By Jeff Beals
“A culture that fixates on celebrities is a culture that is cannibalizing itself. Embracing the base while rejecting the noble will produce more of one and less of the other.”
So said the venerable newspaper columnist Cal Thomas awhile back in one of his columns.
Thomas went on to quote a magazine article published in the early 1980s that lamented, “there are almost no famous people anymore; only celebrities. That’s because fame is too suggestive of steady achievement.” If that was a problem 30 years ago, it’s an epidemic now.
You may be surprised that I, as author of a book on self marketing, completely agree with Cal Thomas. I agree despite the fact that I advise professionals to become “a celebrity in your own sphere of interest.”
But I think of “celebrity in your own sphere of interest” the way Thomas defines fame – being known for an on-going series of respected achievements.
Living as a “celebrity in your own sphere of interest” requires the virtue of humility. After all, there is a fine line between good, healthy self marketing and egotistical boasting. Without question, you need to stand out in today’s ultra competitive marketplace. The key is to promote yourself while making it look like you’re not trying. Let people know what you’re doing without being obnoxious. Above all, make sure you have real accomplishments to promote.
Thomas wraps up his column by saying, “The list of celebrities whose lives turned into train wrecks is long and lengthening. Why would so many want to follow these people and their broken relationships, drug use and plastic surgeries, especially when we see where it leads for so many of them?”
Don’t be like THOSE celebrities.
Instead, be a “celebrity in your own sphere of interest” and make sure you are famous for something that provides economic, social or cultural value to society.
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Jeff Beals delivers presentations to a wide variety of audiences nationwide. Presentations are adapted to fit your organization’s goals and can be keynote speeches (30 to 90 minutes) or workshops (two to four hours) covering the following topics:
- “Self Marketing Power: Branding Yourself as a Business of One”
- “Tons of Room at the Top: the Attitude of Success”
- “National Signing Day: What All Professionals Can Learn from College Football”