Do you have a superstar mentor? I do.
I first learned about the idea of a “Superstar Mentor” from Tim Ferriss five years ago when I read his book, The Four Hour Workweek.
In it, he writes about reaching out to people who are very famous, and very accomplished in their field, and the benefits of growing “supernormal networks”. Particularly – reaching out to “Superstars” in fields that you are interested in. He’s also blogged about it here.
He encourages people (including the students that he’s taught in start-up business classes at Princeton) to reach way above themselves, in terms of accomplishment, and attempt to find a mentor who is at the top of their field. He does this for several reasons:
- It teaches you to think bigger, and not to sell yourself short;
- It gets you over your fear of rejection, uncomfortable situations, and going outside of your comfort zone;
- There is a small (but real) chance that the “Superstar” will engage you back, and develop a relationship, and if that happens you have opened a very unique, inspiring, and helpful door for yourself.
Ferriss obviously isn’t saying to stalk your celebrity heros. But having a “Superstar” respond back to your inquiry can do wonders for your confidence and for your belief in yourself, especially if that Superstar likes your ideas, or gives you positive feedback about your work.
Over the past several years I have reached out to many “Superstars”. Only one has ever responded back to me. But that one is enough.
Out of my own desire for privacy, and to respect the identity of the individual, I won’t say who my “Superstar mentor” is (as I very much respect this person).
I don’t have a “deep relationship” with this individual. They are not a “close friend”. However, I can honestly say that I have had several meaningful email exchanges with a very famous, and multiple time best-selling author.
I first reached out to this individual to simply say “thanks”, as I enjoyed their work, and I shared my ambition, and progress, as a writer.
The individual contacted me back with some nice and encouraging words. After I completed my first book I contacted this person again, and again they responded back to me, with additional words of encouragement, and expressing interest in my book. Now I am sending this individual a copy of my book.
I’m not looking for anything from this person, and I don’t intend to badger them.
I just had a sincere appreciation of their work, and it feels AMAZING to have them express interest in mine.
A couple of rules in my opinion (if you choose to engage this strategy):
- Obviously – again – don’t harass. One contact only. If they don’t respond. Let it be. Move on.
- Don’t look to “get” anything. Don’t ask for anything.
- Express a genuine compliment if their work has positively impacted you.
- Share with them your work if so inclined (but again, don’t ask for anything, you haven’t developed a relationship).
So reach out to a “Superstar”. You never know what will happen. Many “famous” people are just normal people who created cool things that other people like. A simple reply back may brighten your day, and help you get back to the tough (but worthwhile) task of creating your own “authentic work”.