You Don’t Have To Be Famous To Be A Rockstar

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You Don’t Have to be Famous to be a Rockstar…  When I biked my way to the beach earlier this month, I had to peddle as hard as I could into the wind. It wasn’t easy overcoming the obstacles in my path, but once I set my focus on my destination, everything fell into place.  I’m so glad I made it to the beach that day because what I witnessed there inspired me to write this post.

As I was relaxing in the sun, exhausted but thrilled at having arrived, a thin, shirtless man in skinny jeans and sunglasses walked onto the beach with his children.  It was a gorgeous day and the beach was starting to fill up with people. He set down their things not too far from me and I didn’t think anything of it until a few minutes later he pulled out a shiny guitar, plugged it into his amp, and began to play the most incredible rock and roll I ever heard!  Riff after riff, this guy was on fire!

At this point I couldn’t help staring at him behind my sunglasses as I tried to figure out who this guy was. His fingers flew over the strings and made it look effortless.  He played from the heart and his music told a story: that no matter what was going on in the world, everything was gonna be all right.

Do What You Love, And You Will Shine Brighter Than The Sun

This guitarist had the look of a true rockstar and certainly had the talent of one, so I naturally assumed he was somebody famous. He was so good that I actually felt foolish for not knowing who he was. So you can imagine my surprise when I overheard a passerby strike up a conversation with him and find out that he was just an ordinary local guy who loves to play the guitar and share his music with people.  I was blown away that a guy with that much talent wasn’t a famous musician, but then I quickly realized he didn’t need to be.

You don’t have to be famous to be a rockstar, do the things you love, and make a difference in this world. Forget about getting on the cover of People magazine or in today’s headlines.  Focus on following your passions in life, planning for your future, and helping other people.  The guitarist on the beach beamed with happiness because he was enjoying something he loved to do and was sharing his music with us.  It didn’t matter that he wasn’t a lead guitarist in a famous band, or that he wasn’t raking in millions from concerts.  He was simply jamming on the beach having a great time and enjoying the moment.

Forget About Glitz, Glamour, And Mega Riches

We live in a world where we grow up believing that glitz, glamour, and fancy cars are symbols of having “made it.” Celebrities are idolized with there fancy cribs, au couture, and personal assistants waiting on their hand and foot. I’m sure a lot of you probably grew up fantasizing about becoming a rich movie star, being on ESPN, or signing a major record deal and going on tour.

I wanted more than anything to be a famous singer and actress when I was a teenager, but thank goodness I didn’t get anywhere close to that happening. I’m sure it would have been exhilaratingly fun in the beginning, but I think I would have ended up hating my life! Our society is so obsessed with celeb gossip and waiting for famous people to crumble and fall that it’s no wonder so many of them assault paparazzi, can’t stay in a long-term relationship, and go completely off their rocker.

Work where you want…Live how you want…Be who you want to be

On the other hand, those of us who live an untemplate lifestyle know what it’s like to work hard to live the life we want, and we’re pretty well grounded because of it. We’re focused on our own end game – not what everybody else thinks we should be doing, we make our own goals and stick to them, and we set high expectations of ourselves.

Most of us can name a CEO, self made millionaire, or successful business owner that we admire and look up to, but we also appreciate and recognize how hard they had to work to get to where they are today. A lot of ordinary people don’t realize this though, young folks especially, and that worries me.

Don’t Let The Media Cloud Your Definition of Success and Entitlement

I was talking to some parents at a dinner party recently and they were telling me how worried they are about the future of their teenage boys. One mom said her son just doesn’t apply himself and is always looking for shortcuts and cheats to avoid doing any work. She anxiously told me he has no interest in school or getting a job.

The curious thing she told me is she thinks that all the media hype about young billionaires like Zuckerberg are blinding her son’s perceptions of the real world. She feels as if her son has been brainwashed into believing that it’s a piece of cake to start your own company right out of school, that it’s okay to have a big ego and scoff at people with 10-20-30 years of work experience, and that he actually has a shot at becoming mega rich in his 20’s without breaking a sweat.

Set Realistic Targets and Write Your Own Definition of Having “Made It”

I certainly don’t envy that mom! I hope she knocks some sense into her son soon and gets him to take a part time job or something so he’ll get a reality wake up call and realize that it takes a lot of effort to make money in this world, and that his future isn’t going to be handed to him on a silver platter. I’ve seen more and more traces of this sense of entitlement in recent college grads too and it’s frustrating that so many young people think they should be paid big salaries with miniscule experience and minimal effort.

