Growing up we all had idols, people that we liked or wanted to be like.
Whether it was an athlete, movie star, Evel Knievel or whoever, we all had somebody that we wanted to be like.
I have heard through most of my life, that if I want to be successful at something I need to find someone that is already successful at it, then study and mimic them.
When it came to baseball, I was told find a player that I liked and copy his swing.
Naturally, growing up near Seattle I chose to copy Ken Griffey Jr. and why not? He has probably the sweetest swing in the history of the game.
In basketball there was a generation of kids yelling…
As they practiced their turn-around, fade away jumper.
Although I mimicked and idolized these players, I never had the opportunity to meet them.
Honestly, sometimes I think it might have been better that way.
Last summer I attended a podcast workshop that had some great podcasters in the lineup, even some that I had been studying and modeling my own podcast after.
“How cool would it be if I got to meet some them”
In between sessions I noticed that a popular podcaster was sitting at the table just behind me.
With only about 3 other people across the room I thought to myself “why not ask him a couple questions?”
It would be like asking Griffey about his swing. How many chances would I get like this?
After all, this is someone I’d like to be… or so I thought.
I turned around and blurted out the first question, his response, “great question, we’ll get to that later”.
Perfect! Now we have a conversation going and I’m going to get my question answered.
As I start in with the next question he reaches for a random piece of paper then stands up slowly while I’m talking and…
Just looks down.
Then he starts walking away, clearly not paying attention, nodding his head “uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh”.
I could imagine my voice slowly fade in his ears as the distance grew further until I finally stopped mid-sentence.
I just got big-timed!
By someone that, before that, I wanted to be like.
What did I expect though?
I get it, I was a nobody to him and he let me know it.
He didn’t know me, I didn’t buy his program for $2,500/month, there just wasn’t time for me.
Even as we grow older we continue to find new idols, heroes and people that inspire us to be like them.
However, we must be careful when choosing those that we look up to and how much value we assign to them.
We might be disappointed.