Visibility

Visibility is a double-edged sword. We all desire visibility—it feels good for people to see our work and appreciate the things we do.

But visibility cuts both ways: When you’re in the spotlight, there are expectations of you. There is pressure to please your audience, and pressure to measure up to your prior work—not to mention to the work of others. The more visible you and your work are, the more scrutiny you get.

If you have been blessed enough to gain substantial wealth because of your visibility, it gets even worse. Failure to please, or failure to live up to expectations now carries a very real monetary penalty.

And if you succumb to the powerful temptation to let money or approval be your drive, you begin the slow slide into inauthenticity. Nothing turns an audience off like someone who is not acting out of who they truly are.

Most admirable are those who continue to deliver in spite of their visibility. It is no small thing to stay tapped into the original drive that spurred you to create in the first place. The one constant I have observed across anyone who is successful is this: You must do it for you.

When you create things you love because you want them to exist, the prospect of disappointing an audience tends not to matter as much. When you no longer fear expectations, you are free to create confidently, without holding back. And authenticity that comes from the true self is attractive.