No matter how old or young you are, don’t get caught up in the hype that success only happens if you become famous and super rich. Success is whatever you make it out to be, and the more achievable you make your goals, the more happiness you’ll unfurl. However, you don’t have to be famous to be a rockstar! Fame and mega riches sure can seem appealing, and who doesn’t dream of being waited on hand and foot, but please slap yourself straight – they’re both overrated and will not guarantee happiness. Put your happiness into your own hands!!

Untemplaters, do you have aspirations of becoming famous? Why do you think our society is so obsessed with celebrities? Do you agree that you don’t have to be famous to be a rockstar?  What is your definition of success and what level of fame, if any, would you want it to bring?

“Personal

Unconventional Guides

{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

David (Fish) February 20, 2012 at 7:23 am

Great Article Sydney, and so true: Success is whatever we deem it to be. I have this great quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson that has always summed it up for me.

“To laugh often and much; To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded”

With goals like these, I challenge anyone not to find happiness and success, despite all the glitz and glamor that clutters our lives~!

Thanks again!

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Sydney February 20, 2012 at 9:44 am

That’s an inspiring quote David, thanks for sharing that! We are in control of what we want our successes to be and have the choice to be happy. We don’t need to be the best at everything or become famous in order to accomplish great things!

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MoneyCone February 20, 2012 at 7:25 am

Hey even Mark Zuckerberg had to work his ass off! I don’t think it was an easy journey – sure he was lucky to some extent, but for some reason luck always seems to favor those who are willing to go that extra mile! ;)

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Sydney February 20, 2012 at 9:57 am

Exactly! The movie about Facebook made his career look easy but I’m sure he had many sleepless nights working around the clock and tons of obstacles to overcome. No one can expect to get to greatness without putting in their own sweat and tears.

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John | Married (with Debt) February 20, 2012 at 11:17 am

I think we are moving to a place where the answer for young people isn’t always going to be “yes, you have to go to college.” If a young guy or girl showed me a business plan for an untemplated online business and asked if they needed to go to college right away or if they could delay to try to build their business, I would probably tell them to delay.

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Sydney February 20, 2012 at 10:55 pm

Times are a changin’! College certainly isn’t for everyone and if a high school grad really has their act together at that young of an age then why not give it a shot. If they do want to get a traditional 4 year college degree at some point, I wouldn’t recommend delaying more than a couple years so they could still get to enjoy their college experience without too large of an age gap from their classmates. I got a lot out of my college years and having a degree opens up a lot of doors so I still like to encourage people to further their education after high school.

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Jana @ Daily Money Shot February 20, 2012 at 12:15 pm

I don’t have a thick enough skin to be famous. I struggle with self-confidence and if someone were to rip me or my ideas or whatever, I’d lose it completely. That said, I like knowing that I’m making a difference in my corner of the world. That’s my rockstar aspiration.

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Sydney February 20, 2012 at 10:57 pm

I hear ya. The media can be so cruel to people and I would hate to have to deal with that and so much constant criticism. I like your rockstar aspiration Jana, keep up the good work!

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Daisy February 20, 2012 at 4:38 pm

I think hard word is incredibly important. If you work hard, no matter what you do, you can get what you want – as long as your taking the right steps in the right direction.

To be fair, I don’t think that “young people” don’t realize that it takes hard work to get somewhere – I think that many of them don’t want to work hard. There’s a difference, and being young doesn’t dictate that you have to work hard – I am in my early-mid 20′s, and I regret not slacking off a bit when I was a teenager. I have worked hard my whole life which has been exhausting, stress inducing,and doesn’t create great memories :)

Good post though!

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Sydney February 20, 2012 at 11:15 pm

I’m a big advocate of working hard and putting skin in the game. There’s nothing like the feeling of accomplishment and reaching goals.

I can see your point on realize versus want. I struggled in some of my high school classes so I had to work hard to get good grades to get into my top choice schools and I’m glad I did. It wasn’t easy, but it was worth it for me because I knew I had to be able to get a decent paying job to support myself because my parents didn’t have the means for me to lean on. I do think it’s easier to work hard at a younger age though in terms of energy and endurance. I wish I had the energy and tolerance for lack of sleep that I had in my early 20′s now. :)

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Tyler S. February 20, 2012 at 6:54 pm

Awesome ideas here! I’m currently working through this with soccer, just finding my spot and being able to pass it on to future generations will be amazing!

