In order to have any level of success in any area of your life, you must have at least a few raving fans. Raving fans come in many varieties and sometimes they come from where you might least expect it.
Some raving fans are “born” into your life. These would be your parents, siblings and other relatives. These people sometimes feel obliged to be your fan by nature of your relationship to them, and generally they are happy to see you succeed and move ahead with your dreams. This type of fan is sometimes hard won because they are also very protective of you. When they see you step out on a limb to reach for the most beautiful fruit, they may grab your arm to hold you back so you don’t fall (fail) in the process. Never neglect these fans, but be sure to heed their advice with a grain of salt, because their innate wish to protect you may inhibit your growth. Regardless of their protective nature, these fans most often remain fans for a lifetime, and their loyalty is with you, no matter the outcome of your actions.
Other raving fans happen by proximity. These people are your neighbors, co-workers, classmates and teachers. They feel a bond with you by virtue of the fact that they have heard your name, seen you on the street, followed your progress and simply because you lived in the same town. This fan is not dissimilar to someone who becomes a Cowboys football fan simply because they live in Dallas TX. They will talk about your accomplishments to others almost as if they had a hand in them and they feel proud to be associated with you, even if they don’t know you very well. Fans by proximity often last a lifetime, and even if you move beyond your hometown, the fan stays with you.
Then, there are the raving fans that you earn. These fans have watched your journey and followed it closely. They are inspired by your sense of adventure, by your broad and grand vision, and they wish they had the risk-taking spirit that you have. These are the people who cheer you on when you are already doing a great job and their cheering pumps you up and leads you to new heights. They cheer you up when the going gets tough, when you falter or when you need a little boost. These are the fans who keep you going when you might otherwise stop. These fans ‘get’ you. They sometimes live vicariously through your actions and they feel your success is a sign of the possibility that their life holds too. The fans you earn are the ones you will feel most proud of, because their ‘fanhood’ is the most pure. These are fans that you won over, and they are to be nurtured.
Raving fans are one of the keys to success. Businesses cannot thrive without them, relationships cannot grow without them, and you cannot live fully by going it alone. How do you nurture your raving fans? Acknowledge them. Let them know they are important to you. Be open with them to the extent that it serves you both. And always be honest with them. True raving fans, like true friends, are not fly by night. They know there are ebbs and flows to life and to any journey. They know that there are stepping stones and stumbling blocks and they help you over both. As you share your successes and failures with them, you will find that their loyalty is boosted and in turn your own sense of connection and visions of grandeur are enhanced and strengthened. Raving fans make the world go round. Earn some and be one today. Now, that’s Powerful!