to be solely focused on farming impressions & engagement.
But it’s a trap. The value in X isn’t in a check from Elon Musk.
In 2020, I went ham on building impressions on Twitter. If you had a pulse and were into startups, I wanted you to see my stuff.
Now, I focus only on people interested building businesses through community and becoming multipreneurs.
JK Molina says, likes ain’t cash and he is right. Monetizing impressions might help you earn in the short-term, but making the right impression on social media is enough to live a wealthy life — both financially and personally.
I’ve spent a lot of time talking about the $$$ benefits of building internet audiences.
Today, I want to get a bit more personal and share one of the coolest personal upsides of growing my social media — meeting my heroes.
I met my heroes
There’s the old saying, never meet your heroes.
Not only do I think meeting your heroes is a good thing, but I actively go out of my way to meet my heroes.
1. It nourishes your soul
When people hear the term “zoom-out”, they immediately think about expanding their time horizon and consulting their 85-year-old self.
But what if instead of zooming out you zoomed back? Back to your 16-year-old self. What would your 16-year-old self think about meeting your hero?
Meeting your heroes nourishes your inner child’s soul. It makes your past self proud.
That reason alone is a good enough reason to meet your heroes.
2. You learn about yourself
What if your hero doesn’t turn out how you thought they would? Then what?
If that happens, that’s also a good thing.
First, you realize you may actually be smarter than you thought you were.
Seeing how “normal” your heroes are makes you realize that it’s not extraordinary people changing the world. It’s ordinary people with extraordinary commitment.
Secondly, you may realize that “success” is not what you actually want.
Oftentimes, the people who are in the top 0.1% of their craft are miserable for the rest of their lives. Sure, you may become a famous music artist. But what if you’re stressed, overweight, depressed, and you don’t see your kids very often?
Would you still want that reality?
3. Collect world-class ideas
The third reason you should meet your heroes is to absorb their wisdom.
They may not directly tell you something profound, but you may learn an insight from how they talk about something or how they act in certain situations.
You’re bound to come away with world-class knowledge just by spending time with world-class people.
How to meet your heroes
You know how I said meeting your heroes makes your past self proud?
Earlier this year, I shot my shot to meet up with the lead singer of one my favorite bands growing up Weezer — and it worked:
Not only did I get a response — we met up! Turns out we spent more time talking about community and AI than his music.
You can meet your heroes, too. Here’s how I’d do it:
The first step is to do interesting stuff and get interesting people to follow you. The more interesting people follow you, the more social credibility you gain.
This is exactly what I mean by making an impression vs. monetizing an impression. Being thoughtful on the internet helps you build a network of like-minded people.
I’m not sure Rivers would have responded if we had nobody in common on X.
2. DM them, short & sweet
Give them a simple compliment, provide context for why you’re messaging them, and optimize for a response.
Remember, you may idolize them — but they put their pants on every morning just like you do. They’re human. Be kind and respect their time.
3. If they respond, you have 1 minute to get back to them
Once you DM them, keep your notifications on all day. They are looking at their phone right that second when they respond — they’ll lose your message if you don’t respond immediately.
Rivers got back to me at 6:54. You best believe I got back to him at 6:55.
❤️ Greg’s bookmarks:
“Your mistake is that you’re writing to be read” - Naval. This hit hard. Write without the fear of judgement. Link
A reminder to build simple products. Link
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