A good friend of mine said to me a little while back “Dave I am really surprised you are not famous”. My friend wanted to know why given the fact I had been on national TV and been and mixed it with famous people, why is it that I was not famous?
My simple responses were
“Why would I want to be?” and
“I would rather make impact than being famous”.
When I travel to schools and colleges and recount some of my journeys students always want to know if I am famous (given that I have been on TV) and who who I have met that is famous. Up to last week my ‘adopted’ daughter and I met for a coffee and we passed the BBC centre. A well known journalist passed by and nodded to me. I returned the nod and she laughed saying to me that I know so many people and yet play it down. It got me to thinking.
The Big Deal
OK let me be clear. During my working career I have met and spoken to a number of famous people across entertainment, business, politics and the community. When I originally started to meet famous people, especially in music, I was in awe. No word of a lie. Then after about the third or fourth time of going backstage and sometimes hanging out with said people my whole opinion changed. Often the individuals concerned were mostly up their own backside, but the ones who didn’t have groupies and other leeches fawning over them were absolutely down to earth. Granted they couldn’t go many places without stares and people wanting to hook up with them, but when they did, they were some great people albeit with insecurities just like the rest of us.
The main thing I found with those who were/are famous is that they don’t mind the attention, in that it brings them business to sell their products and causes, but in most cases they just wanted to be normal. Able to live life to the full without worrying about what other people think or in fear that some sordid story (true or false) would end up in the newspaper or other media. I got how being famous helped but the downside far outweighed the good for my liking.
All about perception
As a professional speaker people are always asking me where my book is. Why have I not written a book yet?
Personally I have some ideas in my head but I don’t think it is worthy of a book. Not yet anyway. Granted I get that having a book would escalate my speaking price and make me more popular. Apparently.
I am also asked, a lot, why I don’t go on TV and do some more programming?
What is with this obsession with being a TV personality, top selling author, etc, etc. Is this all about helping other people or is it all about ego scratching? Why do we want to be famous and why is a generation so obsessed with being famous that they will compromise their values and image to be filmed on TV in a range of jeopardy scenarios?
Why are we so hungry for press coverage, PR, to have thousands of followers on social media? What is the purpose? To be honest I still don’t know, but heck there’s no harm in asking is there.