Being Slightly Famous

Traditional career planning strategy involves going to a good school, getting a job from a big brand name company, and getting promoted.

This is the premise of all academic schooling through college.

But... the world has changed quite profoundly in the last 15 years.

The world is more hyperconnected than ever before.

This has several implications that impact you and your career planning.

When I started my career, there was no such thing as an article or video “going viral.”

There were no YouTube celebrities.

You got to be a published author by finding an agent.

You became a singer by being discovered by a producer.

Today, you can become a mega-bestseller by writing books like 50 Shades of Grey and self-publishing.

You can become a music star like Justin Bieber by making YouTube videos.

Unquestionably, the interconnectedness of the world has made it possible to become a celebrity of the biggest kind.

However, what’s equally true is that it is also realistically possible for anyone to become a “micro-celebrity.”

I define a micro-celebrity as someone who is famous amongst a very small and often specialized audience.

I would classify myself as a micro-celebrity. Amongst people in a specific field of consulting, I am fairly well known.

In other words, I’m “slightly” famous.

The process of building a personal brand or personality-based business is completely replicable. Yet traditional career planning doesn’t consider this at all.

This is partly due to history. Attempting to be slightly famous as little as 10 years ago was a completely futile effort. It was so hard it wasn’t worth the effort or risk.

But... today the process of building a personal brand — especially online — has never been easier.

There is no risk to trying. The main “cost” to becoming slightly famous is really just your time. You don’t need to hire a publicist like you might have in the past.

Much of my client work has been with companies started by founders that became micro-celebrities in their fields.

These clients have a combined audience reach into the tens of millions of people per year. My own work reaches well over one million readers a year.

When you’re a micro-celebrity, a few things happen:

1) Job offers and consulting gigs constantly find you (instead of the other way around).

2) When you want to meet somebody you don’t know, it’s far easier to get a meeting once they learn you have a following.

3) Life is much more fun, more financially secure, and easier.

Whether you work for yourself or someone else, when you’re at least slightly famous — it’s very hard to fire you. And if it happens, there are several employers jumping at the chance to hire you.

Being slightly famous has its benefits and more than ever, it’s wise to build a personal brand as part of your career plan.

There is a process to developing a personal brand.

It is a learnable skill.

Much like I’ve done with the case interview, I’ve deconstructed the process of building a personal brand into specific steps.

I’m debating whether or not to teach a class on this subject, as I’m not sure that there would be enough interest in this non-traditional topic amongst a crowd focused on McKinsey, Bain, and BCG.

If you would be interested in developing a personal brand and want to be notified if a class on this topic becomes available, just complete the form below to let me know.

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