Are you approaching your business as if you’re trying to create a one-hit wonder? Maybe a better approach would be to shoot for the lifetime achievement award instead.
In 2000, Baha Men had a number one hit on the Billboard charts with “Who Let The Dogs Out?” Baha Men is a Bahamian group and had been performing for some years with mild success. But with this one song, they experienced fame and fortune like no one could have predicted. And it wasn’t even a good song.
In a 2007 poll conducted by Rolling Stone to identify the 20 most annoying songs, “Who Let the Dogs Out?” ranked third. It was also ranked first on Spinner’s 2008 list of “Top 20 Worst Songs Ever”.
I would argue that it’s not that difficult these days to produce a one-hit wonder. There are mathematical formulas and mountains of data on what makes a hit song. Notice I said “hit song”, not “great song”.
In contrast, David Bowie wrote a lot of great songs. So did Bob Dylan, and so did the Grateful Dead. But you won’t find any one-hit wonders in their discographies. Instead, you’ll find decades of hard work that produced scores of great songs and millions of diehard fans. There’s a reason why Bob Dylan and the Grateful Dead still play to sold-out stadiums while Baha Men drift quietly into obscurity. They weren’t trying to make a hit, they were playing the long game.
I think this is a great metaphor for how you can approach your work.
You can try for the quick hit, don’t try to make it good, just make it work. And maybe, if you’re lucky, you’ll end up with a one-hit-wonder and all that fame and fortune that comes with it.
Or, you can show up every day and do your best work. Your goal being to create something of value, something that people need, something that people love. And in time, your body of work will add up. You will become indispensable. People would miss you if you were gone. You may even end up in the hall of fame.
Building a successful brand is not like making a one-hit wonder. It takes time and effort to get it right. But for those willing to play the longer game, the rewards are pretty incredible.Are you hoping for a one-hit-wonder or a lifetime achievement award? The choice is always yours. Click To Tweet
Who would you rather be, Bob Dylan or Baha Men? Are you hoping for a one-hit-wonder or a lifetime achievement award? The choice is always yours.