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Sydney February 20, 2012 at 11:22 pm

Soccer is such a great sport for team building and fitness. I love that it’s a game that people can play at all ages too. I have some great memories playing games in school. I’m glad you love to play and enjoy teaching others!

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Financial Samurai February 21, 2012 at 8:25 am

Sydney, this is my favorite post you’ve written so far! I love it, love it, love it! The imagery, the stories, the message are so real.

The media has a very powerful way of changing people’s perception. I don’t like the mass media, which is why I blog to say my own thing. I love blogs for this reason… we aren’t puppets to corporations and advertisers! Yes, we will have some, but for the most part, we are our own people.

I think misery comes from always wanting to be the best and having everything, but not achieving everything. My how sad that would be.

Thank you for this inspirational post!

Sam

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Sydney February 21, 2012 at 9:25 am

Thanks Sam, I’m so glad you enjoyed the post! That guitarist really wowed me that day and I felt inspired to write about him and what was running through my thoughts that day.

Blogging certainly is rewarding especially when we get to share things that are on our minds. If we can help readers in any way through that process, no matter if it’s 100 people, 50, or just 1, it really means a lot and is motivation to write and help others more!

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Kevin @ SpringCoin February 21, 2012 at 2:33 pm

Sydney,

This is the first time I’ve read your blog, and it was definitely a great first post that I ran into. This is truly inspiring. If you’re the best at anything you do, you will succeed. Even if you’re the best plumber, programmer, dancer, or a garbage man, if you follow your dreams money will follow.

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Sydney February 21, 2012 at 3:40 pm

Thanks so much Kevin! I love hearing feedback from new readers. We may not be the best in our country, state, or even town, but if we put in our all, work hard, plan, and find ways to follow our passions, great things will happen! There are heroes and rockstars in each of us. :)

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Robert @ The College Investor February 21, 2012 at 5:33 pm

No way do I want to become famous! I want to be well off, but I don’t need anyone to know how much or how I did it. I just like being able to do what I want, when I want to, and provide for my family!

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Sydney February 21, 2012 at 10:44 pm

Hear, hear! I value my privacy a lot. It must be so annoying for famous people who can’t even go to the grocery store without getting recognized.

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PK February 21, 2012 at 9:17 pm

Sydney, you’ll be internet famous soon enough!

I still play the guitar (started in High School), but no plans to quit my day job yet. I go stretches without playing (and forget must of my material, heh) – but a few minutes on YouTube and I’m a guitar jukebox again. I never really forget scales, for some reason.

Man, YouTube is great! (Off topic?)

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Sydney February 21, 2012 at 10:48 pm

Little ‘ol me? Nah :) That’s cool you can pick up pretty quickly from where you left off each time with the guitar. YouTube really is convenient for so many things!

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AverageJoe February 22, 2012 at 9:51 am

I’m fairly certain most people want to be just like me. They all wish for this incredible “ham and cheese” or “Campbell Soup” lifestyle….I know, it’s a curse.

What’s funny is that if you live the life you describe above, focused on your own passions, there’s probably a better chance of winding up famous than “chasing success.”

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Shaun @ Money Cactus February 23, 2012 at 2:56 am

Great article Sydney. You definitely don’t need to be famous to be a rockstar, much better to be a star in your own eyes than in someone else’s and love what you do.

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Sydney February 26, 2012 at 11:00 pm

Thanks Shaun. Finding our own happiness sure is pricless!

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JB February 26, 2012 at 5:58 pm

I just found your blog and love this post! Very very thought provoking.

I agree that pursuing your passion can pay off, but I think many today perceive “fame” and “rockstar status” to be something that is quick and easy if you have the talent. Unfortunately I think most miss the fact that those with fame and status have worked their butts off for decades to get where they are. Even the guy on the beach with the guitar probably has logged more hours and bloody fingers practicing than most.

We live in a land of incredible opportunity. But that does not mean it is easy.

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Sydney February 26, 2012 at 11:06 pm

Yep, even with talent it takes a lot of hard work to get to that kind of level. No big success comes quick or easy!

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Mark D. Cook February 27, 2012 at 7:34 am

Forget the fame. I’d rather be a rockstar finance blogger!

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