There’s a saying.
You can’t please all the people all the time.
I’ll take it a step further.
You can’t please ALL the people ANY of the time.
You can’t even please ANY of the people ALL the time.
And here’s the thing.
We need to stop trying.
I grew up moving A LOT. Between Grade 5 and Grade 7 I lived in 6 towns, each of which was at least one hour away from the last. This means that at NO POINT from the time I was 10 until I was 13 was I able to just hop in a car or on a bike and drive to someone’s house, that I had known for more than 3 months, easily.
So here’s what I did.
In every town that I moved to, I looked around for people that I liked or thought that I would like and I looked at what they did and I decided, “ok, I do that now.”
Town 1: You guys play baseball? Ok. I play baseball.
Town 2: You guys play basketball? Ok. I play basketball.
Town 3: Sure, I’ll be the lead in your play.
Town 4: I guess I’m in the string orchestra.
Final landing spot: I see you like Dungeons & Dragons. I like Dungeons & Dragons also.
As a kid, that was my game plan.
Not much has changed. But some things have changed greatly.
I’ve stopped trying to figure out what people are in to. I do things the other way now.
I do the things that I love to do and then I find the people that love those things, and then we love each other.
A few years ago I presented on D&D at an event called Podcamp. My point was that you would be surprised how many people love the things that you love and think that no one else could possibly love. Turns out, you’re wrong.
There’s nothing that anyone on the planet likes that other people don’t like.
But not everyone is going to love what you love and not everyone is going to love what you do, but you need to keep doing it.
At one point I had a podcast that I LOVED but when I drilled into some analytics and realized that only a handful of people were listening, I stopped recording and stopped releasing. It was a terrible decision. I loved it. And other people did. Just not as many people as I expected.
You can’t please all of the people all of the time, or any of the people all the time, or all the people any of the time.
You do you.