There are people who strive to become famous, then superfamous, before moving up to being megafamous. The super majority will never even achieve famous status. However, a few like artists, poets, authors, actors, bloggers, directors, influencers, capitalists, fundraisers, politicians and singers, you’ll find those who want to go all the way to megafamous.
These people understand that their work will never reach every single person as that’s an impossibility. They’re okay with that, but they’d like to reach just a few more people than anyone else.
When the New York Times bestseller list mattered, authors wanted their published books to be on the list. It wasn’t enough to be on the list, but on top of the list.
When 100,000 followers were seen as a lot on Twitter, bloggers and influencers hustled to be in the top spot. When they got to a million followers, then there was a new level, but the goal was always to have more than anyone else.
Pop albums used to sell millions of copies. Now they sell in the tens of thousands. But one more than anyone else is enough to stroke the ego (for now).
The desire to be famous or even megafamous might come from a good place. The work is important, it deserves to be seen by more people. The work is arduous and reaching more people with it feels appropriate. The work is measurable and reaching a higher level is a symptom of good work.
Maybe the desire might come from the same drive that pushes people to do the work in the first place. After all, bigger is better. Right? The problems with being superfamous or megafamous are varied and persistent.
First, it can corrupt the work. By ignoring the smallest viable audience and focusing on the masses, the creator gives up the focus that can create important work.
Second, the infinity of more can become a gaping hole. Instead of finding solace and a foundation for better work, the bottomless pit of just a little more quickly ceases to be a stimulus and becomes a burden instead.
Trust is worth more than attention, and the purpose of the work is to create meaningful change, not to be on a list. Think about it.