This chapter in Michael Hyatt’s Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World, was probably the toughest for me to gravitate to, not because I disagree with it, but because I am afraid it will leave my readers feeling like they’re stuck and ready to quit. In the chapter,Hyatt talks about all the people you need on your team and he’s right about every one of them except possibly publisher, but even that would be great.
The problem is for those just starting out, you won’t be able to afford most of them and those that “work for you” usually won’t work with you because you aren’t well known. If you get caught up waiting for an agent or a publisher to pick you, you won’t get anywhere. What do you need to do instead? You’ve got to build your platform. I don’t think Hyatt is wrong in this chapter, I just wonder if he has the proverbial cart before the horse.
In my case, I have two on my pit crew, a coach (whom I pay and who is worth every penny and much more than I could afford) and a couple collaborators with whom I get together to create. Both of these are really advantageous. My coach keeps me on task, asks me questions and gives me action steps. In the year we’ve been working together, he has helped me advance further than I have in all my years of ministry to this point. My collaborators help me stay sharp and creative and they’re free.
I really want a booking agent and were it not for a financially minded wife, I’d have needed an accountant long ago but for the most part this starts out as a do it yourself thing and you can do it. Work with your connections to get bookings, exhibitions, or whatever your particular discipline needs, build your resume, then your income and eventually you’ll be able to hire the others. A lot of times the biblical admonition holds true. “You have not because you ask not.” Opportunities are out there, ask people for opportunities and when you get one, deliver your very best.
As to your pit crew. Start off with collaborators, they’re free and they will help you realize that you’re not in this alone. Get a good coach as soon as you can and do the rest yourself for a while. Hyatt is right, the more of a crew you have the more you can focus on what you do best, but don’t wait til you can afford a crew. Build your business, build your platform. Start now.
As the old saying goes, the best time to plant a tree is ten years ago, the second best time is now.
If you haven’t done it yet, check out Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World.