Simply put there are four fundamentals that must be followed to doing work that matters:
1. Have a cause worth following. In the words of leadership expert Simon Sinek: people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it. This goes for buying into ideas as much as it does for buying actual products. You must have a purpose that matters to you more than anything else. And then be able to communicate that purpose, “that Why”, in a way that connects with others and makes them want to join you. Not because you believe what you believe, but because they believe what you believe. Changing the world by doing work you love, is my cause here.
2. Help people. Nothing good happens in business (or life) if this is not the first thing you think about. And your Why will guide how you help people. If you are not helping others with a massive problem, you should move on to something else, period. Nothing feels better than helping people in a way that’s unique to who you are. Get that right and anything is possible. It begins and ends with serving others. When in doubt, give. Just give. The rest will take care of itself.
3. Write or produce mind-blowing content. Corbett so eloquently calls this “writing epic shit“. Nothing experiences long term success if it’s not high quality. Especially in the online and written world. Standards are sky high. If you write crap (or produce crap videos, or whatever your medium is), you will get crap results. All the social media tools, tactics and strategies in the world won’t do a thing for awful content.
The good news is that if you have a deeply passionate cause and do everything you can to help people, the epic content will likely follow. When you Fill your site (and others’ sites, via guest posts) with the best you can possibly produce. People will start to notice.
4. Make real connections. Just because you’re online does not mean you can sit in your basement and write all day and night. The online world runs off personal connections, just like everything else in life. Communicate with people over social media, skype and yes, in person. Get out and spend time with people in the flesh. Go on workouts, grab some beers (maybe even get drunk) or have them over for a dinner party.