They say never meet your heroes.
But why? Well, because of something I call the “just my mate effect”.
When growing up, we develop idols – people who would be ideal mentors, those we look up to and people we picture at the top of the game for the field we want to work/live in.
For me, this included everything from scientists to sports stars, to (of course) entrepreneurs.
In making these people our idols though, we tend to put them on a theoretical pedestal, making them somewhat almost inhuman – with some kind of mythical power beyond our own.
A great example of this right now is Elon Musk. The amount of people idolising every move he makes is incredible. Deserved? Mybe. Does this help us as aspiring people to follow in his path? Surprisingly… maybe not.
Let me explain…
It’s 100% important to have people to look up to – it drives us! However, having people we forever see far and away in a league we could never enter applies a limiting belief to what we can achieve.
I should stress here that as ever, I am absolutely not a life coach 😂 I just write what I feel and this is something I myself have experienced.
Well recently, I met one of my heroes.
Here’s the round up:
For some people, meeting their favourite author is a crazy experience, I even witnessed it on the day – having seemingly normal conversations with people who then changed their whole persona when talking to Daniel himself, but why?
Being self aware of this, I did what I try to always do and just remain my genuine self, because (as mentioned) everyone is human and people with a following start to wonder why others treat them differently.
Treating Daniel like an old friend (we’ve followed each other on Twitter for a while now so digitally, that’s not too difficult to do) I was able to leverage a deal with his organisation that acting more submissive would likely not have allowed me to achieve.
The way I describe this ‘pedestal thinking’ is with what I call the “just my mate” effect.
Essentially what this says is that in one instance, people will queue around the block to just get a glimpse of David Beckham, yet to Victoria, he’s probably just ‘Dave’ – A husband, father and best friend.
This goes for everyone ‘famous’. They’re just human to everyone close to them and, as alluded to in my ‘How to land a TED talk’ blog, this can impact negatively on your business & personal brand if used in the wrong way.
So the idea here is to make sure you’re constantly self aware of how you treat people at different ‘levels’ based on your personal perception – the likelihood is they don’t feel they deserve that affection and most importantly, this shouldn’t put you on the back foot.
Conversely, because other people don’t realise this, it can actually help you do deals with those you idolise because they’re less used to ‘fans’ being confident enough to push those offers of collaboration, sales, etc, solidly at them.
Hold your ground, be brave, make big deals and – in time – become the influencer yourself.
Although, don’t be surprised when nothing feels different. Everyone else may treat you differently but you’re still just Joe Bloggs, doing what you love doing for a living! The journey never feels like ‘success’. More on that in a blog to come…