Do You Know Chris Brogan?

A few days ago I was listening to a podcast where my buddy Richard Rierson had conducted an interview with Chris Brogan. I felt good for two reasons; one, I knew Richard had always wanted to interview him and two, he had interviewed me first, although that either means he valued what I had to say a lot or Chris was much harder to get than me. lol

Trust Agents

Either way, as I listened to the interview I came to realize just how little any of us can know about someone else, even if we’ve read their books, read their blogs, seen their videos or had them comment on one’s blog not just once but twice. 😀

In any case, he’s a fascinating guy to listen to and see what he has to say. But this isn’t a puff piece about him; not at all. In taking a break from this week’s marketing test (click here in case you haven’t been paying attention) I thought I would talk about two takeaways from the interview he did with Richard and one I got from him somewhere else some years ago… one that I think is interestingly important since I keep saying that when I grow up I want to be rich and famous.

1. You’re never as famous as you might think you are.

Chris was asked by someone what it was like having so many fans online. He said that he didn’t take it all that seriously because in his own hometown he can walk down to the local coffee shop, get coffee and possibly something to eat, and no one there knows who he is. He can pretty much go anywhere where he lives and not have people running up to him because they want his autograph.

Before I’d read that line I hadn’t had it crystallize in my mind but it’s an absolutely true statement. My friend Kelvin asked me a couple of weeks ago if I listened to any new music because I’ve never been on Pandora. I told him I had years of music from the period of music I loved so I didn’t need any of it, but if something hit me from out of the blue that I liked I’d deal with it then.

Overall, I have no idea who most of today’s young musicians are. There are a couple of names I’ve heard whose music I’ve never heard so I couldn’t comment on any of it. The same goes for TV and movie celebrities; don’t even think about asking me about anything “reality” related. For that matter, I don’t know who 98% of all athletes are either, even on my favorite teams (Syracuse University basketball is the lone exception).

Thus, if I were working in a hotel and someone who thought they were all that said to me “Do you know who I am?”, I’d probably say “no”, mean it and move on. See, as much as I’d love to be rich and famous, the truth is that the only shot I have at it is to entice a specific group that’s interested in what I have to share, and only that group, and hope that I could get at least 33% of them to know who I am and trust me enough to listen to me and buy from me. Heck, maybe all it would take would be 20%; who knows?

Overall, we can’t believe in our own importance when it comes to others. Be comfortable in your skin and put yourself out there, but don’t believe that almost anyone other than your mother is losing sleep wondering anything about you; isn’t that sad?

2. Business is personal.

In his interview with Richard, Chris threw out this gem and my eyes lit up. That’s because I’ve always believed this was a truth, even though most people you talk to in business will say it’s not.

Here’s the thing. I’m an independent consultant, and I spend a lot of my time reaching out to people in different ways. Sometimes I don’t expect to be contacted back because it’s typical sales; in other words, if I’m calling someone out of the blog and leave a message on an answering machine, there’s no obligation to call back because they don’t know me from Adam (have you ever wondered which Adam that phrase is talking about?).

If someone has reached out to me first, I return the correspondence, and then they don’t contact me again… or not for weeks at a time… that’s personal. Someone might say that’s business but it’s not; you reached out to me, I responded… it’s personal.

I’ve had some people tell me I’m too sensitive sometimes, that things happen in business. Bah! People who treat others like that when it’s business related do the same thing outside of business. Whereas it’s easy enough to change behavior from work to personal, it’s much harder to change patterns. I evaluate people in business the same way I do in my personal life, and my patterns are intentionally the same as it relates to business and my personal life. Anyone paying attention to their behavior would see they do the same.

So… on this one… I’d ask more people to consider it and the way they treat others when they believe it’s just “business”.

3. No successful person is a copy.

This came out of the interview with Richard as well, and it resonated greatly with me. I have a friend who says that one of my problems is that I keep trying to do things my way instead of just doing what someone else has already done. My response to that is we can’t always follow what someone else did exactly and expect the same results. Times change, factors change… we should take the best that someone has to offer and make it a part of who we are without losing who we are.

