By Robin Sharma
#1 bestselling author of The Leader Who Had No Title
In Vegas. Big event tomorrow. Deep into creative, locked away in my hotel room.
I’ve been quietly writing my new book, The 5 am Club. It’s all about the simple 60 minute morning ritual that has helped so many people–across the planet– grow their focus, energy, productivity, lifestyle and service to our world, exponentially.
Actually, the whole “5 am Club” concept that I’ve been evangelizing for nearly 20 years has morphed into a movement. People tweet about it and shoot YouTube videos on it and spread the idea about it. Fun…and fulfilling.
And even though this phenomenon happened totally via accident, I’ve become fascinated by the power of movement-making…and community-building…and why some concepts become contagious.
You’re smart. So when you consider it, you’ll know that…
…nations have found freedom via movements. Insights have revolutionized our thinking via movements. Brands have risen to iconic via movements. New products have transformed how we live via movements…
…just imagine watching what you put out into the world taking on its own life and traveling virally, creating value and impact on user upon user–eventually reaching an inflection point where you and your team really don’t have to do anything. Your fanatical followers just start to do it for you. Because they’re so on fire by what you’ve done for them…
…and because they know what you do is good and honest and sincere and value-rich and inspirational and ever-so worthy of sharing.
So, to help you create a movement of your own that helps your highest dreams come true while making a staggering difference in our world (note: if I can help you 100x your influence + contribution, I feel I win too…I’ve always felt you and I are in this together), I’ve constructed an 8 point framework I lovingly encourage you to run with, beginning today:
#1. Know Your Cause. To be human is to crave a cause. We all need a powerful purpose to get us out of bed every morning and draw out the finest within us. I viscerally believe that one of the dominant reasons so many amongst us are addicted to distraction and living amid apathy is they haven’t found something larger than their own lives to stand for. Once you find your compelling cause, begin to share it with your community. Talk it up. Blog it out. This will give your followers hope + energy + drive. Your job is to bring meaning to people in need.
#2. Relate to Your Base. One of the reasons why Taylor Swift became Taylor Swift is that she’s not afraid to be human with the people she serves. I believe that when you’re vulnerable with people, they’ll fall in love with you. We live in a world where people long for authenticity over artificiality. Real versus fake. When Taylor’s heart is broken, she reveals it. When she’s on the mountaintop, she expresses it. When she’s stuck in something that we all get stuck in, she has the bravery to tell it to her constituents. And they adore her for it.
#3. Rise to Original. In my humble observation of performers and companies that become titans, I see they all have one thing in common: flagrant originality. Gaga achieved world-domination because she did what few did. Dali claimed immortality because he painted like few would. Tesla and Amazon rocked their fields because they contributed unique value at a time when fresh thinking was abnormal (still is, no?).
#4. Get Scary Good. Total game-changer here: become so ridiculously amazing at what you do that you’re the only one on the planet who can do what you do. Mastery is a rarity. Yet for those with the guts/dedication/discipline/monomaniacal focus and grit to put in the training/learning/iteration hours to reach world-class within their crafts, the rewards are immeasurable. Watch LeBron or Buffett, Koons or Ive, Rowling or Hawking. So good at what they do that we can’t stop watching–and talking about–what it is that they so geniusly do.
#5. Build in Virality. When I work with A-Level Companies that have forged their products into movements, I note that sharing is integrated into the work. Not sure if I’m expressing this component of movement-making clearly but what I’m trying to say is that you want the UX (user experience) to be so simple, elegant and wow-worthy that people are touched at an emotional level…to the point where they need to share their experience with everyone they know. Happened to me–again, by accident as I didn’t “build in virality” consciously (I just wrote from the heart)–with The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari (and a second time with The Leader Who Had No Title). Hardly any marketing pushes yet readers shared the books with utter enthusiasm. Thanks to “word of mouth”, these books have taken on lives of their own.
#6. Protect the Brand. It could take you years to scale your movement and 30 seconds of bad judgement on a sunny Tuesday afternoon to lose it all. One bad move–captured on a smartphone or noted by a follower–could destroy all you’ve built. As well, please consider that what makes a great brand/career/company is often what we have the discipline to say no to versus yes to. Example: the once-revered Hollywood stars who diluted their good name by taking weak roles, just for the money.
#7. Remain Indispensable. Fine to lead your field for a year. What makes legendary is sustaining it for a lifetime. Think Pacino + U2 + Sam Walton. Even organizationally, most big companies that are around right now won’t be around 10 years from now. Massive disruption coming. Only the amazing will survive. And one of the finest ways to come out of immense transition alive? Become absolutely indispensable to those who you have the privilege to serve. Which brings me to my final point in this post I’ve written given my ongoing obsession to be helpful to you…
#8. Always Give Back. I spoke for the global team at TOMS recently. Great people. Cool firm. Visionary founder. Here’s a pic with Blake Mycoskie:
One of the things that has made TOMS so revered is the “one for one” commitment which sees a child who needs shoes receive a pair, every time you buy your pair.
TOMS gets that giving–and doing good–matters. We all ache to serve. We all want to know our lives are making a dent in the universe (thanks Steve Jobs). We all need to feel we’re, somehow, helping those in need. Allow your movement to fulfill these dormant desires deep inside us. And we’ll tell the world about it.
With much respect + appreciation,