Here's a secret we have a hard time facing: The more we share, the more we get. The stories continue, from the highest paid comedian in the world finding success after his movie was bootlegged to the foremost marketer in the world reaching the masses after committing to a daily free email newsletter nearly two decades ago.
To paraphrase Marie Forleo, how can you court a high-class person if your first date is to McDonald's? We provide value in what we share. We have to trust that people recognize the value. The key is that the right people - not everyone - will recognize the value. Our only job is to create and get it to the right people.
Share what you've got now
I once asked a mentor if I should upload a video of my keynote. I was proud of it and wanted to share the knowledge, but I was afraid people wouldn't pay to see me anymore since they could get it for free at home.
They told me to share it - as it proved how powerful my content was. People would still come to see me, as they didn't just come for the content, but for the experience itself. They were right on both fronts: I've uploaded all my keynotes since and I've steadily been getting paid more to speak, not less.
Why are you doing it?
The big lesson, though, is this: Why are you doing what you do in the first place? Is it to hoard your information like Gollum in Lord of the Rings? It will die with you, then. There is no legacy in that.
If your goal is to move the cultural needle, elevate others with your insight and build a lasting legacy, then you have to share what you've got. Gary Vaynerchuk, Elon Musk and other entrepreneurs reveal all their stuff. In fact, they are already legendary because they reveal all their stuff. Their hyper-public personas are controversial, but their cultural mark will remain well after they or their companies come to pass.
That's one of the reasons I started writing entrepreneurship books, as I wanted to make an impact beyond talking one-on-one and have something accessible to more people beyond me. Then it became recorded keynotes. Then it became a series of bootcamps. The pattern? I don't have to be involved.
Forget worrying about competitors. I'm trying to put myself out of business. And each time I do, I find another, smarter, better way to serve the solopreneurs, side hustlers and other non-traditional entrepreneurs.
Most importantly, it is creating things that will stand the test of time - which, perhaps, is the ultimate legacy.