In the ten years I’ve been writing this blog, the most rewarding posts are those that have helped someone. Where I’ve directly or indirectly connected with a reader and they’ve truly benefited.

Whether that be help with technology, investing, taxes, finances, or living with CRPS. I hope this short post helps you whether you’re living with CRPS or are just curious what happened after my latest treatment.

The treatment left me with nothing but stories, complications, and lots of thought about what my future holds. Living life with a debilitating condition like this one is always a struggle and as much as I prepare myself mentally for the downward spiral that accompanies the discovery that yet another treatment doesn’t work, the spiral is always worse and this one was accompanied by some fairly serious complications.

In some ways it’s worse than the umpteenth experiment to improve revenue or growth in a dying business. The prospects of rescuing the business and putting food on the table for everyone employed is a stark reality and probably the closest you can come without experiencing the spiral of another failed treatment yourself.

The entrepreneurs and investors have options to do other things, start other businesses, get a job working for someone else. I suppose I have the option to go with an artificial limb and certainly wouldn’t be the first CRPS patient to do so. My long view on life keeps getting in the way. The truth is that despite the pain, this arm that I was born with has more functionality than an artificial one. No, Ex Machina isn’t real.

About that long view, what does someone with a debilitating condition like CRPS think the long view on life is?

Well, I can type with a single hand, faster than anyone I know. I actually author most things this way.

My one-handed tennis backhand is at least two levels above every other stroke in my quiver.

I have actually experienced personal success in life with an amazing family and supportive friends. I know everyone doesn’t get this, so I cherish it.

I’ve had the opportunity to be involved in some truly amazing technology and business innovations. Again, not everyone has this opportunity, I recognize my good fortune.

I’ve learned to appreciate and carefully guard the value of time and energy.

I’ve published a couple of books that have improved people’s lives. [Author’s reward emphasized]

I’ve taught and spoken to audiences and gave the people in those audiences new ideas and insights to improve their lives.

I’ve connected deeply with certain audiences, spawning new areas of interest and research. My second published book is a result of this. The third and fourth books I’m working on also are a result of this deeper connection with an audience thirsty for knowledge and understanding.

That deeper audience is special. The small audience I’ve connected with that appreciates my ideas and how I convey them. That push me to explore my ideas more rigorously. That forgive the human shortcomings I bring to the conversation.

We’ve all been in someone’s audience, the feeling from a great concert, the bulb that lights in row two of the lecture hall, the magic of thinking ‘that’s it’ after the first one-click purchase, the rush of excitement the first time you unboxed an iPhone.

Being in someone’s audience is intoxicating and far easier than finding our own. Yet finding your own audience is the only way to truly be rewarded for your effort.

The bad news is all the money in the world can’t buy you the love of an adoring audience. The good news is only one of us can have all the money in the world and….

…the rest of us don’t need to waste our time, we have the opportunity to discover our audience. An audience that loves our ideas, the things we put out into the world, and forgives the human shortcomings that all of us bring to the conversation.

From the garbage collector to the hedge fund investor. From the factory floor to the white house door.

The downward spiral is easier when you have an audience. Working on a project that fails is easier when you have an audience. Having an annoying boss or co-worker is easier when you have an audience. Continually learning new skills and technologies is easier when you have an audience. You want to please your audience and your audience loves you for pleasing them.

While discovering your audience is critical to making your life easier, actually finding your audience isn’t easy. In fact I doubt your teachers or parents taught you how to find your audience. Mine didn’t. I haven’t taught my kids how to do it either – but that’s one of the things I’m changing.

How about you? Do you already have your audience or are you still looking?

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