Aim for service, rather than fame.

Aim not for fame, but for service.

There's an unspoken assumption in marketing: More followers or fans lead to more clients, more fulfillment, more freedom. This is like saying more money equals more happiness. These are seductive ideas because they contain a grain of truth, but they also come with an unexpected price...

Posted by George Kao, Authentic Business Coach on Friday, July 21, 2023

There’s an unspoken assumption in marketing:

More followers/fans lead to more clients, more fulfillment, more freedom.

This is like saying more money equals more happiness.

These are seductive ideas. They contain a grain of truth, but they also come with an unexpected price.

In this post I’ll share my “more followers” experience. It’s not all that it’s chalked up to be…

In my first few years in business, I grew my email list to more than 10,000 subscribers.

It led to having some clients, but far fewer than I expected, given my sizable email list audience. I didn’t have a full client roster. It also didn’t produce much engagement with my content.

However, it did result in many more emails to respond to, more spam to contend with, and more unpaid requests for my time.

Then in 2014, I completely changed my strategy, shifting towards what I consider to be a more “authentic” business. I removed everyone from my list that hadn’t opened my emails in more than six months. That accounted for about 90% of my email list! It felt like I started over. (Even the remaining 10% mostly weren’t really a good fit with my authentic business.) In a more heart-centered way, grounding my business in a truer spirit of service, trusting God more, aiming to bring more heart into everything I do.

That deeper commitment to service evolved into my consistent content creation starting in 2015. This resulted in a much truer engagement with my audience.

By the end of 2016, I noticed that I no longer had to reach out to get clients. They were all coming to me now, emailing or messaging me privately and asking about my services. Most of them had discovered me through my consistent creation of authentic content.

Leaning more into a spirit of service, I began to experience deeper fulfillment in my work with clients.

Fewer followers and subscribers also meant fewer emails and fewer unpaid requests on my time… which gave me more freedom.

Now, I am grateful to say that daily, I feel a great sense of well-being, gratitude, and fulfillment in my work, whether I am writing this post, or working with a client, or preparing for my next workshop.

This state of inner peace and joy is what I’ve truly wanted all my life. It is a sweeter experience than any fame and external glory I ever had.

Currently, I only get about a hundred views on my Youtube videos, and a few dozen likes on my best performing FB posts. These are laughable numbers, compared with the influencers in my field.

Yet I have a full client roster, a healthy-sized group coaching program, enough workshop participants every time, and my regular content gets meaningful engagement from loyal readers.

I’ve learned that I don’t want to be famous.

I don’t really try to get more email subscribers, or fans on Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, etc.

What I do try to do:

  • Learn to serve more deeply
  • Learn to bring more Love into business
  • Learn what you (my audience) find helpful, so I can be more helpful

My hope is to be a different kind of role model than the typical business or marketing coach / expert / mentor / speaker / thought-leader / guru you might encounter. They often seem to assume that more fame, more views, more likes, more subscribers, is always better.

You aren’t “serving” enough unless you’re famous, right?

Notice that seductive thought, then consciously shift towards a deeper way of being in business and marketing, one that fills your heart and soul, rather than boosting ego.

Not more Fame.

More Love.
Greater Truth.
Deeper Service.

May we all aim for — and align our actions towards — our higher calling.

First written in 2019. Updated in 2023.