After years of speaking with people who ought to be famous but aren’t, or at least, who have the potential to be recognized and admired, I’ve discovered a common thread—they don’t realize that achieving fame is possible.
Of course, everyone wants their products to sell like pet rocks (aren’t you glad I didn’t say “pancakes?”), or to be courted for the big speaking gigs, or to have hundreds—no, thousands!—of clients, but it never occurs to a lot of the business owners I speak with that being famous is an option. It’s an epiphany, followed by a blush.
The paradox for the shrinking violets out there is that the drama-laden human story behind the business/product/book/expertise, their story, is what’s necessary to attract customers, followers and media attention.
Next, they ask, “What is it about me that could possibly be of interest to anyone?” The answer is: A lot, my friend. A whole lot. Here is where I wax poetic, and I tell everyone this:
You are a star—a bright, fixed point in the night sky, barely perceptible to the naked eye, but hot and shining nevertheless. You exist with a vengeance. You are one of a kind. You’re brilliant. But don’t get a big head. I’m not singling you out for special treatment. Everybody is a star. In business, though, you’ve got to shout like crazy to get noticed—not an easy task in an ever expanding universe.
As a star, you’ve existed for eons. “Eons” is a relative term, of course, because at times, hours can seem like eons. When you’ve given birth to a business, product or idea, it seems like an eternity since you’ve launched your rocket of potential into the heavens, yet it may be that only a week or two has passed. Or, it could have been years since your launch, and you fear your precious vessel is somewhere adrift, light years away, without fuel or guidance.
On launch day, your eyes followed your rocket’s trajectory, up and up and up, and as you followed the path of its fiery tail you noticed many other bright objects speckled against the limitless, black dome. You know the names of many: Sirius, Canopus, Arcturus, Alpha Centauri A. Their lights never waver, and in your brief moments of self doubt, you feel small and insignificant against their greatness. But you’ve got all the raw materials that they’ve got.
Here, at last, is the point: The discovery of stars beyond our solar system is dependent upon high-powered telescopes. Once the Hubble finds you, you’ve made it to the big screen. The discovery of stars living here on earth is dependent upon the media. Once the media find you, you’ve made it to the eyes, ears and awareness of your target audience.
What makes you a star that’s noticed in the business context are the stories you tell, your commitment to telling them, and persistence over a length of time. I encourage you to learn the art of story telling. Find out what stories journalists consider to be “newsworthy.” Read the stories of people you admire, people who have managed to launch themselves into public prominence and keep themselves in the bright, shining orbit or your consciousness. and the marketplace. Ask family, friends and colleagues to tell you what makes you special. Then, tell your story: blogs, social media posts, press kit bio, speaking engagements, feature stories, radio interviews, articles… everywhere.