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On fame and other fallacies

I always felt that I had "the duty" to become famous. Well, until recently, when I began to analyse this (grotesque?) concept. When was the desire for fame born, how did it change into a certainty and, lastly into a must? I can't watch TV, read a book, or bask in the sun, because I must employ all my time and energy in the pursuit of fame (call it success, if it sounds less grating). Pathetic, isn't it? What am I, a desperate teenager? No, this fame thing is not a forethought, but a back-thought. It started as a forethought when... I was a desperate teenager. I found indelible proof of it in my Louisville school yearbook: "She wants to become famous through her photography and writing..." Interestingly, I wasn't doing any photography whatsoever at the time.

Don't be impatient, bear with me, this is not all about me, trust me, it's about you too.

When I realised that this internal electrical wire was still buzzing away, now not anymore as a desire for fame, but as a duty (to whom? Humanity? Me? My bank manager?) I decided to finally look into it. And I found this great and most revealing article. Yes, yes, please read it, but then come back here. So, what is good about fame is that it precedes you, you don't need to explain or justify yourself. Also, if you are famous you make money (NOT a given). If you are famous, it means that you are right, about your product, your strategy, your brand. In other words, you sell. You sell YOU. Or do you?

What about if you, or your brand, or your product are not viable, i.e. they cost more to produce than the price you can charge for them, they are not marketable, or whatever? Are you supposed to change you in order to become famous so that you can be you? (Headache coming up yet?). Don't all - or most - successful businesses bend backwards in order to please, retain, and expand their audience?

So, the dream that fame will give you independence and freedom is, you guessed it, a fallacy. If anything, it probably reduces your independence and freedom. Also, paradoxically, your duty, or mere desire, to add to the rich tapestry of human culture may be better served by... failure, i.e. by experimenting and persisting with ideas that are not an immediate, direct root to commercial gratitude.

In brief, I feel that I don't want, need, must be famous anymore (hallelujah!), because flying below the radar is, ultimately, what makes me free, and actually validates me as someone who enriches the human tapestry, by being (in my husband's words) fiercely independent.

So, what is my marketing plan? My brand? My USP (Unique Selling Point)? Serendipity.

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