Attention is the most valuable resource in the world right now and for many more years to come. Attention is currently more valuable than gold, than oil, than anything we ever thought of as important. Attention is even more expensive than sugar. At the end of the day, your legacy will come down to how much attention you got, how much you gave away and how much you kept.
You can be the most intelligent, smartest, most handsome or beautiful, most hardworking but if I beat you at the game of attention, I will have won! No question about that.
The best musician, the best doctor, the best engineer, all these will be voted by the attention scale.
Attention is what we all do for a living. The information is too much. But our attention is too scarce. We have only 24 hours of attention to give everyday. If we sleep for 8 hours of those, that leaves only 16 hours of attention.
I told my awesome friends at BigEye.ug and CampusEye.ug that we are in a totally different industry, doing a totally different business. I told them that before anything else, first and foremost, the one thing that we should understand is that we are in the business of trading attention. We are not in the media business. We are in the attention business. Everyday we are figuring out what you will want to read before you even know you will want to read it. We are figuring out what you will be thinking before you even think about it, what you are going to do before you even do it. Then give you that thing on a daily. Get your attention and then go to the advertiser and trade your attention. Tell him, look we have 400K on Facebook, a million on the blog on a monthly, 150K on Instagram and Twitter, so for one month’s share of this attention, here’s the quotation. So I told the great people at the eyes, that once we all understand and internalize that, then execute on it, we are going to be unstoppable.
When I put this post out, it lands in a pool of thousands of posts, thousands of tweets, blog posts, videos, podcasts, advertisements etc all of them trying to get your attention in this one second or minute.
The opportunity cost of reading this post is the millions of the other posts than you are going to miss out.
We are in the most disruptive period in history. Culture as we know it is changing, and two things are changing it; attention and social media.
Your relationship, your marriage, your business success are all going to depend on how well you win this attention game that’s been amplified by these platforms.
That man trying to befriend that girl over there is now not competing with other men over her, he’s competing with her smart phone. Does he deserve more attention than her smart phone? Is he more interesting, more intelligent?
I don’t need to be the best doctor in the world. I just have to be like Dr.Oz. Very active on the platforms, churning out content about his industry. Before long he has all the attention as the go-to resource in the medical field. Attention is going to be the critical differentiator of people now.
If a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it, did it fall? If you make great cakes and no one hears about it, do you really make great cakes?
We are all in the business of attention 24-7. Right now, what we are all trading is attention. You are either giving attention or you are getting attention. There is no middle ground.
If you are not creating any content, then you are giving attention. If you are not producing that next snapshot or instavideo, then you are giving attention to that guy putting out that whatsapp status update thay cracks you up. This is like evolution 3.8. We are in the new phase of evolution, dramatically changing thr way we are going to do everything.
What is the ROI of one retweet, one share? If I put out a post that gets shared by you to your 5000 friends. Another of those friends shares it to their 5000 friends, can you begin to see that ROI? That reach?
The bottom line is, we are all now brands whether we like it or not. With every tweet, with every comment we live on the next post, with photo we upload, we are building personal brands
We live in the easiest time ever to build a personal brand. The communism gates of the past have been broken. You know in the past tp become a newspaper writer for example, you had to first befriend the receptionist, thereafter hope the editor likes your pieces and then the next editor and finally pray the final guy doesn’t exchange your article with an advert. Now, that has all changed. To become a journalist, all you do is CLICK and voila you are a journalist.
The guy who figures out a way to get away our attention always wins in cash, in everything.
So you have attention on one front, you have personal brands on another. That is what we are all doing on a daily. When you make that post of how you didn’t register your line, you immediately connect to thousands that have not registered theirs. We are dealing in one commodity, that’s attention.
If you don’t have my attention, you literally don’t exist in my world. And attention does not allow vacuums. If you are a good blogger and you woke up tomorrow and closed your blog, your audience may feel sad but there will instantly be another blog to fill the space you have left. And you may find that a year later when you try to restart that blog, the tools have changed and you now have to fight even harder to break through.
In the fight for attention, everything is changing in an instant, the emojis are growing fatter, they are catching more emotions, the memes are changing. You leave the internet for just one day. You come back to a world that’s totally full of millions of things that have happened.
Remember that time when you would miss school for a day only to find tens of pages of notes, a new teacher, new students and you just stand there lost. That’s now it with going off the internet for a day.
Bottom line is; “If you have attention, you gonna make anything you want out of it, money, fame, great social life, anything. And if you take that attention and build your personal brand out of it, then you are gonna build legacy.”
In the age of attention, we are all brands. And our brand equity is built continuously by that next post, that next share.
Above all, remember the Law of Attention; “Attention can neither be created nor destroyed. It can only be transferred from one person to another.”
About the Writer
Ian Ortega is a Manufacturing Engineer by Degree, Lean Six Sigma Associate at Next Lean, Co-Founder of Big Eye and Campus Eye; both which are online websites that trade in attention everyday.