Believe it or not, anyone can become a celebrity. Whether you become the Wolfgang Puck, Kobe Bryant, Angelina Jolie or Oprah Winfrey of your industry is entirely up to you.
The beauty about being a celebrity in your niche is that you can go to all of the fancy restaurants in Hollywood and go through the world’s top airports and the paparazzi won’t bother you. However, when you do any online or in-person events within your niche after you have successfully branded yourself as this expert, people will want to take their photo with you. They want to hear what you have to say. They will want to know how you can help them, or perhaps how they can help you or hear all about your next big project.
Becoming a celebrity expert, guru, Key Person of Influence or leader gives you the chance to share your expertise on a larger scale. Having that clout is a good thing, even though many people just starting out are reluctant to become that person. However, the good news is there is also a starring role for someone just like that and it is called “the reluctant hero.”
The reluctant celebrity hero
If you are a reluctant hero, your situation may be kind of like this: You have built a brand, have built your tribe and you have a following, for a lack of a better word. The people who follow you do so because they like what it is that you do along with who you are.
Your response might be something like this: “I found this problem and I know you’re hurting and no one else would step up to do it, so I’m going to do it. I’m going to lead the charge and I will pull us out of this ditch. I just need you to follow me and trust me and I will get you through this storm.”
If you are somewhat reluctant to have this expert guru leader authority role, you can play upon that in the form of the reluctant hero and it works beautifully. You just have to decide what role it is that you want to play while being authentic. You can do both.
There is a delicate balance to maintain: As you become this authority, this expert, this leader, the person who is going to lead the charge, you need to do something that stands out with audacity and fearlessness. Yet you also must have certain attributes and qualities that are similar enough to the people who you want to appeal so that they feel related or connected to you in some way. If you are on a pedestal – whether you put yourself there or others did so or through some combination – you might feel out of touch, which can make it difficult for people to relate to you, even if they admire who you are and what you have to offer.
So the question is: How can you establish yourself as an expert, a noted authority and someone who can lead the charge while having the proper attributes that are in sync and in alignment with the people you want to attract? Think about how this might work in your life and your chosen industry.
Experience and environment
The key word we’ve been speaking about here is experience, providing and creating a wonderful experience for your customer versus just giving them information. One of the biggest myths that self-help gurus have been perpetuating for the past 30 years is the notion that you, as a human being, are not affected or are somehow immune to your surroundings. It is a conscious choice or a subconscious choice for you to determine how you feel at any given time – the notion of cause and effect.
On one hand, when you are speaking with somebody who may be in the victim role, someone who tends to blame everyone and everything for their problems, talking about being the cause in their life versus being the effect of their life is probably a healthy conversation to have, but self-help gurus have taken it too far. They’ve taken it to a point where many people are now becoming blind to reality and saying their environment doesn’t make a difference. If you don’t think you’re affected by your environment, why do you lower your voice when you’re in a funeral home or a library? Why would you feel it’s okay to scream and shout when you go to a sporting event or concert? The fact is, as human beings, we are impacted by our environment and that environment determines our behavior.
In the world of entrepreneurship, the behavior you want your customers to have is one where they purchase your product or your service, so the question then immediately becomes “How can you create the environment necessary to determine the behavior of body?”
For example, the environment within Facebook is one where you go there to have everything delivered for free. You never log onto Facebook with your wallet and your credit card in your hand thinking, “What will I be able to buy today on Facebook?” The environment is all about being free, and yet we see thousands of entrepreneurs every day wasting thousands of dollars on Facebook, advertising things on Facebook that they are trying to sell. This is, overall, a mistake. While there are always exceptions to every rule, the majority of people are losing money hand over fist when they pay for ads to simply sell somebody something.
Compare that, on the other hand, to Amazon.com, which has the exact opposite environment. With Amazon.com, you go there specifically for one reason and that is to purchase stuff – that is their environment. Every single person who visits Amazon.com has their metaphorical wallet in their hands and they are ready to purchase something. You rarely log on Amazon.com to window shop. You go there because you know you want to buy something.
So what is the environment that you’ve created in your business? What environment do you want and need to create in your business? Take some time to assess if you have the appropriate business environment that will create interest, sales and ongoing business.
As we discussed earlier, car dealerships often locate their dealerships right next to other car dealerships – simply because it creates an environment where people want to buy.
As the entrepreneur of the future, it is your job to be conscious of the environment you create on the internet. It is your job to be conscious of the environment you create when a potential customer walks into your office if you have one. It is your responsibility to be aware of and consciously choose what type of environment your customers are in moment by moment every time they are exposed to your business. This awareness can change the shape, trajectory and overall success of your business.