If you’ve ever competed in solo sports, you learn all about the adrenaline dump phenomenon common in competition or races.
Excerpted from Extreme Fear: The Science of Your Mind in Danger by Jeff Wise, this Scientific American article describes that your “adrenal gland dumps cortisol and adrenaline into the blood stream. Blood pressure surges and the heart races, delivering oxygen and energy to the muscles.”
Within those first few moments of competition, fatigue suddenly sets in, which, if you aren’t ready for, can be really damaging to your ability to perform, to pace yourself and strategically manage energy.
And it’s complicated by all these other things. The stress of lots of people watching. The weight of a winning record. The expectation to be better than you were the last time. The growing stakes as you progress.
If you compete a lot it diminishes over time. You get used to it. It becomes less likely to affect you mentally. Reaching a point of success once adds stress. A few times adds confidence.
It seems to me that growing an audience around your content, as your process for developing authority is like this.
A talk goes viral, or a book becomes a best seller, or your course becomes the de facto standard.
When you reach a high point, depending on how quickly it came, how much preparation you had, how many you’ve had before, you’re in a precarious position.
You’re suddenly juggling:
- pressure, internal and external, to perform
- a gut check on who you’re talking to now that you have to pick between your core audience, a mass market, or start segmenting
- not having the same channel to get a pulse on your audience given the spike in audience growth either because its a more mixed group or you have less time to engage with them
- decisions around what seizing the opportunity or momentum looks like: whether to grow a team, launch a related product, promote the thing that’s happening
Ultimately, how you decide to deal with all has to determine your path going forward, right?
You really can’t logically separate and make all those little decisions in a short period of time so when that first inflection point opportunity happens you have to already know what kind of brand you’ll be, if you haven’t already decided what’s important.