We’re all the center of our own universe, the hero of our own story.
As we move through the world, both online and off, everything we encounter gets filtered through this lens. We ask, “Why should I care about this? How does it relate to me?”
For us creators, there’s opportunity hidden in this simple truth.
A tiny mirror is simply a reflection of life as your ideal fans see it.
You might reflect a common experience A shared pain. A deeply held value. A desire they yearn for. Or anything else that feels deeply familiar to them.
You can rig up mirrors on any kind of media. A single video or essay or podcast might have dozens of little mirrors sprinkled throughout.
Keep doing this, and something profound happens. As new people move through your creative universe, they'll keep catching little reflections of themselves. Every reflection reinforces they're in the right place, and that they belong here.
For instance, I recently read the first newsletter on Bari Weiss’s new Substack.
And holy shit, that one piece had more mirrors than I could count.
Line by line, I found myself nodding along. Saying to myself, “finally, someone else who sees what I see, who’s saying what I wish to say.”
By the time I got to the end, I clicked through to the homepage of her newsletter, and started reading another piece. I found bits of myself reflected there as well.
After my 20 minute jaunt through Bari's corner of Substack, there was no question whether I’d subscribe. Such is the power of tiny mirrors.
You might be thinking to yourself, “what’s the point in being a creative if all I’m doing is reflecting the lives of other people?”
And you’d be right—there is indeed a tension here. This is the kind of tool that can be used cynically, or make the creative process feel like a soulless chore.
This, my friends, is why identifying a niche you love is so damn important.
There’s a great old quote (maybe from Isaac Asimov or someone similar) along the lines of…
If you don’t do work you love, you’ll never make it. If you don’t do work that other people love, you’ll never make it.
Creating for a niche you love gives you the best opportunity of threading that needle, and having the best of both worlds.
It's important to note that Bari’s newsletter was her voice, and her story, and her values. It was 100% Bari.
At the same time, it felt like it was written just for me.
Turns out, when you make stuff you care about, and send it out to people like you, the tiny mirrors build themselves.