The Fear of Irrelevance & Losing Everything + Threads Updates & Predictions - Ep. 68
Last updated on
August 4, 2023
In this episode, James shares some Threads updates & predictions. He covers his thoughts on overcoming the anxiety of irrelevance and the fear of losing everything; how to build a loyal community for long-term success; how to plan for financial stability as an influencer; & more.
Below is a portion of the episode transcript for your reading pleasure. Make sure to subscribe to the Fohr YouTube channel to get notified of new episodes, and watch the full episode below.
How do you deal with the anxiety of becoming irrelevant?
Viewer Question: How can creators overcome imposter syndrome? I've been doing this for years, and I still feel like somehow I'm tricking people every time I do a new campaign. I feel like brands must think I'm an idiot for asking for so much money.
Number one, a really light, easy, and simple question: How do you deal with the worry of existential dread on a Tuesday afternoon? I'm going to split that into two different parts. Firstly, it's very real. You will absolutely become irrelevant. The example I always like to use is the Rolling Stones, one of the coolest groups of people to ever come together to make something. If Mick Jagger and Keith Richards can't stay relevant and cool, what chance do you have? You have no chance. Boom, question answered.
You will lose relevance, and it has nothing to do with you. The fact is that culture will just move on.
The Rolling Stones were an incredibly innovative band that made great music. People wanted to listen to punk, hip hop, and glam rock. Ultimately, there was nothing the Rolling Stones could do about that. They couldn't become a rap group. If the culture wants to listen to hip hop and you make rock and roll, you're screwed as far as relevance goes. That's the beauty of culture, right? It moves on, evolves, and creates spaces for new voices and groups of people to step into the limelight. But there is only so much room at the pointy end of the spear when it comes to cultural relevance. If you are an influencer trading just on cultural relevance, and helping brands to be relevant, and that is what you are charging them for, over time you will lose the ability to charge for that. Let's use the Rolling Stones as an example. They're still one of the top grossing acts every time they go on tour. They have a core audience that loves them and will pay a lot of money to see them play songs that they wrote 50 years ago.
They gain new fans all the time. I didn't listen to The Stones in high school, my twenties, or my early thirties. However, I read Keith Richards' book when I was in my mid-thirties, loved it, and dove into the Stones. I have been a fan ever since. Therefore, it is crucial to build a community, invest in it, and do whatever you can to continue serving that community. The band plays the music that everyone wants to hear. Once, I read a great article about Billy Joel and Elton John. Billy Joel talked about a riff he had with Elton, where he didn't understand why Elton kept making new music. Elton would go on tour and play all these new songs, but Billy Joel realized that people just want to hear "Piano Man," "We Didn't Start the Fire," "New York State of Mind," "Uptown Girl," and all the other classics.
The reason to go to a Billy Joel concert, right? It's important to invest in that community because it's something that can sustain you over time. I think you can still have a career and be relevant. If cultural relevance is the bar we have to cross to have careers, then it's going to be really difficult for anyone.