163 – Fame Is Normal

When you do a good job at something, it will eventually make you famous. You may only be “famous” among colleagues, your name never appearing in public for decades, if ever.

It happens every now and again, somewhere in the world of media, gossip, and periodical literature. Someone says, “You know that guy we always call to do that one part of our design projects because only he gets it right?”—and everyone in the room or reading that column knows the guy—instant publicity. Next, he’s the name for all the talk shows and columnists to interview, being offered book deals from five publishing houses. But, he was already famous for his work. What happened in the public “bragosphere” was merely his fame turning into publicity.

The guy at the gas station, the gal running the cash register, the shoe repair guy downtown, the piano player at the weddings and parties, the school band director and football coach—all of them are already household names for one reason: They do good work.

If your work is worth its salt, you will certainly become famous in some way. Count on it. Plan for it. Grow in your personal, inward, ethical, moral character so the spotlight doesn’t melt you—because the spotlight always turns on unannounced.

Don’t shy away from the spotlight either. Never say, “I won’t do that because I don’t want to become famous.” Of course, don’t seek fame, but don’t evade it either. Let the searchlight of fame roam where it will; you just do a good job and let the problem of fame tend to itself.

Trying to miss a moving target is almost as hard as trying to hit one. In some ways, you are already more famous than you know. Your friends talk about you, just as you talk about them. Rather than measuring, avoiding, seeking, or otherwise even caring at all about “celebrity status”, just be yourself and do the best job you can. Your good example can inspire people without you knowing it for eons. You’re going to make mistakes. What makes a good role model is not the absence of human error, but demonstration of good character.

Proverbs 22:29