24 Jun Living your dream
Continuum on Fame, Living your dream in the shadows, and What success doesn’t look like.
The success of brands like Facebook, Apple, Virgin and Lego, among many others; the availability of too many media types and channels; and the speed at which local events that could have remained contained in one community now become global news are definitely some of the elements that have fueled the notion that somehow, somewhere everyone is meant to be famous; and everyone can do anything. The chase for fame has become an obsession even in careers that were at some point considered conservative and needed no exaggerated punting. Granted that the access to a smart phone can make anyone famous even whilst living in a dungeon and surviving on tinned beans because they have no income, the one lost truth is that fame doesn’t define success. Neither does it define wealth or happiness. It’s simple exposure – good or bad exposure, that’s a completely different story.
The ability to create solutions and change the way people live and make a mark in history is brilliant. However looking at individuals like Branson, Zuckerberg, Jobs, etc what the short-sighted-fame-chasers of today’s modern society forget is that there are people like Faraday, Newton, Edison, Tesla etc that paved the way for modern day inventions to be possible. Today’s inventors are also in a way paving the way for tomorrow’s inventors – nanos gigantum humeris insidentes (dwarfs standing on the shoulders of giants, literally). Everything is part of this continuity to better society every day. The common thread holding the different inventors of all times together is the drive to create solutions without chasing the fame. The fame is just a reward or consequence – bad depending on the side of the coin one is looking at.
So where does the drive to be famous without having done anything as huge as some of the inventors mentioned above come from? Is that from the lies of reality TV? Could it be because of the absence of decent relationships that are built on true emotional connections beyond the mirages of social media?
The old adage that “behind every successful man, is a hard working woman” should be applied to the modern working environment. The thing is that there are women or men that are comfortable and consider it a success to look after their partner and help them pursue their careers whilst they sit back and enjoy home lives.
Publicists have probably grown tired of people that declare in their briefs how they would like to be known everywhere, forgetting the brand(s) they represent. The problem with that is credible fame, the kind of fame that could potentially lead to a few ounces of happiness and a bit of wealth rarely comes from being famous for being famous. Unhappiness, poverty and all the bad stuff that people try and escape by being famous will still be there after the fame has come and gone.
No CEO can be considered a success without a team behind him. His success is by standing on the shoulders of those that could be living their dreams even if he, the CEO wasn’t. Steve Jobs worried about investors, keeping a family together, fighting with partners, etc during Apple’s most formative years. But there are a group of people that didn’t have to worry about that all the times. It was the geeks and the nerds that loved designing, coding and putting together what most of society now consume as Apple products. Mark Zuckerberg stands on the shoulders of many people that love what they are doing; they are living their dreams – that surely should be considered success. Do they have to be on the cover of Forbes or Times magazines to tell the world they love their jobs and they are taking home big salaries? No, because not everyone in a company is meant to be the face of the brand!
If every executive anywhere in the world could make peace with the fact that some are meant to lead and some are meant to follow and stop fighting for space in the media space, PR people would have less stress and the problem of fame-chasing would be one reserved for the young, naïve and stupid that believe a video on YouTube, a career it makes.