Category Archives: Authenticity

7 Tips for Waking Up Famous Every Day

1. Be Kind. Period.
Be nice to the people you think might help you become successful. Be equally nice to those you think have nothing to contribute to you. If you aren’t inclined to behave this way for its own sake, then remember this: there is NO way to tell the difference between the two. The old adage about being nice to people on the way up because they are the same people you will see on the way down is unequivocally true. As Jewel sang: In the end, only kindness matters.

2. Be Who You Are Today. Be Somebody Else Tomorrow If It Suits You Better.
It might not sound like it, but this is the ultimate call to “Be Authentic.” Authenticity is not static; it is about being who you are, moment to moment, without apology. Interests change. Opinions change. It’s okay if yours happen to be all over the map, provided you know the difference between self-discovery and trying to please everyone.

3. Be an I-Don’t-Know-It-All.
When you are knowledgeable about something, by all means, share it. Never be afraid to say, “I don’t know,” if you don’t particularly care about an issue, or “I don’t know, but I’ll find out,” if you do.

4. Commit to Lifelong Learning.
In addition to following up on “I don’t know, but I’ll find out,” make it a priority to learn for the sake of learning. Read. Take classes. Listen to others. Practice listening to yourself without distraction. If the word “meditation” makes you uncomfortable, then call it something else, but do it.

5. Promote Others.
When you admire someone’s work, tell other people about it, even especially if you have nothing to gain. Becoming a one-person PR firm is the ultimate way to practice the Golden Rule.

6. Lighten Up.
Don’t go anywhere–including online–without your sense of humor. If you don’t have one, cultivate it. When someone advises you to lighten up, follow the same rule of etiquette as if someone had offered you a mint: take it!

7. Practice Forgiveness.
Malachy McCourt said, “Resentment is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die.” Forgiveness is something you do for you; it frees up your energy for better use. Forgive others, forgive yourself, and move on. If you struggle with this, understand that forgiving a transgression is not the same as condoning it, and you don’t even have to contact the other person to do it.

Buying a Fan Club Does Not Make You Famous

fanclubAs a freelance writer, I spend a fair amount of time perusing Writing Gigs on and various other web sites, where there are always a lot of people trying to get something for nothing. Depending on my mood–and current workload–my response to these would-be slave drivers ranges from highly amused to moderately annoyed. The more ridiculous the request for free labor, the more likely another freelancer will write a post that: (a) blasts the original poster and (b) appeals to freelance virgins not to “give it away.”

If you own a pickup truck, at some point, somebody is going to ask you to help him move in exchange for beer, and, chances are, he plans to drink the beer while he watches you move his stuff.

People will try to get you to part with your creative talents for far less, because they know that you might say yes. And you might; only you can judge whether you are prostituting yourself or filling up your goodwill account.

Worse than those seeking something for nothing are those who pay people to write term papers, either for themselves or for resale. Frankly, it amazes me that students even consider such plagiarism in the age of Google-savvy teachers. I just hope that poetic justice will reign in the end.

Tonight I came across something that struck me like the give-it-away posts strike those who rally against them. sounded like a neat way to find quick gigs. I was dubious that a “beta” site would really have 66,566 tasks available, but I signed up to check it out. Clicking on the task “Provide Comments on a WordPress Blog” brought me to this:

shorttask1In a word: Ick.

It was the parenthetical suggestion that the Name and/or email address “could be made up” that prompted me to write this post. Click here  to see how following these folks on Twitter can land you three cents.

Again, ick.

Further inquiries suggested that any buzz about job-search sites,, (and probably is as worthless as those “10,000 new followers” promised by Twitter-spammers.

Waking up famous–being excellent–brings its own reward. The people who follow you because you have added value to their lives are worth something; you have a reciprocal relationship. Nobody respects the kid who says, “I’ll give you a dollar if you’ll be my friend.” Nobody respects the kid who takes the dollar, either.

I’d love to hear your comments. Of course, if you’re short on time and have an extra dime, you might find somebody on to write them for you.

Be Who You Are, Not Who You Think Others Want You to Be

To wake up famous is to be the best possible version of yourself without worrying what others think of you. You will not please everyone, all the time. In fact, this is a good gauge of your authenticity: if everybody else is thrilled with you, you are acting outside your highest integrity. Chances are, YOU are unhappy. What is the point of being famous if you are miserable?

In the book Purple Cow, Seth Godin says:

If you’re remarkable, it’s likely that some people won’t like you. That’s part of the definition of remarkable. Nobody gets unanimous praise–ever. The best the timid can hope for is to be unnoticed. Criticism comes to those who stand out.

Einstein, who was decidedly remarkable, observed:

Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.

I don’t mean to suggest that you deliberately make people unhappy; just understand that their happiness is not your responsibility.

Emotions and opinions are not static. Neither is fame. Think of excellence as your practice; it is a craft you will continually improve.

And when you make mistakes? Celebrate them for what they are: evidence that you are learning and improving.

At the end of the day, fall asleep knowing that you will wake up famous tomorrow.