The Passion Economy’s dirty little secret

The math is simple.

Find 1,000 True Fans. Charge them each $100. Then voila, you’ve got yourself a six-figure business.

Easy peasy, right?

That was Kevin Kelly’s call-to-arms in 2008, marking the unofficial rise of the Creator Economy.

But things change. They evolve. They scale.

12 years later (in 2020), the Creator Economy morphed into something new. The Passion Economy.

Venture Capitalist Li Jin declared that 1,000 True Fans had actually become 100 True Fans. In this scenario, each fan contributed $1,000. And once again, voila – the coveted six-figure milestone.

But let’s be honest. The Creator Economy, Passion Economy or Whatever Economy are just re-framings of a very archaic concept: working for yourself.

And whether you’re a financial advisor, an executive coach, a marketing consultant, or YouTube influencer you know that this six-figure math is quite dicey.

The road to six-figures is littered with processing your own invoices, setting up your website, selling your offering in person, and brainstorming your multi-year vision.

In other words, you (and only you) are responsible for the $10, $100, $1,000 and $10K Work.

Every. Single. Day.

Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

But there’s more. Working for yourself requires a tectonic mindset shift. A shift that flies in the face of society’s deeply programmed views of progress and achievement.

When you work for yourself your growth will be very, very, very slow.

And that’s a tough pill to swallow.

Your $10K Work Portfolio

The first step in beginning your $10K Transformation is designing your portfolio of $10K Work. If you’re a class of 2021 grad (congrats, fam!) you’re probably going to be doing a lot of $10 and $100 work. After all, you’ve got limited work experience and will be taking direction from your boss.

(And if you’re an Investment Banker, you’ll be formatting a lot of PowerPoint Presentations.)

Conversely, if you’re a young Gen X (aka a Geriatric Millennial), your portfolio will tilted more towards $1,000 work (your core skills) and $10K work (managing others and activities with leverage). Of course, you still need to attend the Monday Morning Meeting and respond to those pesky emails from your boss.

So yes, being over 40 doesn’t absolve you from $10 and $100 work.

The paradox of working for yourself

How does this apply to the Passion Economy Solopreneur?

Each day begins with a conundrum. You’ve got emails to reply to. Invoices to process. Meetings to schedule (and then reschedule). And of course, your domain expired and now your website no longer works.

Basically, you are greeted by a mountain of $10 work every single morning.

Then, you pivot to the work that keeps the lights on, your $1,000 work. It’s the thing you’re good at, what clients pay you for. This category of work enables you to pay your rent and save for your kids’ college tuition.

But by now it’s probably 3 pm.

Now if you’re lucky, you’ve got a tiny bit of energy left to tackle some $10K Work.

You night brainstorm about how you could scale yourself using productized services. Or you might write a job spec for a new hire.

(But in reality, you’re mentally wiped out and just getting to Inbox Zero.)

Which gets to the true brass tax of working for yourself.

It’s very slow.

There’s no hyper-growth. No blitzscaling.

Instead, it’s all about learning how to say no.

It’s putting one foot in front of the other for years. Possibly decades.

It’s knowing that your daily activities are aligned with your life vision.

It’s knowing that you have enough (and by extension, you are enough).

The $10K Work of working for yourself is knowing it’s going to be painstakingly slow. And being at peace with it.

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