I’ve never been much of a fan. Over the years, I met a few movie stars, musicians, comedians, athletes and, more than my share of successful entrepreneurs. I don’t think I’ve ever been star-struck but, I’ve been intellectually intimidated more than a few times.

As a non-famous person, it’s hard to bridge the gap between what you know about the other person (sometimes a lot) and what they know about you (next to nothing). How can my mundane life be of any interest to the rich and famous?

Over the last year,  I’ve come to realize that consciously or unconsciously, I was giving too much emphasis to what people I admire (entrepreneurs mostly) say or do. Here are the 7 reasons why I decided to stop being a fan:

  1. Being a fan pushes you in observer mode
    You can spend forever reading and sharing what other people think but, ultimately, it’s what you do that defines you. I want my success to be based on what I do, I want to have my own thoughts and I want to write my own story.
  2. Being a fan makes you believe in shortcuts to success
    It’s not true that, doing everything that Mark Zuckerberg did will make you as successful as he was; no one starts at the same place in life and, luck is not a repeatable strategy. Reading all biographies at the local bookstore will not automatically make you successful. There are no shortcuts.
  3. Being a fan keeps you from focusing on the important things
    Famous people are not famous because they spend their time tweeting or sharing other people’s thoughts; it’s the other way around. They have a following because people respect what they have done. Don’t spend your time on Twitter helping famous people get even more famous, make a name for yourself.
  4. Being a fan makes you aim for standards that may (or may not) be yours
    Famous people have authority. Through their words and actions, they promote a certain view of the world. It’s easy to get caught up living someone else’s dream and lose track of what you really want when you’re someone’s fan. Make sure you know what you want.
  5. Being a fan makes you think that there might be something wrong with you
    To succeed, I need to be more like Steve Jobs… he was an amazing public speaker but, I’m not therefore, I need to become a great public speaker to succeed… Real success comes from within first. If you try to be the next Steve Jobs, the best you can hope for is #2 but, you can be the best you. Work with what you have.
  6. Being a fan makes you give celebrities too much importance
    Neil Patel wrote: “Don’t focus on networking with celebrities, network with the average Joes. Every time you meet one of these celebrities you shouldn’t get star struck because the majority of the celebrities you meet won’t care about you.” If you act like a fan and you can’t add to the discussion, famous people wont respect you and, definitely won’t help you. Their reputation rests on the shoulders of people like you and me; focus on the people like you first.
  7. Being a fan makes you believe that famous people have it all figured out
    The rich and famous are not necessarily happier than you and me. Sometimes, if you knew the truth behind closed doors, you wouldn’t be so envious. Don’t focus on the image, be yourself.

Whether you like it or not, listening to someone is accepting someone’s influence over you. Thoughts and ideas can help you explore views and find the keys to your own knowledge but, an overabundance of images can also lead to paralysis.

The key for me is to know what I want, realize when I’m being a fan and re-focus on what I (me, je) try to achieve; everything else is just noise and I try to avoid it.