I live and work around relatively cool people, but I am often amazed at just how “awesome” some people think they are, certainly including myself sometimes. When you are, or work around those that are remotely “famous,” it is really easy to start thinking you really have it going on. People come to you for free tickets, free drinks, party invites, job hook-ups, whatever, and you really start to think you wield some pretty rockin’ power.
And maybe you really are that cool. But I doubt it. And, when you start to “know” that you are cool, that’s probably when it’s going to quickly go off the rails, and people will begin to despise you and your arrogant attitude.
There are plenty of people I feel this way about, not only in Nashville, Los Angeles, New York and Chicago, but many other locations.
I am including myself in this. I have spent plenty of time as the underdog, and have had just enough time as a “go to guy” to feel what both ends of the spectrum are like. They are very different. I hope you are able to have enough of a balance of the two to know what they both feel like. And do not forget what it felt like on the other side. It is important to know how to approach those with some power, and it is important to know what it is like to have absolutely no access. One minute you may have access, but do not forget, it could be gone the next.
Who you are associated with plays in to this, big time. Put thought in to who you closely associate yourself with. We often group reputations together. Make certain you are positioning yourself in a manner consistent with who you are. Of course there are people we would like to associate ourselves with, but simply do not have access to. Continually ask yourself if that person or company or group of people are worth the effort and potential compromises you would have to make to achieve access.
Treat people well. My goodness, I have seen some real jerks in my time, and for no good reason whatsoever. Stop and consider how you are treating people, how you’re sharing your opinion and whether or not you helped make their day better. Do you really like when people treat you like crap?
Be consistent. You want people to know what to expect when they call on you for any reason whatsoever. Don’t be a different person when you’re out late at night as opposed to who you are at home or in the office. I will never understand people that one day are super nice and bubbly, but the next seem to not even know me.
Do not meet someone two, three, four or five times. Remember them after the first time. I am not saying you are necessarily going to remember their name and every talking point about them, but for the love of God, pay enough attention that next time around you aren’t “meeting them for the first time.” I can think of multiple people I have met on numerous occasions because the first, second or third times, I was not in a position of power, or did not have access to the right artist(s). When they finally do allow space for me in their brain, I often harbor resentment towards them for being such an ass. Do your best to not treat people this way.
You may know a lot, but that does not mean you have to be a jerk about it. Sometimes it is for the betterment of all if you just keep your mouth shut. You may know this and that and whatever, but don’t be the guy that’s always spouting off and annoying the bejesus out of everyone. Over time, people do not like that person, regardless of knowledge.
Look, you are cool in some way. We all have something special we bring to this mess. Just be self-aware. In an industry and lifestyle where every single person is seemingly clawing for their own version of fame, know that your words and actions are still important, no matter the setting or context.
People are watching – don’t be an idiot.