How to Make Friends with Celebrities

I’m using the term celebrity loosely.  What I really mean by celebrity is a person who reached the top of their profession.

It’s obvious who are celebrities in acting, music, and sports.  Less obvious are the “celebrities” of business, healthcare, and food service.

I highly recommend making friends with celebrities who do what you want to do.  I respect Brad Pitt, but due to my low interest in acting, I won’t try to make him my friend.

Once you clearly identify the who, then the next step is how to make them your friend.

This is not a trick on how to get Taylor Swift to come to your next birthday party.

Some people won’t like what I’m about to say, because most of my celebrity friends won’t know they are my friends.

To me, friends require me to do two things – know them well, and help them when I can.

Their actions, such as loyalty, interest in me, and the time they spend with me is of no concern to me (at least not for this exercise).  I’m not looking to change what they do in any way.

Instead, my actions are focused on being a friend.

That means knowing them and helping them.

How do you learn about a celebrity?  It’s pretty easy, actually.  People who reached the top of their field have a lot written by them and about them.

I’d recommend reading everything you can by your chosen celebrities, and once you’ve exhausted that, then start reading about them.

Along the way, you will get a feel for the struggles they face.  If you can help, then do it!

What does this look like?  Here’s an example:

Tim Ferriss is one of my favorite celebrities.  He has reached greatness in business, health/fitness, lifestyle design, and writing.  All four of those are priorities that we share.

I read his first two books, The 4-Hour Workweek and The 4-Hour Body, and I will read his latest, The 4-Hour Chef, early next year.

I read all articles I see about him, and at this point, I feel I have an understanding of his values and his struggles.

I know for a fact he follows a scientific method approach to anything he researches.  Minimize the effort, and maximize the results.  This certainly requires a ton of data analysis and number crunching, two things I’m pretty skilled at.

When I find an opportunity to help him, and that could be as simple as a data tracking spreadsheet, I will help.  Here’s the key – I will help with no expected return.

Whether he uses the help or turns it down, or makes a multimillion dollar product from it, that’s of no concern to me.  My efforts were in helping.  It’s the act of being a friend, not using a person for personal gain.

And if this results in him showing up at my next birthday party, so be it.

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Who Do You Value

I love my friends. I have some of the most supportive, helpful, and selflessly encouraging people I could imagine.

And that’s good.

Because, according to many, you become like the five people closest to you.  And “birds of a feather flock together”.

However, many people place a higher value on celebrity status than they do on integrity, character, or servantude.  Autographs and memorabilia are sold for millions, while a friend’s loyalty might be regarded as a “nice to have”.

People will wait for hours to shake the hand of someone they have never met before.

No doubt it is an exhilarating experience, meeting someone you admire.

Would you want them to be in your circle of five?  Do you aspire to be more like them?  I would love to meet Panthers’ quarterback Cam Newton or president Barack Obama.  As cool as it would be, I still don’t want them in my inner circle.

They have both achieved greatness in their fields, but their fields are not my field.  Sports and politics are not in my scope.

So while I admire and respect those high performers, they will not get priority over my closest, most loyal friends.  Not in my time, attention, or money.  If I don’t have time to give an hour to my friend, then why give it to a celebrity?

Unless, of course, the celebrity is doing now what I want to do later, and in a manner I want to copy.  In that case, I will make them my friend.

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Honoring Mr. Ziglar

Zig Ziglar died last week at 86 years old.

He was a great teacher, motivator, speaker, and author.

If you didn’t know him, it’s time you did.  Unlike so many, he left a legacy.  He will continue to inspire for years to come.

In honor of him, I leave you these Zig Ziglar quotes.  Use them well!

A goal properly set is halfway reached.

Building a better you is the first step to building a better America.

Failure is a detour, not a dead-end street.

If you go looking for a friend, you’re going to find they’re very scarce.  If you go out to be a friend, you’ll find them everywhere.

It’s not what you got, it’s what you use that makes a difference.

Money won’t make you happy… but everybody wants to find out for themselves.

People often say that motivation doesn’t last.  Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.

Sometimes adversity is what you need to face in order to become successful.

You cannot perform in a manner inconsistent with the way you see yourself.

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2 Minute Warning for 2012

In football, the clock stops when there are two minutes left until the end of the game.

It was put in place to let both teams know they have one more chance; a final push, until the game is over.

This is the time when players prepare a final rush of adrenaline, refocus their efforts, and get ready for some intensely hard-fought final plays.

A coach might even share some inspirational words.  A reminder of why the team came to play.

