The customer is always wrong

Richard was telling me that he doesn't care what his customers think.

Instead, he writes and creates for himself. If his customers like it, fine. If not, fine.

This is the gutsy statement of an artist. I pointed out to him that he's had a long line of successful books, conferences and consulting gigs. "I don't care what they think," he said with a bit of contempt.

Fortunately for Richard, there's a high correlation between what he likes and what the market likes. The power of his conviction, though, is that instead of being joyful when he runs into a customer who thinks the way he does (and annoyed at those that don't), he's comfortable enough with his sense of art and craft and quality that it's enough. He does it for himself. He actively ignores the market.

If you're strong enough to do that, more power to you. If you do your art and the market rejects you, though, you need to make a choice. If your art has no market, it's still art. It just might not be a living.