May 3, 2017
Joe Fairless

How to Become Famous: General Fame vs. Selective Fame

I am blessed (and sometimes cursed) to have a personality where if I learn something new or have an exciting idea, I instantly take action on it.

A recent (and successful) example use of this personality trait is when I was reading “Tools of Titans” by Tim Ferriss. In the chapter dedicated to Mathematician and Economist Eric Weinstein, I was introduced to the concept of being selectively famous vs. being generally famous.

What’s the main difference between the two?

An example of someone being generally famous would be a movie star or a sports star. This is someone who cannot pump gas, chow down on a Chipotle burrito, or go to the grocery store with out being recognized or harassed by paparazzi or overly enthusiastic fans. While the prospect of the flashing lights and smiling fans may seem attractive when you don’t have it, Eric Weinstein said that this type of “general fame is overrated.”

Instead, if you are aiming for fame, you should set your sights on selective fame. “You want to be famous to 2,000 to 3,000 people you handpick,” Eric said.

General, mainstream fame is overrated because it brings more liabilities than benefits. However, Tim said, “If you’re known and respected by 2-3K high-caliber people (e.g., the live TED audience), you can do anything and everything you want in life. It provided maximal upside and minimal downside.”

I loved this concept and it immediately clicked for me. I brainstormed who exactly I wanted my 2,000 people to be, and since I raise money for multifamily syndications, I took a look at the characteristics of my current investors. Based on that analysis, my new target/primary audience, which are the 2,000 people that will help my business grow the most and where I want to focus my efforts, are 35-64 year old males who live in or are very close to a large city, are business owners, C-Suite executive, doctors, or passive real estate investors, and are accredited.

Question: Who are your 2,000 to 3,000 handpicked individuals?

Another outcome from learning about the “selectively famous” concept was creating a new landing page on my website – – because I realized I had nothing on my website that said, “Hey, person who is perfect to partner with us, here’s the page just for you.”

It’s actually refreshing, because now I’m not focused on seeing how many video views I have on YouTube or how many e-mails I’ve gathered or how many downloads I get on the podcast. Instead, I’m laser focused on “who am I attracting,” because it’s better to be selectively famous within 2-3k than to be generally famous with everyone, have our show on a billboard somewhere and waste money and get leads that aren’t qualified.

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Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this blog post are provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as an offer to buy or sell any securities or to make or consider any investment or course of action.

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