Slaying The Fame Monster

Jeremy and Vickie 4

A reminder to Lead With Kindness…

Typically my posts are educational based, less emotion. I do sprinkle in some real life but rarely do I go…there.  Does it make me less human?  I sure hope not! I always want there to be something we can take away to implement, grow or learn from.  We need to remember we will always be growing our business and redirecting our course and today’s post can remind us how to do exactly that!

This post has been turning in my head for months.  It is something that I have thought about. But quickly brushed under the rug.  Why?  Because I don’t want people thinking it is directed at anyone.  I want you to see the positive take away…the reminder of how we got to where we are in our respective businesses and how to keep on that positive path. This is not about a person, but instead a collection of observations and experiences.  I couldn’t put a name to it if I was forced too.  It is something that is fleeting.  When you see it, you question even witnessing it.  It is not a popular subject.  It doesn’t make us feel good.  All the reasons as to why it should never be written.  But is it our job to only elevate the rainbows, butterflies and unicorns?  No, not if we are going to build this industry up, life experiences and education go hand in hand.  We can’t conveniently bury our heads because we don’t like what is in front of us.  Sometimes we have to have the hard talk to effect real change.

I believe to best tackle an issue we have to fully understand it.  So what is The Fame Monster?  It is when a person rises in any industry to the point that they feel they are untouchable. In their minds they have arrived.  They are the end all be all. They start to forget how they got where they are and just who may have helped along the way.

Whenever I see The Fame Monster I cringe.  It doesn’t show its ugly head often, but when it does in the form of an email, fb message, text or phone conversation I find myself wondering did that really happen?  It can come completely out of left field.  It feels like the diva with fifty million unreasonable demands.  You know the one who can only have assistants wear blue earrings on Tuesday in front of her type demands.  If The Fame Monster is smart you only see a flicker of it.  Just enough to let you know it is there.

So how can we successfully keep The Fame Monster forever at bay?

  1.  Remember the people who rallied and cheered you on.  You know who they are.  They are the ones commenting and liking your photos, private messaging you and encouraging you along the way.  Be sure to reciprocate.  Do not forget them.
  2. Remain true to yourself.  This is a big one.  Remind yourself of when you first opened your doors and how excited you were to get that first client.  For me, that would be hoping and dreaming my phone would ring or that I would get an email in my inbox.  Or maybe even that first big encouragement from someone you admire in the industry.  Don’t forget these things.  
  3. Don’t be too busy for the groups and forums you once poured your heart and soul into.  Be kind to that new photographer who has questions.  Remember that was you a few years ago!
  4. If someone gave you recognition remember it.  Don’t be condescending, be gracious.  Foster the relationships in the industry that got you to where you are today.
  5. Never be TOO busy or famous for your industry friends, especially if they are not experiencing the same things as you.  Remember your friends are the ones who have heard your dreams, supported them and helped you over the hurdles in this industry.

Most importantly, remember you survived Middle School and High School.  You graduated.  There is no need to go back.  You have evolved.