Always New Mistakes

March 3, 2008

The important people myth debunked

Filed under: Business — Tags: , , , , , — Alex Barrera @ 12:56 pm

There is something that I never quite understood. Why do people are so afraid of famous people? There is like an innate fear of important people that most of the times scratches in paranoia. I would like to analyze this myth andyoursign.jpg try to debunk it because I feel it’s one of the most wide spread problems with many people. First of all, there are many definitions for “important, and worst of all it’s that this definition varies depending on who you talk with. For me, someone important is someone that has an incredible track record and that has demonstrated many times that he’s truly incredible. I would like to stress the importance of “many times” because I think it’s a key concept in my definition. Someone that got lucky once and got fame and money isn’t as important to me as someone that has proven many times his/her skills or knowledge. The problem to me is that not many people share this definition. For most of them, someone important is someone that has been exposed to the media in some way or another. That means, someone that has been written about in a nationwide newspaper, magazine or A-list blog, someone that has been a TV guest in some television program or someone that has been interviewed in a radio program, turns out to be, for a great chunk of the population, someone famous.

Sometimes, and only sometimes, there is a relation between media exposure and important people, but most of the time it’s just the result of the marketing and PR guys. And don’t get me wrong, exposing someone to the media is quite tough, specially now that everyone is competing for attention. The problem is that there isn’t a correlation between both, and most people don’t know this or won’t acknowledge this.

Now what I hear most of the time is “hey are you crazy? Are you going to email X? He won’t even answer you, he’s famous!” and I must say that when I listen to this, there is something that kicks inside me. I always answer the same thing: “and? why isn’t he going to answer back?”. After all, famous people are human beings with the same google.jpgdefects and virtues as the rest of us, sometimes even more. They are also, most of the time, educated persons that will answer you back, even if it’s to decline the offer. I understand, because I’ve experienced it, that when you are a very social active person you don’t have time for everything you would like, and when you have to decline and invitation, collaboration or similar you feel really bad about it because you wished you could have more time. Sadly enough, until someone discovers a folding time device, there is a limited time window these people have and so they have to limit, often based on priorities, with whom they spend it, which I understand and share 100%.

Nevertheless, not sending emails, or calling famous or important people out of fear is just plain stupid. As Wayne Gretzky once said: “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”. You’ll always find rude people, but those are a minority. In my experience, every single time I’ve emailed someone that is considered by society as famous or important I’ve got an answer (ok, granted that it wasn’t always the answer I was looking for, but I still got an answer).

Another problem is that we tend to empower famous people with somehow ridiculous powers. If you’ve ever been in a place where everyone thinks you are a god, you might have experience this. It’s pretty hilarious what people talk about you, it’s like if you were a mystical creature with superpowers that can bend the laws of physics just with your sight. This is a natural byproduct of worshiping, but people should be realistic, famous people are normal people that have achieved incredible things. But that doesn’t means that they are superheroes that don’t speak your language or that don’t have enough education to answer an email.

The above sometimes reminds me of when you are looking for a relationship and you see/meet an incredible woman/man. Most people freak out and say things like: “oh look he’s/she’s so cute he/she won’t even speak with me”. Truth is that handsome people are quite lonely because of this and most of the times they have no partner and they stay like that for a long time because nobody has the guts to go an speak with them.cajal-mi.jpg

Anyhow, what I want to say is that we shouldn’t be afraid of talking with important or famous people, because after all they are human and respond like humans. You might admire someone, as I do with many persons, but that shouldn’t stop you from talking with them because, after all, you can’t possible know what they are going to say. Limiting yourself because of your own thoughts is something we should avoid, let others put the limits, not ourselves.

As an experiment I’m going to forward this post to some A list bloggers and see how many of them leave a comment to prove my point (please don’t let me down with this hehe).

And as always, what are your experiences with this myth? Have you ever been there? Are you famous and have experienced this “fame isolation“? I would love to read everybody’s insight on this matter.

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