By Jeff Beals
We see it all the time – celebrities behaving badly
A baby-faced beauty grows up into a drug-addicted, histrionic has-been with a long rap sheet and a collection of orange-jumpsuit photos. A professional athlete goes to jail for assaulting his girlfriend. A famous musician and his bodyguard are arrested for punching an autograph-seeker in the face.
America is afflicted with bad-behaving celebrities and a 24-hour media industry that is desperate to report celebrity abuses.
And then there are those who do outrageous things in hope of becoming famous.
The explosion of reality television shows and viral social media videos has made it possible for seemingly anyone to be a celebrity if they have the right look, at least a little bit of charisma and the willingness to perform outrageous stunts in front of millions of incredulous eyes. Turn on television on any given night and you’re apt to see someone eating a live cockroach, screaming at their spouse or allowing a camera crew to document their most intimate moments just so they can be a national celebrity (even if it only lasts for 15 minutes).
The word “celebrity” has become tarnished.
You may be surprised that I, as author of a book on self marketing, am troubled by the over-emphasis on celebrity status in America. I’m concerned despite the fact that I advise professionals to become “a celebrity in your own sphere of interest.”
In a loud, crowded and brutally competitive world, professionals need to be well known by the people who make up their personal target audiences – clients, potential clients, anyone who could refer business, bosses, co-workers, classmates, community leaders, etc. If you’re a celebrity in your own sphere of business, you possess social and professional power that can help you reach your goals.
But I think of “celebrity in your own sphere of interest” as being known for an on-going series of respected achievements. In other words, you have to do it right. In order for your “celebrity status” to be effective, exhibit good behavior. If you work hard and do impressive things, you deserve be “celebrated,” and that’s where the word “celebrity” comes from.
Don’t be like those awful celebrities on television. Instead, be a “celebrity in your own sphere of interest” and make sure you are famous for something that provides value to society.
But how do you let the world know the wonderful things you are doing without coming across negatively?
You need the right attitude and the right frame of mind.
Despite the necessity of personal branding, many professionals are not entirely comfortable doing it. They’re afraid they might cross the fine line and become the type of person that others try to avoid. That’s a reasonable concern, because Nobody likes braggarts, show-offs, know-it-alls and blowhards.
Ironically, living as a celebrity in your own sphere of interest requires the virtue of humility. 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.
Never fear, you can avoid turning your personal branding efforts into egotistical boasting by asking yourself two questions:
If people knew the real reason why I want to become a celebrity in my own sphere of interest, would I be embarrassed?
If the answer is “no,” you’re probably okay.
Do the things I do for personal branding purposes also have legitimate economic, cultural or social benefit?
If the answer is “yes,” you’re probably okay.
Simply put, you will find it easier to accomplish your goals and reach your potential if a lot of quality people know you and have a positive image of you in their minds. Being a celebrity in your own sphere of interest is good for business success and career advancement. Just make sure that as you journey down the path to personal stardom, you take your ethical and moral beliefs along with you. If you do, you should be just fine.
Jeff Beals is a professional speaker and award-winning author, who helps professionals enjoy greater success through effective sales, marketing and personal branding techniques. He delivers energetic and humorous keynote speeches and workshops to audiences worldwide. To discuss booking a presentation, go to JeffBeals.com or call (402) 637-9300.
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