In life, the clock never stops.  But December 1 is a good time to make your own two minute warning.

Take some time today to prepare for a final, adrenaline-driven push on your goals this year.

Refocus your efforts this month to complement the other 11 months.

Find some inspirational words to take you into 2013.

And most importantly – remind yourself why you’re here.  What are you trying to achieve?  And – why?

Finally, don’t wait until you recover from New Years to set your 2013 goals.  Set them in the next two weeks, refine them for another week, and prepare the last week.

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Working Hard vs. Working Smart – Part II

Yesterday I posted Working Hard vs. Working Smart – Part I.  It was about limiting your preparation time on any task.  Today I’m tackling it from another angle.

I regularly finish a day of work feeling like I got a TON accomplished.  I know I was busy all day, performing at peak levels.

Then a friend asks me what I did that day.

I, umm… don’t… know.

If you have felt this way, then you are likely suffering from a lack of focused, slow, intentional efforts. Just like me.

Here’s the solution:

  1. Before you go to bed at night (or immediately after waking), make a to do list
  2. Write down everything you want to complete that day
  3. Sort them by importance
  4. Eliminate anything below the second item
  5. Do it in order.  First #1, then #2.
  6. After you complete #2, do whatever you want to reward yourself, then continue with the rest of your list; the optional items.

Honestly, we could probably do just as well by using the same method, but with only the top one item.  The reason is that we constantly place the lower importance tasks above our #1 thing each day.

It’s not until the pain of not accomplishing that #1 gets great enough that we tackle it.  And that would be OK, except for the fact that procrastinating our #1 is probably the biggest hurdle to our success and our happiness.

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Working Hard vs. Working Smart – Part I

I heard the saying “are you working hard or are you working smart” many years ago, and I liked it.

Then I heard it so many times over those years that I started to hate it.

Now I’m back to liking it, but in a different context.  Here’s why.

When I first heard it, it carried a certain meaning for me.  It meant that instead of diving right into a task and doing that task inefficiently, I should gather information about the task first, learn how to do it better, and then do it.

The prep time would almost always be a small percentage of the time saved by working smart.

Then the internet got popular.  And email, and texting.

There has been an explosion of information going on for several years now.  And this explosion won’t end, it’s only going to get bigger.  More information is coming at us in larger volumes.

So here’s the problem.

If I try to gather all the information available about how to do a task, I could be searching forever.  If I want to do it perfectly, I’ll never start.  And if I’m looking for the most efficient way to do something, that will only exist for a short time.  Tomorrow, someone will invent an even more efficient way to do it.

The point is – keep striving for working smart instead of working hard.

But make sure you don’t forget the operative word in both phrases: work.

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Use Cancer to Lose Weight

I love efficiency.  Because of that, any time I see the opportunity to kill two birds with one stone, I jump at it.

That’s why I’m excited about the possibility to both lose weight and cure cancer at the same time.

Let me explain.

The biggest hurdle I’ve found with any diet or exercise program is the long term motivation.  Anyone can diet for a day.  Most of us can do a week.  And some can avoid our favorite foods for a whole month.

But any time we force ourselves to do something we don’t want to do, we’re using our willpower muscle.  And that muscle is expendable.

So the longer we go, the more important long term motivation becomes.  That’s bird number one.

Bird number two is curing cancer.  As most know, I have volunteered for Relay For Life (affiliated with the American Cancer Society) for several years.

I believe cancer is a disease that will be cured one day.  It’s just a matter of time and resources.  The more resources we throw at it, the less time it will take.  Pretty simple.

Here’s the stone that can kill both the exercise /diet bird and the cancer bird.

I recently learned of a new study being run by the American Cancer Society, called Cancer Prevention Study 3, or CPS-3 for short.

The goal of the study, in my words, is to figure out the specifics behind what causes cancer.

Why would we be interested in that?  Well, we know smoking causes cancer, right?  And we know that obesity has its own links to cancer as well.

Those two “little” factoids were originally uncovered by studies like this one.  In fact, they were very similar.  The studies that discovered those facts were CPS-1 and CPS-2, run by the American Cancer Society in 1960 and 1982, respectively.

Until we make it a priority to learn, we’re stuck in the dark.  And cancer is something I’d like to bring to light in the near future.  That’s why I’m enrolled to participate.  If you agree with me (and you’re between 30 and 65), then I urge you to check it out here: Cancer Prevention Study 3.  If you aren’t near Charlotte, then go here.

