Should You Build A ‘World’ Instead Of A Business?

I’ve just read an interesting book by legendary copywriter and email marketer Ben Settle called, Biz World.

The book itself is about building a ‘world’ instead of a business.

He says that businesses can be closed or cancelled by external forces such as governments, tax collecting departments, and over opinionated judgemental people.

Although I am not one of these people who thinks that cancel-culture has gone mad – in my experience, I find that the people who want to do most of the ‘cancelling’ are those who shout the most about cancel culture and don’t actually like being held accountable for doing or saying a lot of shitty stuff – there are cases where businesses have been hurt by people with a grudge that was unwarranted.

In the past, if people wanted to ‘bad mouth’ a company, they would have to contact the company itself, tell their closest friends and family, contact an official ‘watchdog’ organisation who would do a thorough investigation, or go to the press.

It took a lot of work to really spread bad news about a company and very often the channels used would investigate to check the claims.

Today, it is a completely different story.

Thanks to internet forums, social media platforms, and messenger apps, a person can spread harmful misinformation and bad mouth a business or individual in a matter of seconds and be seen by potentially millions of people.

To make it worse, opinions and allegations can be shared by thousands of people at the click of a button… without checking to see if they are valid.

This ability to be able to contact individuals directly and share factually incorrect thoughts and opinions with the world without any concern to the harm they can do, has caused businesses to close and in some cases, individuals to commit suicide.

So, yes, although I am not against cancel culture because I believe that good people and good businesses generally have nothing to worry about and that bad people and companies should be held accountable for wrongdoing, there is a growing concern that more and more people are becoming radicalised and fanatical about specific topics and will stop at nothing to destroy good people. 

Sadly, many are succeeding now they have access to free tools that become weapons of mass disruption… and sometimes cause mass destruction.

Anyway, I digress.

Going back to Ben’s idea of building a world, he references C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicles Of Narnia a lot, talking about how much the children wanted to return to Narnia after they left, and the reason they wanted to return was that they loved it so much.

The idea behind building a world is that you build a place that people escape the real world to, and once they are there… they do not want to leave.

In this world you are the lead character instigating all kinds of adventures battling with villains and injustices, and the people who come into your world come along for the ride. 

They share the adventures with you.

And when people enjoy being part of an exciting world, what do they want? They want more of the same… which means that they will buy more.

Think of Harry Potter – and to a lesser degree J.K. Rowling, and Donald Trump.

One is fictitious and one is real, yet both have fans (fans is short for fanatical which makes sense when you think of the typical MAGA person) who will consume everything that is said or shared.

Harry Potter fans will read the books, they will watch the films, they will play the games, they will dress up as their favourite characters when going to parties, they will buy up as much merchandise as possible and build personal collections, and they will go to war on social media with people who disses anything to do with the Harry Potter world.

When the Harry Potter timeline came to an end, J.K. Rowling carried on the Harry Potter ‘world’ with her Fantastic Beast series which is enjoyed by a huge portion of the Harry Potter fan base who wanted to consume more.

It is the same with Donald Trump. 

He has built a world which speaks to people, he is fighting villains (mostly imaginary and of his own making), he promised a specific vision of the USA which some people wanted, and would fight for.

There are people in the US who probably struggle to afford to live but will give up a day’s wage and their time to attend Trump’s rallies, and to gather outside certain buildings to waste their own time protesting on his behalf. 

They will buy hats, stickers, T-shirts, and other pointless tat that he offers them. These people will riot and storm buildings for him.

And yet, take away Trump’s businesses and his money… these people will still love him and throw money at him, why?

Because he has built up a world where he is king and has thousands of loyal followers and foot soldiers.

You could take away all of Trump’s businesses and products, and he will still be able to earn money by simply asking or suggesting people to buy something via a weblink or a specific shop.

There will be people who will send him money they cannot afford just because he asked for it.

Organised religions are the same.

They built a magical world where there are good guys and bad guys, there are good deeds and there are sins, there are rewards and there are punishments. 

Religious people around the world will buy religion focused books, ornaments, magazines, clothing, and all kinds of merchandise… and to top it off, they will hand over cart loads of cash to dodgy ministers as a way to buy protection and redemption.

Ben states that there is no checklist for building a world because it is different for everyone and how you build it differs too.

I cannot narrow it down but I would say that it is like becoming a celebrity.

I mentioned Donald Trump, in the UK there’s a similar nobhead, Nigel Farrage (a friend of Trump’s) who is also a far-right hypocritical contrarian who spends his days spreading messages of division and talking shite.

He has had people send money to receive short messages from him, he has had people march miles in the rain on his behalf (while he sat in the warmth drinking tea and eating biscuits, I may add), he was constantly being asked to appear on television and radio to discuss politics even though he has never really sat in any position of power (he was once beaten in a local election by a man wearing a dolphin costume!).

Media companies paid Farage around £500 a time to appear on their shows… all because of who he is.

His fanbase is full of people willing to send him money that they probably cannot afford to lose knowing that they won’t get anything back from it. 

Well, that’s not strictly true… his supporters are hoping that he will become the prime minister and instigate sweeping reforms and change the UK back to a country free of anything foreign and that is mostly ‘white’.

The fact that they actually think he has a chance and cannot see that they are going to get nothing back from the money they hand over to him is quite scary. They are completely delusional.

Farage has a cat in hell’s chance of becoming prime minister, which is a British saying for he has absolutely zero chance. 

Again, if Nigel Farage was to have any of his business closed down, he would still be able to make money just because he is Nigel ‘nobhead’ Farage.

He had a bank account closed down recently, and that resulted in the anti-cancel-culture mob going to war for him claiming that he was a victim of censorship and was being ‘cancelled’ because of his political views. 

The bank simply didn’t want to be associated with him, but because of the world he had created, he had an army of flying monkeys willing to go into battle for him.

J.K. Rowling, love her or loathe her because of her recent opinions on the ‘transgender’ debate, will always make money because of the Harry Potter world she has created. 

Her other world as crime writer Robert Galbraith is also going to be profitable for her. She has built worlds which have transcended her business of being an author. If she was to never write again she would still be banking big bucks.

How you build your world is up to you, but it seems that to build a world beyond a business where you have hundreds or thousands of loyal followers who are willing to buy anything and everything you sell at whatever price you choose, to defend you online, and even go to war for you, you need to have villains, heroes, a cause, and a vision of a world that they can align themselves with.

I don’t know if I am succeeding at building a world, but if you read this newsletter again, you will see that there are villains in my world, I’ve mentioned a couple of them… and for good reasons.

By mentioning those people, I am aligning myself with those people who agree with me while pushing away those who don’t… which is another lesson for another day.

Until next time.

Have a great day.

Andi

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