The Excess of Expectation

Success doesn’t just breed success – it breeds expectation.

“I’ve seen your trick,
what’s next?”

That’s what our audiences demand. That’s what keeps them coming back for more.

Which, from the standpoint of productivity, is great. People’s
craving for novelty is a helpful probe to keep us relevant and keep us on top
of our creative game. It reminds us that we should always throw a few new songs into the set in between the classics.

On the other hand, there’s downside to success. One we can’t
afford to ignore.

With an excess of
expectation, the increased pressure to deliver can destroy us.

Take professional athletes. These guys, supposed role
models, willingly juice up when their professional association’s drug policy
specifically prohibits the use of anabolic steroids. As a result, their
reputations are ruined, their credibility is destroyed and their records are redacted
or stricken with an asterisk. Strike three.

But we have to look at it from their perspective. These guys
are legends. Celebrities. Cultural icons that we’ve given all the adulation,
adoration, attention and applause they can handle. They don’t cheat because they’re horrible people – they
cheat because they’re successful people. And when you’re successful, when you
have a huge audience who willingly spends their hard earned money to watch you
perform, they own you.

And with that relationship comes an expectation.

The fans didn’t put the needle in the player’s arms.

They just made it a
lot harder to say no.

Whether we’re ballplayers, entrepreneurs or artists, expectation
is a balancing act. On one hand, we don’t want to become a victim of our own
success. On the other, we don’t want to stop taking the creative
risks that made us successful in the first place.


What have you declined this week?


For the list called, “21 Things I Learned While Spying on Myself,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

Writing, Publishing, Performing, Consulting

Never the same speech twice. Customized for your audience. Impossible to walk away uninspired.

Now booking for 2012-2013.

Watch clips of The Nametag Guy in action here!

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