The Silicon Valley Voice

Power To Your Voice

Let’s Get Famous!

I know! You don’t get the respect or the money you deserve. But thanks to Marsha Friedman, you can get the fame you deserve. All you have to do is “Celebritize Yourself.”

“Celebritize Yourself: The Three Step Method to Increase Your Visibility and Explode Your Business” is the title of the book written by Marsha Friedman, aka the “Founder of the Celebritize Yourself Method.” In the 170-odd paperback pages of Friedman’s unusual tome, you learn exactly how to turn a nobody, who nobody knows about, into a nobody that everyone knows about. Hey, if Snooki can do it, you can do it, too.

Of course, the first question to ask yourself is whether you actually want to increase your visibility. If you’re safely tucked into a corporate hidey-hole and come out only to collect your paycheck, staying invisible could be essential to your long-term survival. As I always say, “if they can’t find you, they can’t fire you.”

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On the other hand, if you see yourself pursued by paparazzi and groped by groupies, the celebritize technique may be just your cup of TV.

As I understand the celebritize method, the first step to fame and fortune is to choose a specific area of your vast expertise and write a book about it. “Today’s book is yesterday’s business card,” Friedman says, but if finding enough words to even fill a business card is a challenge, don’t despair. As the author points out, “it is never been easier to hire a freelance writer, editor or even a full-fledged ghostwriter to help turn your ideas into a book.”

At this point, you may be thinking there is no particular area of your vast expertise that will appeal to a mass audience or even, to a few deranged misfits who will actually pay money to listen to your blather. You can’t cook like Rachael Ray. You’re not beautiful like Tyra Banks. You’re not a business success like Donald Trump, and you’re not inherently fascinating like Heidi and Spencer. It doesn’t matter! As author Friedman puts it, “When I say any industry is ripe for a celebrity, I mean ANY.”

One success story from the Friedman book concerns a man whose area of expertise was homicide. His book, “How to Kill Your Wife,” tracked his success at offing his spouse. As appealing as this prospect may be, especially now that football season has started, I’m afraid we’ll have to relegate murdering your wife to a “last resort” strategy on the road to celebrity. Besides, it’s already been done. But no one yet has dibs on how to kill your husband, or how to maim the head of your human resources department. I’m not recommending it. I’m just talking.

The idea that you don’t actually have to write the book you expect everyone to read is good news, indeed. In fact, you don’t even need to hire an expensive writer, who will probably insist on a fresh quill and a full bowl of gruel every morning before starting work. Instead of working with an annoying human, get speech-translation software and start addressing your random prattle to your computer.

Or just steal a book and put your name on the title page. “Moby Dick” is the kind of book no one has ever read, and I’m sure you’ll sell a bunch of copies before anyone realizes the text has nothing to do with “The Power Flossing Secrets of a Randy Dental Assistant.”

Once you have your book, the royal road to celebrity status is a super-highway with hardly any rest stops. Large organizations will be so impressed that you have a book, they’ll invite you to speak. (Note: The U.S. Congress is always looking for speakers for their joint sessions, and don’t worry about scheduling. Just come on over!) The hosts of talk radio and morning TV shows will be so impressed with your speaking success, they’ll invite you to be a guest on their programs. Eventually, you’ll become so celebritzed that you can take over as program host. And then, let’s face it, can the ultimate celebrity of “Dancing With the Stars” be so far away?

All I ask is that when you do become a huge celebrity — rich, famous and obnoxious — don’t forget the little people who got you there, like me. I don’t have a book or an area of expertise or even a point of view, but I’m ready to be a celebrity, too, and, let’s face it, big shot, you owe me.

Bob Goldman was an advertising executive at a Fortune 500 company, but he finally wised up and opened Bob Goldman Financial Planning in Sausalito, California. He offers a virtual shoulder to cry on at bob@funnybusiness.com.

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