Here’s what you’ll need to do:

  • In March 2013, answer a questionnaire, give a blood sample, and measure your waist
  • Follow up surveys every 2-3 years.  This should take less than an hour to complete

That’s all, it’s a pretty small commitment.  But it lasts a long time.

Since they will be asking about waist size every 2-3 years, I plan to use that as my long term motivation.  The measurement alone won’t make me rally to exercise every day, but it is a good reminder that will be there for years to come.

And if the same study that linked smoking and obesity to cancer is now asking about my waist measurements… perhaps I should keep an eye on that as well?

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Be Like Water

[Today’s post comes from Evan Arteaga, a longtime friend of mine. I’ve known Evan for over ten years.  He’s been selling highly technical products to customers all over the world. He knows what he’s doing. This post is his insight into what it takes to be successful in sales and your other endeavors. Enjoy.]

Be like water. Well that should not be too hard, considering we are made out of approximately 70% of it – right?

If your thoughts and actions are like water, you will become what you dream to be true.

Here are 5 properties of this amazing compound that, if adopted, will flow you into greater success:

Water is Natural

Persuading naturally is a critical skill if you want to get anywhere in life. If you do not have the ability to influence people in a positive and natural way then you will not achieve much. A key to this is to be at home with anyone, wherever you are.

Be natural with all people, whether they are your potential customers, Charlize Theron, the Dalai Lama, or The President of the United States. Water does not treat any person differently based on who they are; in fact it is at home with all people.

Water is Fluid

If you look at anyone at the top of their field, they are most often in that position because their actions are smooth, natural and impeccably timed.

An old military saying serves as an excellent illustration: “slow is smooth and smooth is fast”. Whether you are speaking to 10,000 people, throwing a football, racing a dirt bike or closing a deal with a high profile customer, perfectly timed, fluid-like action defines the best of the best.

Water is Flexible

Water takes the shape of any environment and is at home wherever it finds itself. This is not to say that it changes its core structure, since water when trapped and constricted, barely compresses at all.

The ability to accept and embrace change is directly correlated with reducing fear and anxiety which cannot coexist with happiness. When a person feels unnatural in a place or social situation, others can clearly sense it.

By accepting and embracing your situation and surroundings calmly, you are able to remove debilitating fear and anxiety and interact in a positive way.

Water is Powerful

Water, relative to time, defines its power to either create or destroy. Organic life reacts slowly and smoothly with water, a gentle and soothing process. Tsunamis and water jet cutters are examples of fast and violent reactions with water. They lead to destruction, both planned and unplanned.

If you interact with others slowly, naturally and in a soothing way, your own life will grow richer. If you interact with people quickly and violently you risk destroying those opportunities for growth.

Water is Persistent

Water will erode through any element over time. This effect occurs more quickly when there are mineral substances floating in the water due to increased friction. Real substance is the key ingredient in a personality that enables you to effectively persuade.

People want to associate with other people of legitimate substance who are interesting. It is also important to take your time and not to force situations, work them naturally and your perseverance will pay off.

Water does not have the luxury of giving up; it always finds the way.

Evan Arteaga, Professional Salesperson

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Guess Who’s Back

It’s been awhile, but I’m back and excited about some upcoming posts.  More Bobservations starting Monday, including how to be productive by being more like water, curing cancer while getting in shape, and lessons learned from a bug-infested, abandoned rental property.

Buckle up, it’s gonna be a great week!

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Find a Job You Love

I have successfully chased many balls for my clients, and I’m well versed in sitting, laying down, and rolling over.

Why is it so popular for us to work jobs we don’t love

My theory…

We see the job system as fixed, and us as a dynamic piece of that system.

We try to adapt and tweak ourselves to fit into the system that already exists.

The whole process carries this theme.

Let me search jobs online to find one I fit into.

I should update my resume to reflect some experience for a job that I can sort of do.

I need to answer interview questions “correctly” so I can impress the hiring manager.

These are all anxiety-producing beliefs.  You’ll go nuts trying to fit in to someone else’s “ideal candidate” box.  And if you get the job, you’ll be OK for awhile, then stressed for the long-term.

Instead, try out these empowering thoughts:

I have a valuable skill that companies need.

I will search for companies online that most need my skill.

I will update my resume so it accurately and attractively illustrates my skill.

I will teach the hiring manager about my skill in the interview, and show her how I can apply it to her company.

The first item (having a valuable skill) is a prerequisite to the rest.  If you haven’t yet discovered something you love to do, then focus on that first.

If you know what you love to do, but aren’t good at it, then focus on building your skill and reputation.

Then it’s just a matter of doing what you love for lots of money.  You can do that, can’t you?

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