All of us are unique; that’s just how it goes. We can take lessons we learn from others and apply them to our life, but at the end of the day we can only be the best “us” that we can be. Think about the 5 most successful people you know, either personally or not. You might see qualities in each of them that are similar, but for the most part you’ll realize every single one of them is totally different and succeeded because of those differences. We can learn perseverance from them; we can’t learn to be them.

I’m thinking these are 3 pretty good lessons. Course, what I say doesn’t always matter so I’ll put it out to you and your thoughts.

6 thoughts on “Do You Know Chris Brogan?”

  1. Hi Mitch,
    I am subbed to Chris Brogan’s blog, so I kind of know who he is. lol

    Great takeaway points! I’ve always believed that business is personal and glad to know that I’m not the only one who thinks this way.

    1. Thanks Evelyn. I’ve always thought that, while one can separate business from personal when it comes to a lot of things, that one carries over how they act in person to how they act in business. So, if someone is a jerk in their personal lives, they’re going to be a jerk across the board, and thus treat people badly. I hate that type of thing, as you can imagine.

  2. Hey Mitch,

    I heard an interview with Chris last month I believe and I really admired what he had to share as well. I can understand why you probably enjoyed this one too.

    I totally get what you’re talking about with being famous. Like you, I don’t listen to the music of today nor do I watch a lot of TV (some but not a lot). I have no clue who most of the people are that are newer to the scene and I have no clue who most of these musicians are today.

    I think with us being online or even in Chris’s case being a best selling author, if you aren’t interested in the topics he shares you probably wouldn’t have heard about him either.

    I do believe that we should treat people the way we would like to be treated and that’s personal and business related. It’s just common courtesy but doesn’t say a lot about you if you don’t get back to us especially if you did the reaching out. I’m with you on that one my friend.

    I agree about we are all unique. I also agree with you that what I might do online might now work for everyone but I know it works. We are all just different and that’s a good thing but I also think we have to find our own ways of standing out or approaching people or getting someone’s attention, whatever it is we’re trying to do.

    All really great points and thanks for sharing these with us. You always find interesting things to say from just about anything.


    1. LOL! Thanks Adrienne, and I thought how ironic it was that I’d done what you just recommended in your latest post before you said it. Sometimes we’re on the same wavelength. 🙂

      I like to think that we can all learn from someone else, but when all is said and done we’ll have to be the best version of our interpretation of what someone else has done if we want to truly be successful. Even candy makers who create the same product have their little twist on things; probably why we have our favorite marshmallows, even if some people think they all taste pretty much the same. lol

  3. Hi Mitch,

    This is my first time here on your blog. I was scrolling through twitter last night and stumbled upon what you were sharing.

    I know who Chris is and like what he has to say. There are millions of people out there that are “famous” in their respective fields, but we would not know who they are if we were standing next to them.

    I love this point. Business is personal and I truly believe if you are upfront and honest in your business dealings you are up front and honest in your personal life. You don’t just flip a switch.

    The only exception might be a football player where when you’re on the field playing the game you are a totally different person, then when you are off it. Btw, I see you wearing a Red Sox shirt in your picture. Are you a Red Sox fan?

    Couldn’t have said it better myself. Be the best version of you, but take little bits and pieces from others and incorporate then into how you do things.

    Great takeaways Mitch.

    Have a great day


    1. Hi Kurt; welcome to the blog!

      First, yes I am a Red Sox fan, and living in Yankee territory sometimes makes that dicey. lol

      I make allowances for athletes because that’s supposed to be more of a physical confrontation than regular businesses. If one was dealing with that on a daily basis in the office… well, I can’t see that being a place I’d want to work. And in business, if you can’t stand the people you’re working with, then it’s not worth doing.

      Thanks for commenting; now I have to check your blog out. I just saw your name somewhere else, but right now I can’t remember where; old guy syndrome probably. lol

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