Determine Your Audience
What do you mean? I don’t have an audience… I’m not a performer.
Well, let’s take a minute and dissect what an audience actually is.
“The audience drives every aspect of developing a theatrical performance. Initially, the audience serves the role of driving the content of the play or performance itself. The audience serves the role of driving other decisions as well.”1
Did you catch that? The audience “drives the content of the play”. Whatever you are allowing to be your audience is directly affecting the content you are putting out into the world. What or who do you consider before deciding on an action or non-action? They are your audience and hold a very powerful position in your life!
Ok, so now that we have determined that everyone does indeed have an audience, how do we go about determining who or what our audience is? This question actually has two parts: who is your current audience and who do you want your audience to be?
To determine what audience you’re currently serving, take a look at your TIME, your MONEY, your THOUGHTS and where you spend your ENERGY. These are the results of what is internally driving you. It’s the same metaphor as the fruit proving what kind of tree it is. Do you have apples, oranges or mangoes falling off your branches? Analyze your fruit and you’ll find out what the roots are.
To determine where your time is spent, take a look at your calendar and ask the following questions: How much overtime are you working? How many hours are spent on social activities? Which ones? How many hours are spent serving others and whom? How many hours are spent on hobbies? How many hours are spent on projects? How many hours are spent doing the necessary tasks around the house? How many hours do you sleep each night? Now be honest with yourself – how are the unscheduled hours spent? How many hours of Netflix have you logged? How much time is ‘distracted time’?
These questions will help you determine what audience or audiences your schedule serves?
If you’re following a budget, you’ve already done some work to determine your audience in this category. If you don’t follow a budget, you’ll have the tedious work of going through your bank statements from the last 30 days and seeing where your money actually goes. It can be really surprising! After non-negotiable expenses, reflect on where you spend your money and see what audience or audiences your money serve.
Honest reflection on one’s thoughts is a difficult process. You probably have a decent idea of where your thoughts tend to lead you, but it’s also easy to normalize them because they are private. A good exercise would be to make a gratitude journal and also to put a rubber bracelet on your wrist. Every time you are grateful for something, write it down. Every time you have a negative thought or complaint, snap the bracelet. You don’t need to write down your negative thoughts but you could tally how many times you snap that bracelet each day. At the end of the week what you see in the journal will give you more insight into what your thought life is really like.
Energy is measured differently than time. You may spend one hour on a project, lecture, workout or challenge that requires so much energy that you are depleted for the rest of the day. On the other hand, you may gain so much energy from a certain activity that it propels you through the rest of your day. Take some time to reflect on what you do that is life-giving and what is life-sucking. What activities are you giving the most physical energy to? What questions or situations are you giving the most mental energy to? What relationships are you giving the most emotional energy to? Reflect and find out what audience your energy is serving.
I hope you stuck with me through this. That was a lot of information to digest and put into action! The biggest take away is that we are each serving an audience. To suss out who that audience is, we analyze the ‘fruit’ in our life – as in our time, money, thoughts and energy. Maybe you were happy with the results of these exercises… maybe you weren’t. Either way that is what is driving the content of your life currently. But nothing is permanent. You are in control of your life and in control of whom you choose as your audience. If you don’t like it… change it!
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