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Earlier this week on Medium I promised a deep dive into planning your career, using the example of a woman I met on a flight back from Vegas. You can read that intro article by clicking here.
Basically, I was on a flight and met a model and host who you would recognize if you saw her face, but maybe not if I said her name. She is the kind of minor celebrity you meet all the time in LA. Like all minor celebrities, she wants to take the next step in her career.
We talked for the hour flight from Vegas to LA, and eventually, I asked her who she wanted to be. Without blinking, she said Giuliana Rancic, a host on E! who interviews celebrities. That’s what she wanted to be, an interviewer and host.
That might sound like a pipedream, but for somebody of her status and celebrity, it’s not that big a leap from where she was to celebrity interviewer, especially when you take into account that she knows lots of celebrities from hosting events at night clubs and around the world.
So I asked her. “What are you doing to move from where you are to where you want to be?”
Most people don’t take this step seriously, but it’s really important. There are skills that you currently have that will serve you well in wherever you are going. Whether it’s logistics, or budgeting, or writing or something else. You need to make a list of your hard and soft skills that you currently have.
The next step is deciding the celebrity avatar you want to embody. Every celebrity has a different thing. Tony Robbins is a very different celebrity than Rachel Ray who is a very different celebrity than Bruce Willis. You need to pick a specific celebrity that you would be like if all things were equal.
Next, we are going to compare their hard and soft assets with yours. Some of them might be internet celebrities. Some might be great on camera. Still others might be great on radio. You need to know where they are strong and where they are weak. Honestly, this does two things. First, it shows you what you need to work on and what skills you need to acquire in order to be your ideal.
Now that you have their strengths and weaknesses plotted, you need a direction. So it’s time to get in front of a computer and plot the career trajectory of your celebrity avatar. You need to see where and when they make their moves, so you can make a plan in order to make similar moves.
This is probably the hardest part because you will need to make a list of the skills that you need (along with those you already have) in order to get where you want to go. You might need to learn how to cook or take an on-camera class. You might need to take writing seminars. Whatever it is, before you move on to step 5 you need to acquire some base level skills.
Now here is where you bring your skills to bear. If you are a great coder you can make a killer website. If you are amazing at marketing, you can bring people to your site. If you have celebrity friends, you can use them to help promote your product (or be on your show).
By having a celebrity goal in mind, you will be able to make a road map for success. You will be able to know what projects to follow and which projects to move away from. Remember, most of these celebrities have multiple streams of fame, but they broke in with a very specific niche. You need to follow that initial niche until success.