HOW TO BE “NICHE FAMOUS”

Funke-Akindele

A tiktok video went viral last week that spontaneously got some major celebrities vexed. Here’s a quote from the video:

“And these people (Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon) are awful. I had to deal with both of them separately. She is an absolute diva and he is an absolute diva and I hope that no cast member has to deal with these monsters ever again.”

The tiktoker used to be a bit player at Disneyland who herself, ironically, is currently enjoying her 15 minutes of fame.

But wait. Nick Cannon? Being a diva? Imagine the gall on that boy!

Okay, calm down. Once you get over your outrage, shouldn’t you wonder how it must feel to be an insufferable celebrity? You should want to know which comes first—the insufferableness or the celebrity?

Nick Cannon and Mariah Carey with their kids

The truth is that it is stressful being famous. Which is why you must be careful the grade of fame for which you pray.

BE NICHE FAMOUS

The best type of fame is the one that let’s you be you even when you’re outside in the public’s glare.

As Eric Weinstein, managing director of Thiel Capital said, “General fame is overrated. You want to be famous to 2,000 to 3,000 people you handpick.”

For professionals, CEOs, and entrepreneurs, this statement should be gospel. Once the key people in your industry and in the market to which you sell know you, that’s niche fame and that should sell your product.

To be niche famous, Creative Director and coach Michael Janda says do this:

“By targeting a specific audience and serving them with a specific set of services, your business can find great success. To become “niche famous” you must make the pond small enough for you to be known as the big fish. After you conquer the small pond, move on to bigger ponds and expand your brand and client base.”

In some sense, being niche famous is what Kevin Kelly, founding executive editor of Wired magazine meant in his viral concept on “1,000 True Fans.” One thousand true fans will not only mean you’re niche famous, it also means you’d make a living—sometimes a very good living.

On the other hand, let’s leave the general fame to the actors, musicians, and other people who need to appeal to millions of people. Let’s also hope that they know how to manage their notoriety. As recent confessions of bipolar syndrome, major depression disorder, and schizophrenia have revealed, fame does do terrible things to good people.

THIS POPULARITY CONTEST MIGHT END YOU

However, science isn’t sure if it’s the arrival of stardom that kills people or the loss of it. There are stories of people who have killed themselves because they couldn’t handle the attention and criticism that accompany fame, and there have been people who took their own lives because the world stopped caring about them.

Case in point: paramedic Robert O’Donnell. He rose to national prominence in America in 1987 after he with some others saved toddler Jessical McClire after she’d fallen into a well. When the limelight faded for O’Donnell, he sank into depression and, eight years after the event that brought him fame, he shot himself.

We all feel we’re unique and so deserve to be well known. What should bring us back to earth, though, is that there are billions of other people who share similar tastes and reasoning as us. If not, how come Apple, for example, can create the iPhone, and you, like millions of others, will suddenly feel there’s nothing better than it?

Now, in the age of social media and a 24-hour news cycle, attaining fame has become quite easy and equally fleeting.

I will remind you of the sudden humiliation that befell Funke Akindele in April 2020 and how the entire world piled on her, forgetting how beloved she was just the day before.

Living with fame can be taxing. This is according to David Giles, PhD, the psychologist at the University of Winchester UK psychologist who wrote the book Illusions of Immortality: The Psychology of Fame and Celebrity.

Research published in the Journal of Nervous and Mental Disorders, and quoted on the Everyday Health website, revealed that, “the same social pressures that plague famous people can make it difficult to give them the treatment they need.”

STAY GROUNDED, STAY SANE out there

So is there another way to manage the impact of fame on your mind? Yesm there is. Media psychiatrist Dr Carole Lieberman says, “The key to staying healthy psychologically, from the pursuit of fame to its aftermath, is to have a life outside of the spotlight with people and purposes you really care about.”

I hope this helps.